A while back we talked about how easy it might have been for a 1969 Mercury Cyclone Dan Gurney or Cale Yarborough Spoiler to be lost forever. Basically, back in the day it was not uncommon for a car to get a repaint and if a Spoiler was repainted a solid color it most likely would be lost forever.
There a couple of other issue regarding the paint on the two tone paint Spoilers. First, most of the owners of original cars soon notice that the dark color was sprayed on the car first followed by the Wimbledon White. That seems counter intuitive to most of us. Until I ran my finger nail over the spot where to two colors meet and felt the ridge line I always assumed the car was painted white and then masked off and the darker Candy Apple Red or Presidential Blue color was sprayed on.
Obviously that is not what was done. Recently while going over some older partially disassembled original paint cars some very strange things began to appear. There was a lot of dark red paint in places I didn’t think it should be. This led me to take a closer look at two original paint cars I own. Both are Dan Gurney cars and both showed the same hints that the Spoilers were originally painted entirely in the dark color, masked and then the white sprayed on last.
Does anyone have any information or records that can confirm this and explain why the factory might have done it this way?
I can only guess. My thought is that the factory paint booth did not have provisions for a two tone paint scheme; once a car was in the booth the entire car had to be painted. This would work best if the car was painted the dark color first. The roof and trunk could then be masked off and the entire car painted again. This would explain the red or blue color under the white on the interior floorboards, door jambs and other locations where they would not be expected.
Again, my assumption is that if the white was applied first, the entire car would then need to be masked off to spray the darker color. This would be much harder to do and would make it much easier for the dark overspray to end up in areas it shouldn’t.
While I was preparing this Post I went to our resident Guru, Rick Ochs and asked him what his experience was in the Factory and if I was correct in my assumption. Here is how Rick responded.
“Having worked in a Ford plant many times I watched as Men not robots sprayed Torino’s and Cyclones. The units moved on a rail that looked like a large Motorcycle chain; as they moved along they would enter a paint booth and were sprayed the color, in this case red or blue, then they were sent thru a body shop area where they were two toned or in this case the white was added. I did a candy apple 57 Chevy Convertible years ago and in my study of spraying the true Metal Flake (company name) Candy I was told ( I was using a Caddy Gold base with the Candy Red over the gold ) to not use red hardener in any filler I may use as the red hardener in the filler could bleed thru the gold and show dark spots in the candy years down the road. I have sprayed gallons of red over the years and if I am putting another color over the red stripe or something I will spray a clear sealer over the area to have another color over the red. Then again the flat black on the Talladega’s was spayed over the body color on the tail panel (taillight area) you can see tape line just inside trunk at lower part of trunk weather striping.