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The American Automobile Paint Code Interchange Manual

Ford Coral Mist / Playboy Pink

A timeline of colours

Americans, of course, love nothing quite as much as their cars. A perusal through the one hundred and fifty-odd pages of the American Automobile Paint Code Interchange Manual presents a national psychogram of sorts, one that moves from wartime colors – South Sea Blue, Military Blue, London Gray – to postwar middle class 1950s fantasy (Cambridge Maroon, Sportsman Green). The social striving of the early 1960s – Executive Gray – turns cheeky (Smoker’s Lung Gray) by decade’s end. This light cynicism is superseded by a shockingly socially conscious series of colours, particularly at Ford, in the 1970s (Counter Revolutionary Red, Anti-Establish Mint). Some even directly reference the war in Vietnam, from an indubitably Peacenik perspective (Bring’em Back Olive). By the 1980s, this flair is gone, replaced by blander, more commercially appealing colors: French Vanilla, Medium French Vanilla, Pastel French Vanilla. There is less fantasy, more Antique Cream. By 1990, even Midnight Wine had given way to Mary Kay Pink. Join us for a quick stroll down America’s memory lane.


1941 Chrysler
South Sea Blue

1942 Chrysler
Military Blue

1946 Cadillac
Seine Blue
London Gray

1946 Ford
Navy Blue No. 1
Navy Blue No. 2
Dynamic Maroon

1947 Ford
Rotunda Gray


1950 Ford
Cambridge Maroon
Sportsman Green
Wagon Tan
Bimini Blue

1953 Buick
Niagara Blue
Potomac Blue
Everglades Green
Submarine Gray
Caravan Beige
Hollywood Maroon
Casino Cream

1953 Ford
Polynesian Bronze

1954 Ford
Dovetone Gray
Highland Green
Lancer Maroon

1956 Dodge
Chinese Rose
Oriental Coral

1957 Ford
Woodsmoke Gray

1958 Ford
Bali Bronze

1959 Edsel
President Red
Jet Stream Blu


1960 Chrysler
Executive Gray

1962 Chrysler
Dove Gray
Embassy Red

1963 Chrysler
Pace Car Blue

1963 Buick
Diplomat Blue

1965 Chrysler
Patrician Gold

1966 Ford
Candyapple Red

1967 Buick
Smoker’s Lung Gray

1967 Ford
Playboy Pink

1968 Chevy
Tripoli Turquoise

1969 Ford
Freudian Gilt
Thanks Vermillion
Hulla Blue
Anti-Establish Mint

1969 Chrysler


1970 Ford
Bring ‘em Back Olive
Last Stand Custer
Three Putt Green
There She Blue
Good Clean Faun
Counter Revolutionary Red

1970 American Motors
Big Bad Orange

1970 Dodge
Plum Crazy
Green Go
Go Mango
Panther Pink

1971 Dodge
Citron Yella

1975 Ford
Green Glow
Tan Glamour

1976 Dodge
Big Sky Blue

1977 Ford
Lipstick Red


1980 Ford
Bright Bittersweet
Pine Opolescent

1982 Ford
French Vanilla
Medium French Vanilla
Pastel French Vanilla
Antique Cream

1982 Ford

1986 Ford
Midnight Canyon Red
Midnight Wine

1990 General Motors
Mary Kay Pink

1991 Ford
Bisque Frost
Race Yellow
Pastel Alabaster