Color

 

The Mustang pictured below (bottom) was first purchased by my father-in-law, Buddy, in 1986, in Connecticut. Shortly after, he purchased a second six-cylinder convertible and sold the pictured one to my wife’s cousin, Ronnie. Dad died in 1994. When Ronnie decided to sell the car to finance an in-ground swimming pool in 2006, my wife Sharon and I decided to buy it, and brought it home to Tennessee.
The car had undergone a cosmetic restoration before Dad bought it, and apart from some minor detailing since then, was still in the same condition when we bought it.
In June 2010, I found out it was a Sprint 200, Package A, 3-speed manual transmission. And after reading an article in the archives of the Mustang Times by Jim Smart, went looking for the Broadcast (Build) Sheet. I found it wrapped around the wiring harness behind the speedometer. After a brief search to find out what all the codes meant, I realized that surprisingly little is known or published about these documents. So I decided I’d try to attempt to decode it myself. This blog is a journal of that research.
All discussions below currently pertain to only 1966 Mustangs.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Paint

The 5th box from the left on the top line indicates the Paint code.

EXTERIOR PAINT
Ford
Code
PPG
Ditzler
Ford
Code
PPG
Ditzler
A
Raven Black
M1724
9300
U
Tahoe Turquoise
M1070
12745
B7
Frost Turquoise 1
M1734
12876
V
Emberglo
M1921
22610
D7
Acapulco Blue 1
M3077
13357
V7
Burnt Amber 1
M2066
22749
E7
Beige Mist 1
M2045
22711
W7
Clearwater Aqua 1
M1908
13073
F
Arcadian Blue
M1226
12854
X
Vintage Burgundy
M1632
50669
H
Sahara Beige
M1912
22528
Y
Silver Blue
M1269
13045
H7
Diamond Green 1
M2067
43575
Y7
Dark Moss Green 1
M2039
43567
I7
Lime Gold 1
M2041
43576
Z
Sauterne Gold
M1915
43433
K
Nightmist Blue
M1903
13076
4
Silver Frost
M1901
32520
M
Wimbledon White
M1619
8378
5
SignalFlare Red
M2025
71529
N7
Diamond Blue 1
M0921
11683
67
Pebble Beige 1
M1631
22249
P
Antique Bronze
M1910
22603
8
Springtime Yellow
M1955
81510
Q7
Brittany Blue 1
M1624
12843
Columbine Blue 2
MX700852
11666
R
Ivy Green
M1879
43408
Aspen Gold 2
MX7058815
81434
S7
Dusk Rose 1
M0835
50470
Timberline Green 2
MX7041278
42750
T
Candyapple Red
M2008
71528
Anniversary Gold 3
23072
Playmate Pink 4
?
Notes:
Ford assigned a 4-digit “M” paint code to production colors from the 1930s to the present. Special order fleet colors got 4-digit “WT” paint codes. All other colors usually brought over from other manufacturers, got 5 or 6-digit “MX” paint codes. Lists of Ford paint codes, are found in the Ford Special Paint Fleet books (picture below).
Ford Paint Numbers were typically assigned in order, starting at 0001 in the 1950’s and preceded by a M2J. By 1968, the numbers were in the low 3000s, preceded by the letter “M” and typically an “A” at the end for an exterior gloss finish. In 1977, they were up to the mid 5000s. It also appears that very early on Ford reserved some numbers for special order paints at first with 5 digit numbers and later, in the 1960’s, with a series of 4 digit numbers preceded by the letters WT (non-standard special order paints having 5 or 6 digits and preceded by the letters MX). The special WT codes are divided up as follows WT0000s for whites, WT1000s for off whites, WT2000s for gray, WT3000s for brown and gold, WT4000s for red, WT5000s for orange, WT6000s for yellow, WT7000s for green, WT8000s for blue, and the WT9000s for purple maroon and pink. The metallic paints were 500 and above in each set. This special use of reserved color codes is still being used today.
Special order paints other than the 1 or 2-digit build sheet codes listed above, would have had a blank Paint code. The color used would have been listed as the “M”, “WT”, or “MX” Ford Paint Code.  It would have been found in the DSO/FSO/PTO box (PTO standing for paint & tire special orders), and/or a type-written note on the bottom of the sheet.
1
These two-digit codes indicate 1967 colors that became available on 1966 models beginning January 1966.
2
High Country Special color
3
1 Millionth Anniversary Special Color
4
Special Order Pink, WT9036, also called Playboy Pink, was available as special order Mustang paint in 1967 (Ditzler #71617). Two other pink paints were common in the late 1960’s on Mustangs but were not the same as special order pink WT9036. One of these, is the 1967 Mustang paint Dusk Rose, M0835, (Ditzler  #50470). Dusk Rose is a bit darker than Pink WT9036. The other pink is 1966 Playmate Pink which is lighter than Pink WT9036. In 1965, The first factory pink mustangs were released.  Known as “Playmate Pink”, they were done to match the 1965 Mustang given to Playboy Playmate Donna Michele, as reward for winning playmate of the year.  The color carried over to 1966, and the original pink cars were all special orders, with six digit DSO’s on the data plates, and a blank exterior color code. I’m searching for more information on 1966 Playmate Pink.

