Home Forums CCC Forum The Color of the SoCalif Plating 1935 Ford

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  • #66403
    Rik Hoving
    Keymaster

    In the summer of 2019 I was doing some Digital Restyling for Billy Powell’s SoCalif. Plating ’35 Ford inspired project, when David Martinez send me an email with a picture of a color chip he got from Paint Master Billy Crewl. David mentioned that that is in fact the real color of the original SoCalif. Plating 1935 Ford created by Frank Kurtis, Jimmy Summers and George DuVall in 1936.

    I contacted Billy about it and he mentioned that one day an older gentleman came into his shop. He started talking to Billy about Hot Rods and old race cars and he showed him this photo book on all his Hot Rods he built. Then Billy saw the pictures of the SoCalif. Plating Ford and asked about that car.

    Turned out the older gentleman grew up around these cars, his grandfather worked for the company and his father was on the pit crew for their race cars. He actually drove in the SoCalif. Plating Ford. So as a color expert Billy asked if he had any recollections of the color of the car. He sure did! Together with Billy he picked out this color from the color chart. WOW…. So Calif Plating Sea Foam Green…. quite different from what I expected and always had heard about the color. But this is the very first time somebody with first hand knowledge shows what the ACTUAL SoCalif. Plating Ford color was!!!

    Billy believes it might have been a Duisenberg color or something like that. In all excitement Billy forgot to ask about the color of the canvas top, but next time he will see the gentleman he will ask him about that as well.

    IG-So-Cal-Color-Billy-01

    IG-So-Cal-Color-Billy-03

    IG-So-Cal-Color-Billy-02

    IG-So-Cal-Color-Billy-05

    IG-So-Cal-Color-Billy-04

    Enjoy the beauty of Customizing

    2+
    #66406
    Bert Gustafsson
    Participant

    Looks fantastic, I think it is an excellent color choice.

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    #66407
    David/Michelle
    Participant

    Rik…I find it difficult to reconcile that paint sample with what one would consider good practice in color selection during that period. There were no standardized paint colors for Duesenberg automobiles…The color was generally a result of consultation with the customer. I have seen shades of light green, mint green etc. on Duesenbergs, but never approaching anything that hideous. In addition, the So. Cal Plating Ford finish appears to be a “polychromatic” or metallic lacquer. I appreciate the old fellows that have personal recollections from the time, and certainly respect the opinions of the sons and grandsons of same, however I think one should be cautious when relying on these testimonials, especially when it comes to color (pointedly 80 years hence). I have an idea that the key color you selected in your early efforts to bring life to that restyled Ford was very much closer to the reality. ~David

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    #66408
    Rik Hoving
    Keymaster

    David, the color/hue shown above is not something that came out of nowhere. It is not new to me. I have spend a lot of time researching the SoCalif Plating Ford, and I have heard and read several reports on how people talked about the color of the car. And a few of those all mentioned a light green, sea foam green with an olive hue to it. The earlier colorised attempt you mentioned originated before I had heard about this olive hue, and in my eyes the color could have been more blue green in its hue. But now I think that is incorrect.

     

    Olive-Color

     

    I do agree with you on the Duesenberg color to be not a possibility. That was just something mentioned by Billy Crewl, a personal thought.

    However even though I would love the color on the SoCalif Plating Ford to be as spectacular as possible, as you mention a “polychromatic” or metallic lacquer, I do think that the color the car had was an of the shelve color. Not saying it was not a metallic, or anything like that, but as it has been told many times the delivery trucks all had the same colors, but also the race cars had the same color. And we all know that the the race cars would get damaged easily and had to be repaired and repainted all the time. So it would make more sense to use an off the shelve color, then to have it custom mixed. But perhaps the delivery truck were based on this off the shelve color and were “customized”… with special powders mixed in, to make them stand out more.

    I do absolutely agree that the color chart shown by Billy is most likely not close to the effect, color depth and gloss the original color on the ’35 Ford had. But at this moment I do feel that the hue of the color chip shown is close to the hue of the color on the SoCalif. Plating ’35 Ford.
    I hope one day we know for sure.

    below are two samples of the colorized photos I did a long time ago, before I had any info on the olive hue.

    CCC-socalif-plating-truck-colorized-2

    IG-So-Calif-Plating-Colorized

    Enjoy the beauty of Customizing

    1+
    #66414
    kustomland
    Participant

    AARRRHH David and Rik….arrhhhh!

