Have 1915 Ford Model T Roadster and an Ashton 3 chime steam whistle from early 1900's steam ship. Never can get my brass to gleam. Would like to hear on how to do that. Use buffer? Have arthritis in hands make hard rubbing painful.
I'd use a buffing wheel on the steam whistles. Harbor Freight, Grizzly, etc. sell them. It won't help on your Model T radiator, though you could try a wheel on an electric drill. Also, don;t forget grand-kids, young neighbors, or a local scout troop, they will have fun polishing for a few $. Any good brass polish and some soft cloths will work, and they can't do any damage.
I have found that the polish makes a difference. I recommend trying Wenol red (not blue). It is available online at several places, including Walmart. I think that it is better and even less abrasive than Brasso.
If you search the MTFCA Forum under "brass polish" you'll be reading for week!