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How did the factory paint the Cyclone Spoiler?

1969 Cale Yarborough Spoiler
1969 Cale Yarborough Spoiler

 

You can see the red paint bleeding through the white.
You can see the red paint bleeding through the white.

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.

Again, look closely and you can see the red paint bleeding through.
Again, look closely and you can see the red paint bleeding through.

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.

This is an original paint Dan Gurney car. Look closely just above the 2 3/4" mark and the tape measure and you can see a chip in the white paint with blue under it!
This is an original paint Dan Gurney car. Look closely just above the 2 3/4″ mark and the tape measure and you can see a chip in the white paint with blue under it!

 

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.

You can see the red paint clearly bleeding through the shock tower on this original paint Cale Yarborough Spoiler.
You can see the red paint clearly bleeding through the shock tower on this original paint Cale Yarborough Spoiler.

So the next time you see an original paint Spoiler or Spoiler II (this would also apply to the Color Code/Pre-Spoilers) see if you can tell that it started as either an all blue or all red car! Do you have any better photos of examples?

Richard

Some of my first and strongest memories from my childhood relate to cars. I still remember when things happened based on what car I was driving at the time. I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California and now live in Tennessee. I was a Corvette fanatic for years but then re-discovered vintage American Muscle. My wife, Katrina, and I decided we wanted to focus on unique and rare muscle cars. After a lot of research we fell in love with the Ford Blue Oval Aero Cars. These were only built in 1969 and and aerodynamics became an important part of winning races. The only purpose of these limited production cars was to win NASCAR races using the Boss 429 and 427 power plants complimented with a special, wind cheating, aerodynamic body. The Ford Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II are terrific and historic cars. This site is devoted to these car and their owners past and present. We provide an Online Registry for recording the long term history and ownership of every remaining Talladega, Spoiler and Spoiler II.

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One Comment

  1. I tried real hard to document how my Cale car was painted. This is my second Cale restoration, the first was already stripped to bare steel and spray bombed, no help there. Being a painter I thought it was odd ( and maybe tricky to paint white over red ) to paint a light color over a dark color, but from a labor standpoint it is much faster to spray the roof ( which came down the sides of the quarter panels and half way down the A post) and trunk top, then tape it off and spray the white, much less to cover up. This must say a lot about the booths they used, how does the white paint not go up under the covered roof when they paint inside the trunk and paint the bottom side of the package tray? The white paint was so heavy on mine that there are runs and it came up on top of the tray. On the white paint on the inside floor there was a small streak of the metallic red interior color, could it have been some slobs test shot before he painted the A post and inner door panels ? I can only speak definitively of my car that it is not all red then white added but as described above. Why waste so much paint?
    Chris

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