    Now this is interesting , ???

    I have always wondered what kolor it was my self…..

    And could you imagine standing beside George DuVall.. And mind you …! and i must point out…This is in an era were

    Men took there work and what they built in a depression era as a badge of honor  , Were life must of seemed hopeless at times….

     

    I could just imagine a man George DuVull who made steel into works of art with shapes , then polished it to a finish only a chrome guy and painter could understand….

    I mean that guy must of wore out several pair of gloves polishing the grille / windo / and bumpers….. On the So Cal shop 36….

     

    There is now way this car was painted in such an ugly kolor……   And if it was ….. I could only wonder what was said when  it was seen with such craftsman ship….

    80 years ago….people still would of had the same ideas as us…..

    And im  sure they were also disappointed in the kolor of a pint job…. On a car they had worked on….

    It would be like ENZO FERRARI , Loosing his mind in the room were he had his meetings with all his engineers….

    Every broken part was displayed.. So no one ever made the same mistake twice….

    Im sure when some one suggested Ferrari should be painted a different kolor  Enzo Ferrari lost his mind

    and i was not there , But i could say when  they suggested BLUE PAINT they got fired….!!!

    David I agree …way to many wonderful kolors in this time , with wonderful craftsman….And too many innovations ….

    Rik….. If it was in the olive kolor , the hue would of looked pascal,deep to off set the chrome …. for sure…

    Hope kolor slide emerges like the BARRIS ROOTBEER BROWN….We saw..

    Kustomland

     

     

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    #66415
    kustomland
    Participant

    And just F.Y.I to all you Kats WHO like information…

    The only way this car was a matallic was if it was hand made …… For example FISH Scales….. Du Pont first Metallic

    Was called SEINE BLUE….In   1948 …..And was so expensive ….

    I own a prototype car painted in this Kolor …1 of  only 3 that existed…. And the first time it was ever used in DETROIT in 1946 when DuPont experimented with Metallic in the 1930’s…. Du Pont was also Dulux ….. Duco …..

    To make a note or example Du Pont bought INDIAN MOTOYCLES…..

    This is were they experimented in the late 1930’s with flashy paint tu-tones…. All INDIAN MOTOCYCLES were dipped untill Du Pont took over and built spay booths to paint INDIANS…..

    Du pont paints were at war with the government and other car manufactures over there monopoly of being the only paint supply company and absorbing any rival…..

    You could not buy white paint for a G.M fridge unless you went through DuPont…!!!

    So all matallics were hand made during this era……

     

    if the  So Cal car was indeed painted a matallic…… It was hand made and one off….

    A photo of seine blue of one of the first prototypes painted in a METALLIC BY Du Pont……

    THE 1946 J-P480 HOLDEN  was the first car to be painted in this metallic.

    This car was repainted due to it being in a garage fire…

    The kolor was re produced in 2000 by DuPont  to restore this car,

    This is the car that is restored….

     

    This was before i told any one about my prototype that existed with its original paint….FIRST HOLDEN.

    My prototype unrestored. I have the paper work from General Motorsalso to prove its authenticity.

    Hope this clears a time line for METALLIC PAINT ….

    Kustomland

     

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by kustomland.
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    #66425
    Quentin Hall
    Participant

    G’day Kustomland, I’m a bit confused. You are saying that 1948 was the first metallic? That’s not right. Cadillac was using metallics in the very early 30s .

    But even more intrigued by the Prototype Holden. Are you saying you owned it? Or still own it?

    2+
    #66429
    Tony
    Participant

    There were pre-war metallics…even on Fords. For example, Rose Sand Metallic on the 1940 dash.

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    #66430
    David/Michelle
    Participant

    Quentin Hall and Tony…You are both most correct…”Metallic” finishes existed and were available as early as 1931-32 and seen on both high end (Packard, Cadillac, Pierce-Arrow) as well as mid-priced automobiles (Graham, Hupmobile, Hudson, etc.). This was very fine aluminum particulate that was utilized in the paint and had been used in the manufacture of decal tranfers for years. Getting back to the color of the SoCal Plating Co. truck, I don’t doubt Rik’s research and well reflected on opinion as to the truck being remembered as being a “seafoam green” with a tinge of olive…Just what that “tinge” was is what’s got me thinking. In addition, it makes sense that the color choice would include considerations as to the ease of color match for touch-up as well as replicating the paint by code for future application, as Rik additionally points out. It might be constructive to examine just two “seafoam” w/ olivey undertones stock paint colors from 1936 and 1937…One is 1936 Checker Taxi Co. green, the other, and more likely choice might have been a 1936-37 Packard finish. Comments and opinions most welcome.

