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Rich is probably referring to the hood hinge spring, not hood latch spring.
Old thread, but I have seen a lot of survivors now with the black latch spring as in the above photo. JohnZ's car might still have it and I know he has lot's of pics of his car in a lot of areas. He might have one of those.
I have had our original hinges, springs etc done (gray phosphate) 3 times since paint restoration in 2004 on out 69 Z/28. Refer to Jerry MacNeish Camaro book page 203 about finishes. We live at the beach, very wet and damp even in a warm garage with a cover on her. The hinge edges started to rust almost immediately the first go round. Did them again and used Tetsors lacquer semi-gloss spray paint to seal them. Finish looks good and does not change color or yellow over time (so far) That lasted about 4 years. I had then redone again a few months ago and HEAVILY coated them with the same clear coat and so far so good. Any moisture where you are and you better coat them or they will flash or get surface rust almost overnight it seems. I have seen several 1st gen cars with black painted hinges etc so they don't have to bother restoring them every few years. My 2 centsGood LuckLM69Z28
What is it? There was a thread here or over at TC where a guy said he learned from some Model A restorers that you rub axle grease on the part and then wipe it off very well and it kept his parts from rusting for 10 years or more. I did that on my steering box and it hasn't rusted in 3.