10/17/10 – Found three 1966 special order paint “pink” cars listed in Jim Smart’s Mustang Production Guide Vol. 1. A Dearborn convertible dated 10B, DSO 510021 a Dearborn Convertible dated 24B DSO 738485 and a Metuchen coupe dated 18E DSO 178126. All three were 6-cylinders.

 

10/25/10
’66 cars were painted with single stage Ditzler Delstar Acrylic Enamel (PPG bought Ditzler), and online distributor TCP GLOBAL sells as close to the original Ditzler acrylic enamel as is currently made. The big difference is the old formula had lead in it. The acrylic enamel had a slight texture (“orange peel”) to it and was very glossy, but not a “wet” look. Modern base coat – clear coat technology was not used.
There are currently two versions of the factory paint process, in chronological order:
1.      Primer
a.       The underside of the car was sprayed with gun fixtures first, then the rest of the car was hand done where necessary. After that, sealer primer (usually gray) was used on all exterior facing surfaces, all pot metal pieces were only primed with sealer primer.
2.      Interior Color (dash, A-pillars and doors)
3.      Exterior Color
a.       Doors, trunk lid and rear valence were in place when exterior painted. Valence would have a couple, up to all of the top screws installed prior to paint depending on the assembly plant. Most cars had the quarter extensions installed prior to paint, most likely held off with washers or something.
b.      Light colored, and some darker colored cars had the pinch weld blackout. What is a pinch weld? The pinch weld is the part of the rocker panel where it is spot welded to the inner rockers and floor pans. It’s the piece that sticks down below the car, and if it is not painted black, makes the car look unfinished as it contrasts to the darkness under the car. It is not just the pinch weld that gets painted but some of the rocker next to it as well.
The pinch weld was blacked out prior to the front fenders going on.
4.      Engine Bay

This chronology was taken from Charles Turner’s comments at the Paint Sequence thread on the HiPo site: http://www.hipomustang.com/hpmx/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8817

It conflicts however, with the description of the 1965 Dearborn process that Bob Fria gives in his book Mustang Genesis. On pg. 152 he describes the paint process beginning with the engine compartment’s black paint, then a light gray body primer (which was only used on the very, very early and pre-production cars. It was discontinued soon after initial use in favor of an epoxy red oxide), lastly the exterior body color. There was no mention of when the interior paint was applied.

Mr. Fria explains that the gray primer sealer was changed to red oxide after a “number of early cars” were built. It was determined that the gray didn’t provide for the proper adhesion with the lighter colors of the new formula acrylic enamel paints due to an ultra-violet sunlight interaction. It’s my understanding that the “first” Mustangs were painted with M30J (Non acrylic) Enamel, and this is indicated by the black background on the door tag. After 12/28/64, Ford made the switch to M32J Acrylic Enamel, and changed the door tag to a gray background to signify the different paint (Marti’s Tagbook pg. 24). In 1966, the year I’m currently dealing with here in my blog, the door tag once again returned to the black background, and it signified the Acrylic Enamel. I’m not sure however, when the color of the primer sealer was changed, but Mr. Turner has found evidence of gray primer past January 1965.

12/28/10
I came across a site the other day that described the five available colors on 1966 Shelby 350’s:
Ford
Ditzler
A
Raven Black
M1724
9300
M
Wimbledon White
M1619
8378
R
Ivy Green
M1879
43408
T
Candy Apple Red
M2008
71528
Sapphire Blue 1
M1905
13075
Note: Sapphire Blue was a Regular Production Color for the 1966 Thunderbird, and carried a paint code of G. While the color used on Mustangs was the same formula, the paint code would have been blank and a 6-digit DSO was used instead to indicate its special use. The color was also offered for regular Mustangs by some proactive dealers, as illustrated by the April 7th, 1966 Oakland Tribune ad below:
 Posted by at 20:04

  One Response to “Color”

  1. My husband is restoring his 1968 Ford Thunderbird and we can’t seem to find where to buy the paint. It is the Diamond Green, Ford code M2067. He really wants either the Dupont 4794L or PPG 43575. We’ve looked everywhere and can’t find it! Any suggestions? Thank you.