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    #66435
    Tony
    Participant

    I asked some friends about this. One reply:

    Well, I’m not that old, but my Dad was. We were looking at the Hirohata Merc one day and he commented that it was the same color (the Upper) as the So Cal Plating shop truck.

    1+
    #66436
    Rik Hoving
    Keymaster

    Thats an interesting thought Tony, when I first read that the SoCalif. plating Ford was painted Sea Foam Green, the first thought was Hirohata Merc… or even closer the color used on the Doug Thompson, Jack Walker clone.

    But then I started to compare black and white photos of all three cars, and noticed that the Hirohata Sea Foam green shows much lighter in gray scale than the SoCalif. Plating color….

    However, I did notice that the second color of the Hirohata Merc, the lime gold, had a very similar gray scale than the So Calif. Plating color.

     

    Enjoy the beauty of Customizing

    0
    #66437
    Rik Hoving
    Keymaster

    Gray scale comparing of the Hirohata Merc original Sea Foam Green on the top left, Lime Gold on the top right, and the SoCalif. Plating Sea Foam Green on the bottom. The Thompson/Walker Hirohata Merc clone looks about the same in black and white as the original Sea Foam version of the car.

    SoCal-Hirohata-Gray-Scales

    Enjoy the beauty of Customizing

    2+
    #66439
    kustomland
    Participant

    As i stated Du Pont experimented in the 1930’s….And gave a time line

    Is also in DuPonts History when they took over the

    When they went to duco , enemal…. Seine Blue was the first metallic DuPont released that was considered a true full and real metallic…Hence why  it was used on several G.M PROTOTYPES….In 1946. Detroit ….

     

    Du Pont had a special department with G.M only for there special colors…

     

    Towle ran DuPont’s Duco Color Advisory Service in New York, taking orders from automobile companies and advising them on style and color. The advisory service enhanced DuPont’s reputation as a trustworthy firm that responded to customers’ needs while safeguarding their aesthetic decisions. If Towle were to leave for GM, DuPont’s relationship with other automakers might be jeopardized. It was imperative that Towle—and Detroit’s trade secrets about color—remain at DuPont.

     

    In January 1925 two DuPont managers discussed the company’s need for practical advice on the psychology of colors as a means to anticipate major color fads. DuPont took a chromatic leap in October 1925 when it hired Towle and created the Duco Color Advisory Service to design the latest and most desirable color combinations for the auto industry.

     

    Towle would later recall in an annual report, he “first worked on color with the automotive industry back in 1924,” when he was “the only color engineer calling on the automobile trade.” The painter-turned-artdirector seemed like a perfect fit with DuPont’s plans to rationalize the inchoate sphere of color

    Duco Color Advisory Service advertisements in such trade journals as Autobody claimed that the service’s professionalism helped DuPont identify color combinations “known to please the average,” which Towle and his staff of color experts knew how to “choose with certainty.” This meant tying DuPont finishes to European fashion trends, keeping Duco abreast of changing tastes, and designing paint schemes that enhanced automotive shapes.

     

    Duco Innovation
    Duco’s first colors originated from a DuPont–GM partnership that channeled managerial, engineering, and scientific talent between the two companies. By early 1922 the firms started to adapt Viscolac, a DuPont nitrocellulose lacquer used for painting pencils, into a new lacquer, Duco, suitable for automobile finishes. Until the early 1920s the only durable, inexpensive automotive finish was the famous high-temperature–baked black enamel that Henry Ford used on his Model T. Luxury cars, such as the Cadillac and Rolls Royce, came in a range of hand-painted colors, but even those varnishes faded, chipped, and scratched. Alfred P. Sloan, who had become GM president in May 1923, believed that consumers buying lower-priced cars would appreciate a range of color choices, particularly if the paints lasted. The automaker’s Oakland Motor Car Company decided to paint all seven of its 1924 touring cars with Duco; each got two shades of blue, with accent stripes of red or orange. This “True Blue” treatment made its debut on Oaklands at the New York Automobile Show in December 1923, dealers and consumers responded to the new aesthetic dimension and the promise of improved technical performance. By early 1924 orders poured into GM showrooms; “Duco has become so popular,” reported one executive, “that customers are now demanding it.” Recognizing that Duco was a sensation, Sloan recommended that GM apply it to all models. By mid-1925 GM’s divisions, from Chevrolet to Cadillac, were putting aside tried-and-true varnishes and enamels in favor of Duco.

