Bob Perkins
August 1, 2003

Acapulco BluesI'm in the process of restoring a '69 GT350 convertible that I've owned since 1991. Nearing the end of this arduous project, I'm now in a quandary about the paint. As you probably know, there seems to be three or four shades of Acapulco Blue paint, depending on the paint manufacturer. Here's what I know so far: The original paint was listed as Ford #3077-A, Acapulco Blue. This paint is also known as Bright Blue Metallic. There are others, like R-M No. A-1935, Ditzler No.13357, and Dupont No. 4857. I believe all these are acrylic enamel. I have samples painted on a panel, but they all are noticeably different shades! Then there is the basecoat/clearcoat dilemma. I like the way the base/clear comes out, and it sure would set this car off.

What shade of Acapulco Blue most closely matches the original Ford color on this car? What is your recommendation for acrylic enamel and a basecoat/clearcoat? I want this car as close to original color as possible, and, of course, the paint is an important item!Ron SmithHarrisburg, PA

I suggest you have a pint of Ditzler DDL-13357 Acapulco Blue mixed. Spray a test panel, and match the product you want to use to the formula. I recently purchased an original-paint '69 Mach 1 in Acapulco Blue. I used the DDL-13357 to spot the front valance, and the color was close enough I didn't have to tint it. The newer paints usually tend to vary a bit from the original factory mix code.

All In the DetailsI have a couple of detail questions about my '70 Pastel Blue Boss 429. What is the correct finish for the shifter rods and steering-column lockout rod? Also, what is the correct finish on the master cylinder, cylinder cover, heat tubes, and smog tubes?Kerry McMahonSpringfield, DE

The finish on the shifter rods should be Gold Cadmium. The correct color on the steering-column lock rod is clear (silver) Cadmium. The lock rod also has a paint ID code on the rod. The master cylinder should be semigloss black, with the inlets for brake lines natural around the opening area. A rubber plug was installed to keep paint out of the threads during the painting process. The master-cylinder cover was also painted semigloss black on the master cylinder as an assembly. The smog tubes on the Boss 429 were bare metal. The heat tubes on the back of the intake were usually bare metal or painted blue with the engine.

Because your intentions are thoroughbred MCA competition, you're striving to achieve detail. I'm sure your restoration will be outstanding!

Lip ServiceI'm in the process of restoring a '69 Mustang Mach 1, and I need some information about the fenders. My car seems to have a mismatch. I think one fender is from a Boss 429 Mustang because the lip on the wheel opening is narrower. What are the physical differences between Boss and Mach 1 fenders? Are there any codes stamped on the fenders that would identify them?Sal RubinoFraser, MI

The '69 Boss 429 fender has the same radius opening as the standard '69 Mustang fender, but the Boss 429 and Boss 302 fenders have the lip on the opening rolled under. The Boss 302 has a slight roll, while the Boss 429 is rolled tight with a 51/416 steel rod behind the lip to help make the roll tight. There is no code or part number in the fender to denote the application.

No Tip MachI recently purchased a low-mileage, southern, unrestored, original owner, non-modified '73 Mach 1, VIN 3F05Q248080. It's truly an exceptional find complete with documentation. But there is one thing about the car that puzzles me: From everything I've read in Mustang literature about the '73 Mach 1, it's my understanding that the 351C-4V came with chrome tips on the dual exhaust and that the rear valance is notched to accommodate those tips. This car does not have a notched rear valance. I questioned the owner, and he said it was delivered that way. However, I did think perhaps the original rear valance had been replaced due to some minor mishap. But as the original owner removed the rear license plate after we completed the deal, there in front of me were the remnants of the tie-down sticker behind the plate. That tells me this valance has been on the car since day one. So Bob, is this a June '73 factory freak, or is there some other explanation?David HillmanShelburne, VT

The '73 Mustangs built after February 13, 1973, used the D322-5230-B and C muffler assemblies. This system did not use the chrome tailpipe extensions. The rear exhaust hangers, D322-5260-A and B, were also unique for this system. The reason for the revision on the hanger is the 4-inch diameter clamp spot-welded to the hanger for the unique resonator at the end of the tailpipe.

The D322-5230-B and C system is a well-engineered, attractive exhaust system. The information provided by the original owner was indeed correct.

Undercarriage Primer I want to paint the underside of my San Jose-built '65 fastback. I think it was supposed to be done in a primer. What color should I use?Douglas JacksonClaremont, CA

The two most common primer colors used on San Jose Mustangs in 1965 were red and black. I recommend you find out the original color of the undercarriage, as long as it hasn't already been stripped by a previous restoration. If you have to guess, red is probably the most common color of factory primer. Ditzler DP74 is a good red Epoxy primer. If your floorpan is unrestored, a good way to determine color is to rub the sheetmetal with steel wool or a Scotch Brite pad soaked in solvent to check out the different layers of paint.

Some Mustangs, primarily from the Dearborn plant, have leftover body color mixed in with the red, black, or gray base primer for some rather different metallic tones for undercarriage color. Folklore has it that leftover body color was baked to powder and added to primer for filler to cut back on waste. According to my observations, this practice was used only at the Dearborn plant.

After priming your undercarriage, follow with body-color overspray as it would be applied during the regular painting process of the unibody shell. Most light-colored cars then had the rocker-pinch weld area blacked out, which often resulted in black overspray on the edge of the floorpan also.

Send restoration questions to: Resto Roundup c/o Bob Perkins Perkins Restoration North 3123 Highway 16 & 26 Juneau, WI 53039 Send e-mail to: