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Paint Thickness

Started by Survivor, December 21, 2023, 09:07:35 AM

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Survivor

What should my paint gauge read (approx.) on a 50 year old original paint car.  Thx.

98SVT - was 06GT

It would be hard to tell. A car that got parked in a barn when a few years old would have far thicker paint than one that was regularly washed, waxed and occasionally buffed. Ford did have specs for paint thickness on the body and all other parts.
Previous owner 6S843 - GT350H & 68 GT500 Convert #135.
Mine: GT1 Mustang Track Toy, 1998 SVT Cobra, Wife's: 2004 Tbird
Member since 1975 - priceless

Survivor

I think I may have phrased the post poorly-what I'm getting at is, when looking at what is put out there as an "original" paint car, how can I tell whether it may have been repainted-other than some overspray and other tell tale signs.

CharlesTurner

2-4 mils, it likely won't be consistent top to bottom. 
Charles Turner
MCA/SAAC Judge

shelbydoug

#4
Quote from: Survivor on December 21, 2023, 05:54:02 PM
I think I may have phrased the post poorly-what I'm getting at is, when looking at what is put out there as an "original" paint car, how can I tell whether it may have been repainted-other than some overspray and other tell tale signs.

In identifying a repainted car I don't think the paint thickness is necessarily the key indicator. You need to identify the type of paint the car has.

Ford used Acrylic Enamel. I'm not even sure if that is still available anywhere? The most commonly used now that I see is two step, base/clear coat.

Some still show one step aftermarket repaints that is used with a catalyst hardener. That's the dangerous one that produced potassium cyanide as it cures. That's the gas that was used in the US "gas chamber" executions. So shops graduated away from it's use.

Now in the case of LA assembled Shelbys, the fiberglass add on components were largely painted with acrylic lacquer and in the case of AO Smith, fiberglass components were painted with one step straight enamel with no primer.

So with all of these systems used, the actual measurable thickness will vary, so the answer to your question is not simple.

Assembly line vehicles do sometimes wind up with damage to the original paint systems and need to be touched up by the factory before delivery. How the damage is touched/repaired up can also affect the paint thickness.


The bottom line is really that "running around" measuring paint thickness and using it as a disqualifying factor is not a great indicator of originality? In fact if a car is repainted in a paint formula other then what Ford and Shelby used, how accurate is the term "original/restored"?  The current rules of Concourse competition have already allowed for that change and permit anything, depending on the category entered into.

Beware of the "salesman's" use of any of these terms. Many just abuse the terms for their purposes.
68 GT350 Lives Matter!

TOBKOB

QuoteNow in the case of LA assembled Shelbys, the fiberglass add on components were largely painted with acrylic lacquer and in the case of AO Smith, fiberglass components were painted with one step straight enamel with no primer.
Another thing to remember is that the paint sometimes was a shade or two off from the factory paint.  ;)

TOB
1969 GT350 owned since 1970

shelbydoug

Quote from: TOBKOB on December 22, 2023, 09:06:35 AM
QuoteNow in the case of LA assembled Shelbys, the fiberglass add on components were largely painted with acrylic lacquer and in the case of AO Smith, fiberglass components were painted with one step straight enamel with no primer.
Another thing to remember is that the paint sometimes was a shade or two off from the factory paint.  ;)

TOB

More often then not.

In the '68 model year, Smith had an issue with matching The Sunset Gold color.

On my '68 GT350, the color is Wimbelton White. The original color on the bottom of the fenders was different then on the roof. So if you are attempting to color match it, the solution defies logic.

I'm not even sure that the black cars all match from top to bottom?


Painters will also tell you that matching the amount of metal flake is not simple. The old trick was to keep marbles in the gun and keep shaking it to in theory keep the metallic particles in suspension? That's all well and great presuming that there is the same amount of metallic added to the original formula and Ford certainly didn't do that.

Often for instance on Acapulco Blue cars, the high points of the rear fenders seem to have less metallic in them then the rest.


Furthermore, if you consider the white '65 and '66 GT350s, the side stripes do not match the color of the Lemans stripes. Aparently matching colors was very low on the priority lists.


Sometimes the simplest things aren't so simple. One of the most difficult cars to paint are the Cobras. They have no body seams to hide where you stopped painting. You need to contiuously shoot until the entire car is covered and even then if you need a second color coat to cover, you can see where your second coat starts over the first coat.

