Old 08-02-2022, 09:12 PM
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70FormulaCA 70FormulaCA is offline
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Default 3 shades of Silver

I was curious about the early 2nd gen silver colors from 70 thru 72. In all three years, the names are different and so I assume the shade/hue of silver is also different? Is one year darker/lighter than the other?

1970 - Palladim
1971 - Nordic
1972 - Revere

70 Formula 400 Auto non-A/C

Wanted: 71 or 72 Formula HO 4spd - leads very much appreciated.
Old 08-02-2022, 09:22 PM
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When I was getting my '72 ready for the painter, I contacted a PY member Dar with a lot of painting experience/knowledge and happened to save the message he sent to me below:

2059 Palladium: 481yellow = 8, 490black = 16, 411blue = 28, 431poly = 748, 496katalyst = 828, 499clear = 4068.

2327 Nordic: 441green = 4, 411blue = 8, 491black = 80, 431poly = 800, 495kat = 880, 499clear = 4120

2429 Revere: 441green = 24, 482yellow = 224, 491black = 424, 431poly = 1504,
495kat = 1584, 499vlear = 4064

Now I don't know how much you know about these paints, but these are the 1 gallon mix formulas for PPG DAR acrylic enamel. Back in the day (60's and early 70's) I believe Pontiac uses PPG Laquer. I used to mix paint about 22 years ago and at the time it seemed the this PPG series of paint was close to original, if not bang on.

Anyway how these paints were mixed up was by the actual weight of the product. We had a special scale for paint, it may have measued it in grams (I forget exactly). What you need to know to compare paints on paper is what the numbers represent. The first 3 digit number ahead of the color was just the number on the can. There was more the 1 shade of green, or yellow or even poly (silver metallic). You can see the Yellow for 2059 and the yellow for 2429 is actually different. Therefore you had the grab the correct can number. Then the second number is how much weight of prouct you pour into the mix you are making. So for example if we look at 2059 we would mix in 481yellow until the scale reads 8, then we would add 490black until the scale reads 16, and continue on until you have that particular gallon (with a weight of 4068). So if you read this example correctly you will notice that the amount of yellow & the amount of black you are putting in is exactly the same. The number is different only because you are adding to get to the designated weight.

Also you will notice that the majority of these silvers had very little color in them and mostly were made up of poly and clear, with just a few hints of other colors mixed in.

My personal opinion is that these colors are all pretty darn close to each other and only when placed side by side you really notice a difference. Also I never really go by color names, I go by color codes as they never change. Names on the other hand change from paint company to paint company and even GM division to GM division. For example Cardinal red was not unique to Pontiac. Buick had the exact same color and called it Fire Red. Same color, same mix, differnet name.

'72 Formula 455HO TH400, Revere Silver, black deluxe
'74 Trans Am SD 4 speed, Admiralty Blue, blue deluxe
Old 08-02-2022, 10:17 PM
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Fwiw, my paint guy painted for GM and found the Dupont colors were/are most accurate. If you look at examples of original paint 71' Nordic silver there is definitely a blue tone. The Dupont mix even has a bit of violet. If you look at a repainted PPG Nordic silver car you'll notice it is far less blue toned, almost more green like Revere silver. Search the forum and internet for Nordic silver original paint paint cars. Monitors and lighting may vary but the difference in tones is consistent.
72' Revere definitely has a greener tone. I know a few people who chose to use less green when they repainted.
There's lots of variation in the formulas by company.

Old 08-02-2022, 11:12 PM
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Also even though your GM Firebird data plate code says #14 for 1970 and #14 for a 1972 Data plate code,both for silvers,it does not necessarily mean they are the exact same colour shade of silver.I found this out trying to match a #49 green from 1974 on.I always assumed same colour data code, same colour ,for each year, but not so.

Old 08-03-2022, 01:42 AM
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To me they look nothing alike - especially 72's Revere silver which had a lot of green

Old 08-03-2022, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by RicksGTO View Post
Same color, same mix, different name.
This is exactly correct.

The noun names are pure marketing magic.


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Old 08-04-2022, 01:06 AM
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May as well toss in Ascot Silver for '73 . Its different too.
But to reiterate whats Rick's said; POLY is metallic Silver.
Most Lacquer colors that say " Poly" after them are Indeed
A Metallic paint. Poly in this case means many pieces, and or colors based on reflection of the metallic.
I helped in the body shop at my Dealership painting spoilers mostly, but when I went to get paint they were mixing them with " powders" added. These days all the colors, tints, metallic, pearls are in suspension for faster and more consistent color matching can to can.
The old " weights" don't mean much.
We used PPG / Ditzler for touch ups and part matching.
We even had a guy buy a promo model and asked us to spray it the color of his car.. what a yellow mess that was lol.