    Duco had several advantages over traditional coatings. Older varnishes were brushed on in more than a dozen steps and needed lengthy drying periods between coats. Quick-drying, spray-on Duco reduced the stages, drying time, labor costs, and storage space. Traditional varnishes chipped, cracked, crazed, and faded; Duco lacquer was almost invincible. It tolerated air, sun, rain, mud, dampness, heat, cold, salt water, bacteria, perspiration, dirt, soaps, and detergents. Most low-end finishes came in few colors, while Duco made available a rainbow of hues. Along with the annual model change and installment buying, the new finish added value to GM’s automotive line.

    Even before True Blue’s debut, observers with their fingers on the pulse of the buyers’ market had been calling for colorful, mass-market cars that matched consumer tastes in fashion and interior design. The color revolution that swept across America in the 1920s built on transitions that had been under way for 75 years. During the gilded age English and German chemical companies introduced synthetic dyes that American mills used to make textiles in a variety of bright, permanent hues. Printers used chromolithography to generate colorful trade cards and posters for advertisers as well as decorative pictures for people’s homes. Even commercial streets touted new hues, as A&P supermarkets and Woolworth’s adopted bright red storefronts as part of chain-store branding. These novelties sharpened the eye and whetted the appetite for color.

    True Blue’s success made the automotive and chemical industries take aesthetics seriously. Paint makers like the Egyptian Lacquer Manufacturing Company and Valentine and Company, determined not to be outdone by DuPont, introduced their own colorful paints, varnishes, and lacquers. In addition to automakers, local custom-shop painters adopted nitrocellulose finishes to refinish cars. Firms like Murphy Varnish and Ditzler Color developed chromatic aids to help custom painters understand the mysteries of color. Devices that simplified color selection democratized aesthetic decisions, which had long been the purview of artists and homemakers. These aids showed men, from top executives to shop mechanics, exactly what beauty could do for commerce and how its proper management could stimulate sales in the segmented automobile market.

     

     

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    #66440
    kustomland
    Participant

    In a GM circular for June 1929, for example, he revealed that 87% of Pontiac buyers in the Pacific Northwest preferred shades of blue. In the Northeast only 17% of Buick buyers liked blue.

     

    Hope this is interesting…..

     

    David,

    There were other paints out there but i can not establish were they were ? Or how many other paint company’s were around the area were these cars were built …Alos taking into account what acess one may have to be able to get there hands on metallic or what was needed to make it….??

    This would dictate what the car may look like …. If they were in DETROIT well they could get there hands on something…

    I would personally say, what ever the SO Cal car was painted, It was a lower end home made kolor….

    During the build of the So Cal car tho it was built to a high custom standard, Its paint job would of been an experiment….. With who ever painted it….

    It was painted at the very beginning of Metallic paints , and the Depression was still being felt….

    I truly be leave who ever painted it was around panting from the 1920’s and this cars paint job was considered FUTURISTIC …..!

     

     

    There were other Paint company’s…..

    Paint makers like the Egyptian Lacquer Manufacturing Company and Valentine and Company, determined not to be outdone by DuPont, introduced their own colorful paints, varnishes, and lacquers. In addition to automakers, local custom-shop painters adopted nitrocellulose finishes to refinish cars. Firms like Murphy Varnish and Ditzler Color developed chromatic aids to help custom painters understand the mysteries of color.

     

    Kustomland

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    #66441
    kustomland
    Participant

    Quentin Hall

    I’m a bit confused. You are saying that 1948 was the first metallic? That’s not right. Cadillac was using metallics in the very early 30s .

     

    Kustomland…Yes SEINE BLUE was the first Metallic DuPont   made / and gave G.M to paint on a several PROTOTYPE

    PROJECT 320 cars built in 1946  AKA  became what was known as a HOLDEN ….

    Photos of the 320 car in DETROIT paint in first metallic

    Prototype engine number with special stamping to allow mechanics to know that components are not factory….

     

    Kustomland

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