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Saving Carroll's Signature


Rachane

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The problem: A dashboard plaque from Shelby, VIN-specific to your car, and personally signed by Carroll Shelby with a black Sharpie pen. The plaque is mounted between the two center A/C outlets, in a dash-nonoverhang gap where the Sun hits it every day. Within a few months the signature will begin to fade from this sunlight exposure, and eventually it will disappear almost completely.

 

The only solution suggested to date - as a "sticky" in this subforum - is to spray the plaque either before or after placement with a UV-protective aerosol. Assuming you can do this without damaging the plaque or causing the signature to smear or chemically interact over time. And the overspray may itself discolor or disintegrate over time and with harsh sunlight exposure.

 

I think I've found a solution which is easy, inexpensive, and non-damaging. It is also reversible if you don't want it there for, say, a car show judging moment or an indoor display.

 

Buy a notebook, folder, address book, or something similar with a flexible-but-stiff black plastic cover. These are usually spiral-bound items found in office-supply stores such as Office Depot or Staples. You want the cover to be thin and undecorated, but flexible, so that it is strong enough not to flap around, but can be easy flexed without breaking. You want it in matte black, not gloss. You should be able to easily cut it with ordinary scissors. Such notebooks are usually about $3-5 in price.

 

[You may wish to pre-test the next step with one or two pieces of thin/stiff paper, such as cardstock, first, to get the measurements exactly right for your car before using the final piece of black plastic ...]

 

Cut a piece 7-3/4" by 4-3/8". To get this in a perfect rectangle, use a paper-cutter rather than scissors. If you don't have one at home or office, drop by the local Kinko's.

 

Push one of the long sides carefully into the space where the bottom of the dashboard overhang meets the top of the panel containing the two center A/C vents and the plaque. You may find this easier if you slide it into the space from one side, then gradually work it in until it is evenly centered. It won't go in very far, but it doesn't have to in order to be held firmly. [Note: If you cut the piece longer than 7-3/4", it may not go into the space at either end because the dash-overhang starts curving upward. You want to keep it within the straight-horizontal slot. You also don't want the installed item to curl up at either side.]

 

The black plastic will now project out over the plaque like an awning. It will be at a slight upward angle. That angle is convenient, because when you and your passenger are looking at it, it will almost disappear from your line of sight. It will also not touch either of the A/C ducts or interfere with their airflow.

 

[in the case of a coupe] you now have a 100% sunlight barrier protecting Carroll's signature from the Sun, any time of the day, no matter what angle. [Note that a smaller rectangle will still allow sunlight to hit the signature at certain Sun-angles through the windshield.] I don't know how complete the protection would be for a convertible with the top down.

 

If you ever want to show the car [indoors or outdoors-briefly] without the shade, just pull it out and reapply when desired.

 

Michael

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The problem: A dashboard plaque from Shelby, VIN-specific to your car, and personally signed by Carroll Shelby with a black Sharpie pen. The plaque is mounted between the two center A/C outlets, in a dash-nonoverhang gap where the Sun hits it every day. Within a few months the signature will begin to fade from this sunlight exposure, and eventually it will disappear almost completely.

 

The only solution suggested to date - as a "sticky" in this subforum - is to spray the plaque either before or after placement with a UV-protective aerosol. Assuming you can do this without damaging the plaque or causing the signature to smear or chemically interact over time. And the overspray may itself discolor or disintegrate over time and with harsh sunlight exposure.

 

I think I've found a solution which is easy, inexpensive, and non-damaging. It is also reversible if you don't want it there for, say, a car show judging moment or an indoor display.

 

Buy a notebook, folder, address book, or something similar with a flexible-but-stiff black plastic cover. These are usually spiral-bound items found in office-supply stores such as Office Depot or Staples. You want the cover to be thin and undecorated, but flexible, so that it is strong enough not to flap around, but can be easy flexed without breaking. You want it in matte black, not gloss. You should be able to easily cut it with ordinary scissors. Such notebooks are usually about $3-5 in price.

 

[You may wish to pre-test the next step with one or two pieces of thin/stiff paper, such as cardstock, first, to get the measurements exactly right for your car before using the final piece of black plastic ...]

 

Cut a piece 7-3/4" by 4-3/8". To get this in a perfect rectangle, use a paper-cutter rather than scissors. If you don't have one at home or office, drop by the local Kinko's.

