Simplest way to restore it? Have a new tube installed. Painting a rusted 'shaft silver doesn't get the job done.
I agree...this is how I had the one restored on my 67 ragtop. The original tube had a ding in it when it dropped one day racing that caused a slight vibration in the stick. Once I got the restored shaft I gave it a coat of Imron clear and once installed the vibration was completely gone and it looked good and correct once the stripes were added back.
Besides, when it is under the car, who really studies the shaft in detail outside for looking for stripes unless you are going for a 1000 point event.