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Discussion Starter #1
I’m in the process of doing a rotisserie restoration on my 1969 Cougar Eliminator. I need to know what is the proper, concourse correct paint colors for the undercarriage and the engine bay including the underside of the fenders and rear wheel wells.
I know the engine bay is to be satin black; however I have conflicting reports as to what the rest of the undercarriage should be. The car I have has the entire under carriage painted black including under the front fenders and rear wheel wells. When I scratched though the paint, I did not note any other colors (ie red oxide).
It is my understanding that the underside of the front fenders and the rear wheels also had a light spray of undercoating before the car left the production line. I can see this on my car.
Being my car is an Eliminator, it was produced in Dearborn with a production date of May 2, 1969. The body color is Bright Yellow.
I would also like to know what chassis components were painted (ie, spindles, calipers, tierods, etc).
Thanks for your help,
Rick
 

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Mine was completely black so likely was undercoating. That's what I did now again, except didn't use undercoating but black gravelguard. Looks real good.
Mine was built May 22 in Dearborn.
 

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I think the bottom should be "slop gray". Both our Eliminators are yellow with a gray w/ blue tint on the undercarrage. Both are Dearborn cars, one April and one May 19th. Mike
 

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I think the bottom should be "slop gray". Both our Eliminators are yellow with a gray w/ blue tint on the undercarrage. Both are Dearborn cars, one April and one May 19th. Mike
I understand that San Jose cars had red oxide but my Dearborn car was slop grey (with undercoating over some/most of that).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replys.
From what I have been told, for the date of my car it should be "slop" grey which from what I understand is actualy a mixture of left over paint at the plant.
If the chassis is slop grey, what should the underside of the front fenders and the rear wheel well be?
I want to do this car correct, so your help if very much welcomed.

Rick
 

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Your car could be Black and not slop Grey. Just because other cars with similar build dates and plants have a certain color does not mean your car was the same. Spend some more time cleaning and photograph what your car was born as for future proof of why you replicated the correct color. Some cars have proven to be body color even. Yes they tried to standardize but would often run out temporarily and the line did not stop. The fenders and rear wells were likely blacked out with undercoating.
 

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The answer depends on what you intend to do with the car when completed. If you enter it in a concours judging competition, you need to restore it according to the judging rules which are generally reflective of what *should* have happened on the assembly line. The normally accepted treatment for the underside of a Dearborn-built 69 Cougar is slop grey. Sometimes this was covered with undercoating at the dealership. Black paint was never a regular production method of coating the underside of a Cougar.

If you paint it black or cover the entire undercarriage in black undercoating, you would likely be docked points at a concours judged event.

If you're not planning on having it judged, do whatever you like. I prefer the look of red oxide so I choose to paint the undercarriage of my car in that color rather than the original slop grey. I have a friend with a beautiful 70 and the undercarriage is completely body color. Both of us would loose points in concours juging but who cares if you don't intend to have a trailer queen?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys.
I want to have my car concours correct and see how I do in a couple of shows. After that I intend to drive it.

In looking at my car it appears that over the years the underside was painted black, under the black I only find bare metal, however I know that the undercarrage has been repainted as it looks to good for a 40 year old car.

So I will go with slop grey from the firewall back.

Now what is correct for the underside of the front fenders and the rear wheel wells. I know the factory gave the underside of the front wheel wells a light spray of undercoating, however should they both be black?
 

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Read this:
http://www.cougarclub.org/about/judging/Senior_concours_undercarriage.htm

You may have some questions after, but it's a good start.

The backsides of the fenders & valances on my car were red oxide. Rear wheel wells were typically blacked out before the color coat was applied, so it is expected to have some body colored overspray there as well.

My car (the R code) was slop gray primer underneath, not just from the firewall back. The black paint on the inside of the front fender aprons & firewall was done after the primer.

Remember, there are no absolutes where these cars are concerned, the slop gray on my car had a blue tint to it, and we replicated this when restoring my car. On other cars I've seen the slop gray much darker, almost black, and I've seen it have a greenish tint to it as well. It was a mix of extra paint, so the color varied quite a bit.

I'm currently doing a concours job on my wife's 1st car, a '66 coupe. It was built in Dearborn, and had a red oxide belly. It is always best in my view to do a forensic teardown of your car & try to replicate what was there.

Jeff Speegle is a great guy & forgot more of this stuff than I'll ever know - check out his site:

www.[B]thecoralsnake[/B].com
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow, Thanks for all the information and help !!
I did some more scraping on the undercarriage of my 69 and cannot find anything other than black. No red oxide no gray. It appears to be that there were two layers of black, the bottome layer is very flat and dull. So maybe a dark slop grey?? From what I understand, they would mix left over paint with the grey, (greens, blue's and black) to use them up and this is what was used for the undercarriage.
I will have many more questions as I progress and will look to you guys for help. I want to complete the car correct. I will post some pictures of the car before I tore it down and some as I progress ahead. Again THANKS !! Rick
 

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I find that the area above the rear is a good place to find a sample of the original undercariage paint, also the outer front frame rails, once you get the undercoating off of there...sometimes when you remove parts that had been there forever you can see some of the original paint.

It's possible that on the day/time your car was primed, the slop gray in use had a really dark shade to it.
 

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Thanks for the correction, sporty...my brain is not what it used to be...
Chris I have to forget about some stuff that I used to know to allow room for some new stuff lol

While on the paint stuff you guys and gals may like this tidbit. Started collecting the stuff years ago and have some huge chunks to play with for future retirement days. Check it out
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fordite
 

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