 

Push one of the long sides carefully into the space where the bottom of the dashboard overhang meets the top of the panel containing the two center A/C vents and the plaque. You may find this easier if you slide it into the space from one side, then gradually work it in until it is evenly centered. It won't go in very far, but it doesn't have to in order to be held firmly. [Note: If you cut the piece longer than 7-3/4", it may not go into the space at either end because the dash-overhang starts curving upward. You want to keep it within the straight-horizontal slot. You also don't want the installed item to curl up at either side.]

 

The black plastic will now project out over the plaque like an awning. It will be at a slight upward angle. That angle is convenient, because when you and your passenger are looking at it, it will almost disappear from your line of sight. It will also not touch either of the A/C ducts or interfere with their airflow.

 

[in the case of a coupe] you now have a 100% sunlight barrier protecting Carroll's signature from the Sun, any time of the day, no matter what angle. [Note that a smaller rectangle will still allow sunlight to hit the signature at certain Sun-angles through the windshield.] I don't know how complete the protection would be for a convertible with the top down.

 

If you ever want to show the car [indoors or outdoors-briefly] without the shade, just pull it out and reapply when desired.

 

Michael

 

Or you could just spray it with UV spray and be done with it.

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Michael, thanks for the idea. Tried it and here is how it looks:

 

post-6216-1227451175_thumb.jpg

 

post-6216-1227451188_thumb.jpg

 

Actually I think it looks pretty decent and it will do the job. I have not sprayed my sig yet with anything and really didn't want to so I think I will use this.

 

Thanks again.

post-6216-1227451175_thumb.jpg

post-6216-1227451188_thumb.jpg

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Please don't take my laughing personally.....but I'm cracking up at the dash awning.

Quite understandable, and I'm sure I will get more than a few smiles from passengers when I explain it. But the flip side is that Carroll's signature is doomed without it, just as surely as you'll get sunburned if you similarly cook yourself without skin protection. I want it to look the same 1-5 years from now as it does today.

 

In a perfect world the dashboard top would not be cut-out at precisely that point, or the plaque would have been designed for a more protected placement. Or Mr. Shelby might have signed each one with an engraving tool rather than a Sharpie. But it is what/where it is.

 

As noted above, the aerosol-UV-spray is an alternative, as discussed in the sticky, but I'm not really happy with it, because I don't think it will completely work in the long run. You could click on this study, which concludes that the Krylon spray is useless for protection against fading, but it's some kind of elaborate .pdf which is almost unmanageable on-screen. Briefly what it says about the Krylon spray:

 

Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating: FT-IR analysis of the spray identified polymethlymethacrylate (PMMA), which confirmed the information provided by the manufacturer. In a comparative study, FT-IR analysis of Krylon Crystal Clear AcrylicCoating™ was also found to contain polymethylmethacrylate. Neither fixative prevented the colored supports or two of the markers (purple and pink) from fading when exposed to sunlight.

So now you know more than you ever wanted to know about polymethlymethacrylate. :doh:

 

In a crash situation I don't think that this awning would be dangerous [although I suppose even a coffeecup in the cupholder or a plastic Jesus atop the dashboard could be if it winds up in your eyeball!]. The seat/shoulderbelt should keep you away from it, and it is a very flimsy, flexible item.

 

As another afterthought, it occurs to me that the top of the "awning" could also be decorated with, say, my extra Team Shelby decal, etc. But I think I'll just leave it plain/unobtrusive.

 

Michael

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:hysterical::hysterical2::hysterical:

 

 

Please don't take my laughing personally.....but I'm cracking up at the dash awning.

 

 

admittedly a bit unorthodox and different. very functional though and will use on bright sunny days when the car is sitting in the sun.

 

glad to have provided the humor.

 

laughing is healthy. :hysterical::hysterical2::hysterical:

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How do you think this would work, trimming to the edges?

 

http://www.snaptint.com/product.php?productid=16192

 

It might work but if its like regular window tint, if you ever took it off the sig would probably come with it.

 

A thin layer of self adhearing pvc film, the kind you see on the front of new electronics might work and be removable without damage. If it was cut to size you could lay it over and it would be hard to see. I've not tried it mind you, just thinking on it. I still have mine mounted in a drawer. :doh:

 

KC666

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How do you think this would work, trimming to the edges?

If it is held on by adhesive, I wouldn't risk it because if it were ever removed, it would pull the Sharpie ink off with it. If it's held on by just "static cling", I think it would be ideal, indeed better than my "awning" both æsthetically and because it would block the UV from all light reaching the plaque, not just the direct sunlight. I've emailed the company to learn how the film adheres, and will post any response here.

 

Michael

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My suggestion is to only install or put the plaque in when displaying your car. Will that work?