Ford's and Shelby's cars are not the ones that should be side by side to the Ferarri red prancing horse things. Paint colors matching on them is a "restorers nightmare"

Here's a tip. At a car show, never park your car next to another with the same paint. It will just become a never ending point of discussion of the day. There is a high percentage that they just won't match.
68 GT350 Lives Matter!

Coralsnake

I agree all the above are good advice. Paint thickness should not be the only determining factor, but rather one of many factors.

AO Smith did use enamel, but they also used lacquer on some parts. That was not what Shelby wanted, but thats what happened.

Paint is effected by things like temperature and humidity.  Where the paint is applied is generally a good indication.

98SVT - was 06GT

Quote from: shelbydoug on December 22, 2023, 09:44:19 AM
Here's a tip. At a car show, never park your car next to another with the same paint. It will just become a never ending point of discussion of the day. There is a high percentage that they just won't match.
Finally something I can do at shows - Being a Day 2 guy, I'm tired of looking at a row of 65s with only glass and sheet metal dates being different.

Quote from: Coralsnake on December 22, 2023, 10:52:19 AMAO Smith did use enamel, but they also used lacquer on some parts. That was not what Shelby wanted, but thats what happened.
At this point CS had zero input into the cars. Shelby Automotive was wholly owned and run by Ford and their bean counters. Just like when CS returned to Ford in 2005 he was the marketing face for the cars.
Previous owner 6S843 - GT350H & 68 GT500 Convert #135.
Mine: GT1 Mustang Track Toy, 1998 SVT Cobra, Wife's: 2004 Tbird
Member since 1975 - priceless

TOBKOB

I recall reading (print or forum 1.0, I can't remember) about someone painting their car like it was done originally. He painted the unibody and then had a different batch of paint mixed and on a different day painted the fiberglass to try to achieve the look originally on his car.

TOB
1969 GT350 owned since 1970

Coralsnake

#10
Thanks for a chance to clarify. I did not
mean to suggest Carroll Shelby the person was directing the type of paint to be used.

I was referring to Shelby American and later Shelby Automotive with regards to Michigan  built (completed) cars

You seem to imply that Shelby American in California was not owned by Ford.

Coralsnake

I think you are referring to MrLea. He painted his fiberglas separately from the car. I am sure others have probably done the same, but his was notable because it was shown in concours that way.

98SVT - was 06GT

Quote from: Coralsnake on December 22, 2023, 01:00:29 PMYou seem to imply that Shelby American in California was not owned by Ford.
1962 to 1988 SA was owned by CS as a part of Shelby Enterprises, Inc. Ford took over the assets and trademarks of SA in mid 1967 (but not the name/corp) and created their own Shelby Automotive. SA existed as a CA corporation until June 1988. It was restarted later in Nevada.
The August 1967 letter to employees from Shelby explains how SA will be broken up.

I did find some more info on the TX museum in my search -
Filings for SHELBY AMERICAN MUSEUM, INC. Richard C Nagel, agent
17 Aug 1994 INVOLUNTARY DISSOLUTION
Previous owner 6S843 - GT350H & 68 GT500 Convert #135.
Mine: GT1 Mustang Track Toy, 1998 SVT Cobra, Wife's: 2004 Tbird
Member since 1975 - priceless

Shelby73

I have several original paint mustangs 65-69 and like someone else replied I think most measure 1-5  it's different panel to panel. They will measure higher on the lower parts of course where they don't get wiped as much. Most cars that have been painted measure 5 plus and can be 10 plus according to primer and what kind of paint.
67 Cobra CSX3251  65 K-code Conv
65 5S073.               65 A-code fastback
66 6S304.                67 390 GTA Conv.
66 Hertz 6S1863.      67 Playboy Coupe
68 KR Conv. 2529.     70 Mach1
07 Shelby Hertz Conv. 69 Z/28
66 MK1A Tiger.            66 Vette coupe
13 GT500                   
69 Boss 429

CharlesTurner

Quote from: shelbydoug on December 22, 2023, 07:06:28 AM
Ford used Acrylic Enamel. I'm not even sure if that is still available anywhere? The most commonly used now that I see is two step, base/clear coat.

Easily available, just bought some a month or so back here in N. Carolina, Dupont Nason brand, single stage.
Charles Turner
MCA/SAAC Judge