The following information was provided to us by Alan H. Tast, AIA Technical Director/Past President, Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l. Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years". Thank you, Alan!

Goldenrod Yellow was the sales name used for the bright yellow first used on '55 Ford/T-bird exteriors. It was carried forward for use on valve covers for the '60 352-300 hp engine. The 352-360 hp engines (not offered in T-birds) did use a gold color that was also used on '61-'63 390 hipo/406 engines (not to be confused with the Castillain Gold used on '63-'64 390-4v engines or the Gold used on 289 ci small-blocks or Gold Bronze on '65 390-4v's).

Now, it just so happens that I've been working on compiling paint code numbers from various manufacturers and narrowing down engine-related paint colors as part of my on-going research for VTCI's Original Factory Specifications books. For '58-'60 here's what I have to date. Note that numbers in italics are not confirmed formula numbers. Paint numbers from Ditzler/PPG, DuPont and Martin Senour are taken from 1950s-1960s paint chip charts and a listing of Ditzler/PPG engine paints from circa 1971: I have no idea what their current versions are. These numbers should help you to narrow down a cross-reference number for more-modern paint systems.

I know not know numbers for rattle can formulas. At best I suggest you go to your local auto body paint jobber and ask them if they can load paint into aerosol cans for you (most places can do this).

I have listed both enamel and lacquer numbers, but for durability purposes I would stay with enamels. For the Ditzler/PPG codes, DQE- is an enamel formula, DAL- is lacquer, DDE- is what I believe a code for engine enamel, and DE- is the code used circa 1971 for enamel. More research is needed to determine if other manufacturers (DuPont, R-M, Sherwin-Williams, etc.) have similar codes for engine colors that carry cross references to Ford M-#'s.

Engine Black: Engine Block, Heads, Intake, Front Cover, Water Pump, Oil Pan
1958 Ford/T-bird 352
Ditzler Enamel#: DQE-9003
Ford #: M-2824

Engine Black: Engine Block, Heads, Intake, Front Cover, Water Pump, Oil Pan
1959-1960 Ford/T-bird 352
Ditzler Enamel#: DQE-9003
Ford #: M1J-995, M1J-1611, M1J-1616, EP-1724 (Reconditioning Engine Black)

Ford listed M-2824 prior to 1985-1959; M1J-995 appears to have been brought out in 1958, and M4J-1611 and M1J-1616 in 1963 as a black for engines, but it's not confirmed if the numbers designated different formulation or gloss levels. Ditzler/PPG listed DQE-9000 as being used 1964-1965, while DQE-9003 was listed as a Ford standard/utility color used 1963 and prior. DQE-9000/9003 appear to be engine gloss/semi-gloss black in comparison to DQE-9123 (see next paragraph).
Black (Engine): Valve Covers

1959-1960 T-bird/Lincoln 430
Ditzler Enamel: DQE-9123
Ford #: ? ?

Ditzler/PPG noted that Ditzler Enamel# DQE-9123 was a flat black used for Lincoln Continental 430 valve covers 1963-prior (which I think is more of a semi-gloss finish) and as a standard/utility color the period, and that DQE-9000, which was a gloss black, was used on 1964-1965 Lincoln Continentals. It appears to me that Ditzler's number for the paint used on brackets and other underhood items may be DQE-9123, and that the black used on engines and valve covers for the T-bird and Lincoln 430 may be DQE-9003/M4J-995. The Ford M-#'s that coincide with DQE-9003 and DQE-9123 need to be determined.

Argent Silver/Aluminum: Engine Accessories, i.e. Power Steering Reservoir
Ditzler Enamel: DEE-45
Ford #: M2J-23

This is Ford's standard/utility color used through the '50s and into the '70s/beyond on everything from 1950s full-size front bumper splash pans to '60s trim inserts. This # appears to be from the late 1940s-early 1950's. There is another engine color that appears in Ford literature for Argent Silver, M1J-607, which first shows up in 1956 literature, which may be the color used for 1961-1962 T-bird air cleaners and valve covers.