Not if you use the 3M tape that comes on the plaque. That's tough stuff, and you'd probably damage the plaque trying to remove it.

 

I suppose you could carefully remove the 3M tape from the plaque and replace it with something less permanent, like double-sided carpet tape, for temporary usage. But it would need to be something gentle enough to not damage your dashboard finish when pulled off either.

 

About the "lightest" stuff I know is double-sided Scotch tape, which would probably not damage anything [though I'd test it on an inconspicuous area of the dash just to make sure]. But its hold is also weak enough so that I'd only use it for stationary display of the car. Might fall off when driving.

 

Michael

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Not if you use the 3M tape that comes on the plaque. That's tough stuff, and you'd probably damage the plaque trying to remove it.

 

I suppose you could carefully remove the 3M tape from the plaque and replace it with something less permanent, like double-sided carpet tape, for temporary usage. But it would need to be something gentle enough to not damage your dashboard finish when pulled off either.

 

About the "lightest" stuff I know is double-sided Scotch tape, which would probably not damage anything [though I'd test it on an inconspicuous area of the dash just to make sure]. But its hold is also weak enough so that I'd only use it for stationary display of the car. Might fall off when driving.

 

Michael

 

For temporary use, what about that putty-like "stuff" that sometimes comes with credit cards and rebate cards that holds them to the paper inside the envelope? Don't know what it is, but it appears to comes off cleanly.

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For temporary use, what about that putty-like "stuff" that sometimes comes with credit cards and rebate cards that holds them to the paper inside the envelope? Don't know what it is, but it appears to comes off cleanly.

That's "rubber cement", and it can sometimes stain a surface, so I wouldn't use it here. Also, while holding any kind of protector-film in place, it would show up as a gob underneath the film!

 

I just heard back from SnapTint. They say their UV film is held in place by "soapy water" applied to the surface, then the film is applied and squeegeed. I don't like the idea of soapy water on that signature, so am going to stick with the "awning" for now. Actually I no longer notice it.

 

Michael

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when I put my plate on the dash, I only stripped about 1/8" of the backing of off the 3M tape, top and bottom. Holds well, and I feel I can take it off if needed.

 

I did read thru the pdf study of the uv protection, and am glad our signature is not in pencil or washable marker.

 

maybe someone needs to write on a piece of metal with the permanent marker , spray one side with uv protection and set it out in the sun, and let us know how it goes. My shelby sits in the sun so little that I am not concerned.

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when I put my plate on the dash, I only stripped about 1/8" of the backing of off the 3M tape, top and bottom. Holds well, and I feel I can take it off if needed.

 

I did read thru the pdf study of the uv protection, and am glad our signature is not in pencil or washable marker.

 

maybe someone needs to write on a piece of metal with the permanent marker , spray one side with uv protection and set it out in the sun, and let us know how it goes. My shelby sits in the sun so little that I am not concerned.

 

Maybe you can do the test for us John and report back in a couple years. :lurk:

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Maybe you can do the test for us John and report back in a couple years. :lurk:

 

 

I did a little internet research, and found many concerns about all types of markers.

 

Luckily, the black sharpie always comes out pretty well. Not so well for the colors.....

 

I have some spray left somewhere....maybe I will try this out........

 

:lurk: back at ya..........

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  • 2 months later...

I had similar concerns a few years ago when I was able to get lots of Ford, Saleen, Shelby, Pardoe and others to sign my Ford GT. During the 1st forum in MI, I was able to meet the manager for the Saleen paint shop. His background was actually in chemistry and he shared with me that the best way to protect Sharpie signatures was to use clear coat. That said, he also instructed me that the clear coat needed to be applied in EXTREMELY LIGHT coats, with the proper cure time between each coat. This process needed to be repeated numerous times (patience is the key). The objective is to essentially build up a layer of clearcoat (with many light applications) AROUND the ink of the sharpie pens. As most may know, automotive paints including clearcoat are SOLVENT based. The solvents, if applied too quickly and too heavily will actually interact with the chemicals in the "permanent" ink, and cause it to run. So, by lightly spraying, you are essentially building up a wall around the ink. Once done, a few good final coats of clearcoat provides the protection you need. Also, understand, there is really no perfect coating to prevent UV deterioration over a long period of time. Minimization of exposure to UV is the only real way to minimize the ultimate deterioration. Note this will even occur in a covered area, even a garage. The frequency spectrum of light is such that whether it is visible to our eyes or not, it is there. This is from not only direct sunlight, but also flourescent and incandescent sources. Thus, I keep all my cars under a cover certified for UV protections - even when stored inside! Hope this helps a bit more.

Rich

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