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Old 08-04-2022, 08:32 AM
John V. John V. is offline
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I did some research some years ago on the '64 Pontiac color Sunfire Red, learned a good bit.

"Poly" in the marketing name for paint colors was short for "Polychromatic". As Bruce mentions, this is the effect created by metal flake added to paint that changes the "look" or color of the paint depending on the angle that light hits the randomly embedded flakes.

I'm not positive, but I believe Dupont came up with the term polychromatic to describe the paint that Dupont developed in the '50's by the addition of Aluminum flakes and GM paint colors containing Aluminum flakes began to include "Poly" in their marketing name.

Cadillac marketed their Fire Frost paint colors for a time, a premium price paint option. These colors as I recall used a larger flake to create a more dramatic Polychromatic effect.

In '64 anyway, Dupont, PPG, and Rinshed-Mason supplied paint to GM. Each Plant used a specific supplier. The "home" Pontiac, Mich Plant used Dupont as their supplier. I do not know what supplier was used at Norwood.

The subject of '73 Brewster Green has been discussed in this Forum as to whether it was a "Poly" color or not. The color formula for it did not include Aluminum flakes. Some have claimed that original cars in Brewster Green exhibit a "metallic" appearance. My own '73 TA was Brewster Green though by '78 when I bought it for the first time, it had been repainted Black. There is a bit of Brewster Green still in hidden areas but I have not tried to look for the "metallic" appearance.

Old 08-04-2022, 12:43 PM
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The term " Magic Mirror" was used for a bunch of years to describe Lacquer. This made it to the cowl tag.

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Old 08-04-2022, 02:15 PM
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Let me pile on this . The most miss leading thing about paint is color names when dealing with automobiles. Mfgs use name as a marketing tool . Many times a color will carry from one year to the other and also in most cases are shared within a Mfg. line of cars . The paint Mfg. MIX CODE is the only way to compare a color . No matter what brand Paint .

As far as the style paint . different paint types example

all lay out different when applied and have a different glow or look . This along with the change in the chemistry of the toners

The word poly or Metallic is simply the little sparkly flakes that are a part of the formula to make up the color . These add a sparkling effect through the translucent color. This is why all colors with met. or poly will have clear in the formula .

The way the metallic is laded out in spraying the color can have a effect on the color, it also can lay the poly in a direction. the term (FLOP ) is used when you look at a color in one direction, then another and color looks different . This is found more newer or modern colors

The problem with matching old colors with modern systems . The poly or metallic in the old colors was Aluminum, the new poly toners are PLASTIC. this is very important because the plastic poly has a different shape and it floats in the paint. Along with that. Old colors are seldom formulated in most modern paints. Its just to expensive and not enough interest for this.

pics are of a few examples of formulas of different colors
notice the numbers to the left are the code of the toner
numbers in middle are the amount in grams
numbers to right are a accumulation of grams.

as you look at the formulas . consider that these toners are very strong and it takes very small amounts to effect the color . The consistence of the tone of the toners is also important. Color matching has always been a problem and still is . So much that paint mgs. have a complete book of what they call variant chips . These are field formulas that have been made to offset the variations in car manufacturing plants that cars are built in or paint systems vary through out the run

The first two are old Lacquer . The other are of a modern base coat . I did not show example of any water base formulas . That's a whole new Deal .
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Old 08-04-2022, 03:01 PM
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Great post dld !
One thing I noticed when doing g a few spray outs in last few years is that the metallic ( while plastic ) are , or were originally, TWO sided. This is why it was easy to " zebra stripe" repaints in the past, especially silver.
Most " modern formulas" skip true silver metallic, and use PEARLS, which are 5 sided vs 2 on the true metallics, and are in a multitude of colors. The amount of color change and reflection can go from subtle to chameleon.
A guy I know redid his " revere" silver ( 72) and some of the green it has was brought in with a pearl, vs a color toner. So it looks greener, and obviously much deeper with clear coat than an original which we compared it too

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Old 08-04-2022, 11:07 PM
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I think i will take a breath . on that

Old 08-04-2022, 11:15 PM
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its is like that movie . Its complicated .


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