Colonial White: Air Cleaner
1958-1960 T-bird 352 & 430
Ditzler Enamel/Lacquer #: DQE-8103 / DAL-8103
DuPont Stock #/ Duco #: 2214
DuPont Dulux #: 93-59543
Martin Senour Lacquer #: 61T-2542
Martin Seynour Synthol #: 80T-1040
Ford #: M4J-524

Bright Blue (Engine): (Not to be confused with Ford Corporate Blue used '66-'71)
1958 - Ford/T-bird 352-300 hp Engine Block, Heads, Intake, Front Cover, Water Pump, Oil Pan
1959 - Ford/T-bird 352-300 hp Valve Covers
Ditzler Enamel/Lacquer #: DQE-11297 / DAL-11297
Ford #: M1J-998

For comparison, the blue used starting in 1966 has a different number:
Ford Corporate Blue: Engine, Valve Covers, Air Cleaner
1966 All Engines
Ditzler Enamel#: DQE-13358
Ford #: EP-2075 (Reconditioning Engine Blue)

Turquoise (Engine):
1958 - Ford 332//T-bird 332-Export Engine Block, Heads, Intake, Front Cover, Water Pump, Oil Pan
1959-1960 - Ford 352-2v Valve Covers (Need to verify if also used on T-bird Low Compression/Export engines)
Ditzler Enamel: DQE-12007
Ford #: M1J-951

Goldenrod Yellow: Valve Covers
1960 Ford/T-bird 352-300 hp
Ditzler Enamel/Lacquer #: DQE-80653 / DAL-80653
DuPont Stock #/ Duco #: 1939
Martin Senour Lacquer #: 93-58044
Ford #: M2J-358

The Ditzler listings also had a few more yellows for Ford engine colors as follows:
Bright Yellow: Valve Covers, Air Cleaner (?)
1964-1965 Comet (need engine application)
Ditzler Enamel #: DQE-80301
Ford #: ? ?

1963 Comet Valve Covers, Air Cleaner (?) (need engine application);
1964-1965 Ford Trucks w/Cummins Diesels Engine Long Block, Valve Covers
Ditzler Enamel #: DQE-81196
Ford #: ? ?

For comparison, this is for the '60-'63 HiPo engines (NOT for T-bird 390-4v '63-'64) and '65 Ford/T-bird 390-4v:
Gold (Engine, HiPo): Valve Covers, Air Cleaner
1960 352-360 hp HiPo, 1961-1962 390 HiPo, 1962-1963 406 HiPo
Ditzler Enamel/Lacquer #: DQE-21903 / DAL-21903
Ford #: ? ? (Need Ford's color #)

Ditzler/PPG also listed a few more standard/utility colors that may have the following applications needing verification:

Black DE-9003 (Noted above, appears to be the black used on engine long blocks 1959-1963)

Blue Gray DE-30113 (May be for 1965-late '60s Ford/Thompson PS Pump? Need verification: the Ford/Thompson pumps used a bluish-green color)

Silver Gray DE-30120 (Noted above, need more informaton on usage - I don't believe this is the same as Argent Silver, but may be M1A-607 for full-size Ford air cleaners from 1955-1957 and air cleaners/valve covers for '61-'62 Ford/T-bird 390-4v engines?)

Green DE-40133 (I doubt this was used on the 'Bird - I think it's for the industrial engines - more info needed on this)

Flat Black DE-9123 (Might be the color number Ditzler uses for accessory brackets, etc. - see comments above on Lincoln Continental black engine finishes)

Torch Red DQE-70801 (Not used on '58-'60 T-birds that I'm aware of) - this was used on Ford 6-cylinder (?) and 292 Car/Truck air cleaners/valve covers, as well as on Dagenham-procuded diesels)

Any additional information or color formula numbers from other manufacturers would be appreciated. Consider the above my Valentine's Day gift to the group.

Squarebirds member Dave - DaveB just had some spray cans filled with what he was told was the current correct paint in enamel. These are the paint codes they used:

Goldenrod DuPont #58044-AM; Centari paint.
Colonial White DuPont #43779-A. Centari paint.

Created 15 February, 2011

Last Edited: 15 February, 2011

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