Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Chevrolet Paint Colors in the 50's

Chevrolet in the 1950's certainly was no shrinking violet in delivering its cars to the motoring public in bright primary colors. The decade's start was rather unpromising, as Chevy introduced about eight colors for its passenger cars that reflected the 1940's tamped-down wartime-thinking minimalist styling. When Chevrolet introduced its revamped models, particularly the 1955 to 1957 era of sporty coupes, the color palette exploded, not only with bright, sunny colors but also two-tone paint schemes.

The New Decade
Chevrolet introduced its new postwar stylings in 1948 with the Fleetline and Styline coupes and sedans, but chromed accents and bright color schemes were not part of the plan. When General Motors chief stylists Harley Earl began contemplating expanding the concept of rear tailfins from the Cadillac to GM's blue-collar Chevy passenger cars, the approach to color presentation would change. However, for 1950, color options were basic at best. The 1950 models came in Oxford Maroon, Grecian Gray, Crystal Green, Mist Green, Rodeo Beige, Falcon Gray, Empire Red, Windsor Blue and Midnight Cream.
  • What a difference five years made. Chevrolet pulled out the stops in external color offerings, primarily because of the big push to market its restyled 1955 models. The 1955 Chevy passenger cars completely broke away from the prewar stylings of bulbous fenders, rounded hoods and high rooflines, with flatter body panels and hoods, sculpted fenders and thinner rooflines. The chrome beltline was a spear that stretched from the tip of the front fender to the midpoint of the door, and then continued with a second, lower chrome spear that ended at the end of the rear fender. The design made the 1955 ripe for DuPont and Ditzler lacquer two-tone paint schemes, including metallic colors that featured metal flake in the base, solid color. The colors for 1955 were Shoreline Beige, Shadow Gray Metallic, Glacier Blue Metallic, Seamist Green, Neptune Green Metallic, Regal Turquoise Metallic, Skyline Blue, Copper Maroon Metallic, Coral Gypsy, Red Autumn, Bronze Metallic, India Ivory, Harvest Gold, Cashmere Blue, Navajo Tan Metallic and Dust Rose Matalli-Chrome.


  • For 1957, Chevrolet offered no less than 15 two-tone paint schemes. Upper/lower body combinations included Larkspur Blue over Harbor Blue, India Ivory over Tropical Turquoise, Surf Green over Highland Green and Imperial Ivory over Dusk Pearl. Chevrolet also matched the steel wheels with the lower body color. Chevrolet attempted to market some of the brighter colors, such as Turquoise, Blue and Yellow to the female market.


  • Equally important as the exterior body colors was the matching interior fabric. Buyers could order interior fabric and trim selections to match the exterior body colors, a novel concept for the era. The 1957 Bel Air models, for example, featured light Turquoise vinyl seats with black cloth or red and black cloth combinations. All vinyl seats were available in light and dark blue pattern combinations, among other colors. Convertible tops also matched the bodies with such colors as Ivory, Black, Medium Green and Ivory.
Source: Ehow