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Paint Codes for 1940 Ford Cars

by Rob Wagner

The Ford Motor Company painted its cars in 12 colors in 1940. Ford chose conservative and dark colors. A white finish was not an option. The automaker produced three model series during the 1940 model year, in seven different body styles, and used Ditzler or DuPont lacquer for a finish. For 1940, Ford shared only one finish with another Detroit automaker, which was black, also used on Chrysler vehicles.

Background

Henry Ford never really concerned himself with the colors of his cars. To him, as long as a vehicle was reliable, its finish was a secondary consideration. This narrow view of the automobile, which didn't take into consideration the emotions involved in buying a car, dated to the Model T. For many years, the Model T was only available in black. It was no surprise that under the leadership of Henry Ford II, who assumed control of the company in 1947 following his father's death, that paint choices skyrocketed from 13 in 1941 to 33 in 1948 and 38 by 1950.

Models and Colors

Ford offered limited model choices in 1940. The automaker offered the base 60 Series with a small 136-cubic-inch V-8 under the hood as a business coupe, coupe and sedan, and the 85 Series with the 221 V-8. The 85 Series came in business coupe, coupe, Fordor sedan, Tudor sedan and station wagon. The Deluxe 85 Series featured a business coupe, coupe, convertible coupe, Deluxe Sedan, Fordor sedan, Tudor sedan and station wagon body styles. Colors included Acadia Green, Black, Claret Maroon, Cloud Mist Gray, Como Blue, Cotswold Gray, Folkstone Gray, Garnet Maroon, Lyon Blue, Mandarin Maroon, Sahara Sand and Yosemite Green.

Differing Paint Codes

Each paint scheme consisted of a color name, manufacturer's code and separate codes from Ditzler and DuPont. Manufacturers' codes differed from automaker to automaker. For example, the 1940 Ford with a black finish featured the Ford code of M1724, while Chrysler used the same paint but used paint code DT4004. Paint supplier Ditzler used code 9000. DuPont did not provide black to Ford or Chrysler.

Paint Code Breakdown

DuPont produced Acadia Green under codes 93-6807 and 225-34208. Ditzler used 40206, while Ford identified it as M3903. M1785 denoted Ford's Claret Maroon, while Ditzler used 50047. DuPont did not offer Claret Maroon. M1787 identified Cloud Mist Gray for Ford, while Ditzler identified it as 30027. DuPont paint codes were 93-3001 and 225-51424. Como Blue came under Ford's M1798, Ditzler's 10189 and DuPont's 181-6632 and 226-34097. Ford used M3906 for Cotswold Gray. Ditzler identified the color as 30059, while DuPont used 226-34293. Folkstone Gray was M1776 for Ford, 30183 for Ditzler, and 93-20703 and 225-32745 for DuPont. For Garnet Maroon, Lyon Blue, Mandarin Maroon, Sahara Sand and Yosemite Green, Ford used M3905, M1799, M1796, M1797 and M1800 respectively. Ditzler matched those numbers in the same order with 50063, 10190, 50035, 20157 and 40205. DuPont identified Garnet Maroon with 93-3844M and 225-53012M; Lyon Blue, 93-6630 and 225-34095; Mandarin Maroon, 93-6629M and 225-34094M; Sahara Sand, 93-6628 and 225-34093; and Yosemite Green, 93-6631 and 225-34096.

About the Author

Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.

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