Piston Slap: Why Your Chrome Needs the Google “Near Me” Search

Courtesy Phil the OP

Phil writes:

I have a beautiful 1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria Town Sedan. I would like to get the car re-chromed, but cannot locate a service provider in Maryland. I’m trying not to drive the car too much, because I am not interested in adding a huge amount of mileage to something with 31,000 original miles and great paint.

Sajeev asks:

What a beauty!  Sedans don’t get enough love in my book, and I am glad you are caring for this one. Would you be comfortable removing the chrome and shipping it to a business? That might help me with your answer.

Phil answers:

My current mechanic is dealing with health issues, so I’m not sure he could help remove parts and ship them off for re-chroming. The car is in phenomenal condition, and perhaps I’m just being picky.

I’m happy with this car so please do not spend a huge amount of your time on this.

Phil the OP

Sajeev concludes:

Here’s the perk about emailing pistonslap@hagerty.com with your automotive questions—it’s my job to spend a huge amount of time on this! And if there ever was a car to go out of my way for, this is definitely it!

But the term “huge amount of time” is relative. I’ve already discussed the need for auto enthusiasts to embrace the Google Near Me search, and Chrome Plating Near Me is no different. When I click on the second link in my last sentence, my preferred plating shop in Houston shows up first on the Google Maps, and is the second website in its list of suggestions. The reviews are overwhelmingly good (but not five stars, as that’s often a red flag). Their website gives you the right amount of insight into the work they do, the company history, and how they operate as a business.

It’s really this simple. At least in the beginning.

So I did the same search, except for a chrome shop in Maryland. One company ranked as high as my shop in Google search, so I was immediately intrigued. Their website has the right amount of content, and they seem willing to get the ball rolling (i.e., send pics of your chrome issues) via their contact page.

Another good website served up to me by Google was this one. While they have five stars, that’s not really a red flag because they only have six reviews collected. So you have at least two options in your area, but you can scroll down the “near me” search and see if other shops work better for you.

In case it needs to be made clear, I am not specifically naming or recommending any shop, as I can’t verify their work from my position as an armchair quarterback. This is where I pass the ball to you, so you can send them photos of the trim, and see what vibes you get back. Tell them your needs and concerns, and see how good they are at reassuring you. My biggest concerns would be quality and turn-around time, so you might ask pointed questions about those in particular.

If these two businesses aren’t as rock-solid as you’d like, expand your search by using the zoom feature on the Google Map or enter a different location in the “chrome plating near (location)” search.

Now you need to find someone willing to remove the parts from your Ford that you can trust. Is a Classic Car Mechanic Near Me search also in order? (Same principles apply, quality and turn-around time is important, because you don’t want your classic put on the back burner while they work on newer cars.)

Best of luck in your hunt! Or maybe just “happy motoring,” if these flaws aren’t worrisome enough to address? Sometimes they aren’t, especially on a car so original.

Have a question you’d like answered in Piston Slap? Send your queries to pistonslap@hagerty.comgive us as much detail as possible so we can help! Keep in mind this is a weekly column, so if you need an expedited answer, please tell me in your email.


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    Might check as many cars in that era had stainless trim that just need restored and polished. Many people think it is chrome and it may be stainless.

    Also what chrome you have if it is not real bad you may want to not reach Rome as todays chrome is very poor and not near the quality of the old chrome.

    car looks great in the pics.

    Maybe “original” doesn’t add enough value for a 4-door to be too worried about keeping all that original trim as-is… but at the same time, I doubt the cost of rechroming bits will add value anywhere close to that cost.

    One of my cars has original chrome bumper, with original drip-mark rust lines from the hood seams above. This chrome is also finely cracked and almost hazes with rust as if getting thin. You know what would look worse on this car? A brand new chrome bumper that makes every other part of the car look off —right now it is a happy worn balance. Good enough for me.

    Next owner probably gets a new bumper though.

    I need to get some center caps rechromed for my wheels. The center caps are plastic so it’s been a little harder to find.

    Google 3d printing post processing. Color and chrome are common additions to the plastic parts made by 3d

    We used to take boxes of motorcycle parts to a shop in Cleveland to get chromed. Good quality, cheap, fast work. I wonder if they’re still in business? All I remember is they were open on Saturdays and it was run by a man in a wheelchair

    I agree with hyperv6 on this one. Unless there’s a real failure, and your photos don’t hint at anything of the sort, I’d insist on leaving well enough alone. The time, cost, expense and stress you’ll incur only to have inferior work returned (not even a fault of the shop, they’re restricted to the currently allowed chemicals) might leave you with lasting regret. And the trim work is quite likely stainless steel.

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