1961 Interior Color

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61Tbird
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1961 Interior Color

Post by 61Tbird »

Hello,

I am looking to dye the interior of my red 1961 Ford Thunderbird Convertible.

What is the correct color for this?

I notice the VTCI Original Factory Specifications says Ford M-# is 1429. Which would be Fire Engine Red.
Is that correct?

ICON 1956
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Re: 1961 Interior Color

Post by ICON 1956 »

Check your data code"plate" the VTCI lists, the trim code 55,85 Ford M # 1429. listed the interior components covered in Red. Or is the color of your car a Rangoon Red color code J Ford M3 1515 vinyl 56, Listed on the other page on the left side.
1956 Thunderbird Sage Green
1997 Heritage Springer with Motorvation matching side Car Red/Birch White
VTCI Member # 12309

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Alan H. Tast
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Re: 1961 Interior Color

Post by Alan H. Tast »

The interior M-# is different from exterior paint colors. '1429' is what is listed in numerous manufacturers' chip charts as Ford's color number for the red used in T-bird interiors. This was a somewhat bright red color. What you'll want to do is see if you can find a swatch of vinyl that hasn't been exposed to sun and the elements, like on the underside of seats or covered by stainless trim on the dash, to compare against.

The bigger thing to remember, though, is that formulations and materials used have changed due to environmental restrictions on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and other solvent-based formulations over the years, but with advancements in color spectrometer scanner technology, a modern mix should be obtainable, even for water-based formulations. Surface preparation is vitally important for redying of interior parts - this is a subject in iteself that I won't cover here.

Better automotive paint jobbers, especially those which cater to restoration shops, should have period color chip charts in their books that have interior color chips for every model year. Ditzler and duPont (which was taken over by Axalta if I remember correctly) are two main paint suppliers to check against - the duPont charts were pretty good for having interior color chips versus just listing the manufacturer's codes. You can also find these at automotive swap meets or through literature vendors. Having these chip charts are essential if you don't have good, unfaded examples to compare against. If you're not comfortable going that route, the T-bird parts vendors that help support VTCI and this website can provide the right shades of vinyl dyes and interior semi-gloss/matte paints for your restoration.

One of the quirks about early '60s T-bird vinyls is that their colors faded differently - some got really light, some darkened, others yellowed, making it a tough call to determine what the original color should look like. Your main objective should be to get the interior trim to a consistent color when finished dying vinyl/vinyl-coated parts and painting metal parts (i.e. steering column).

Another thing not many people are aware of is that Ford used two shades of red for carpeting in the '61 T-birds, according to the 1961 Soft Trim Catalog - a light red and a dark red. From parts number sequencing, it appears a light red color was used early in production and a dark red in later production. No definitive date has yet been established when this change was made or what the exact shades/color numbers were (these weren't listed in the Soft Trim Catalog or color sample charts), but it appears that this change was in relation to the fact that most carpet colors were typically darker than the rest of interior trim for '61, probably to better-hide dirt. For '61 the Soft Trim Catalog listed carpet colors as dark with exception of Beige (Medium) and Black. For '62, carpet colors were listed in the Soft Trim Catalog as Medium except for Turquoise (Light), Red and Black.
Alan H. Tast, AIA
Technical Director/Past President,
Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"
1963 Hardtop & 1963 Sports Roadster

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Alan H. Tast
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Re: 1961 Interior Color

Post by Alan H. Tast »

ICON 1956 wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:02 pm
Check your data code "plate" the VTCI lists, the trim code 55, 85 Ford M # 1429. listed the interior components covered in Red. Or is the color of your car a Rangoon Red color code J Ford M3 1515 vinyl 56, Listed on the other page on the left side.
ICON, what page numbers are you referring to? The Interior/Exterior combination pages list the exterior color "M"-numbers in conjunction with the exterior color names, but not the interior "M"-numbers - those are listed on the pages for interior component colors specific for each model year. The listing color numbers on the Interior/Exterior Combination pages sounds like something that might need clarification in future OFS releases.

For the record, on the data plates, invoices and ROT/build sheets, Interior Color code '55' is for red vinyl, '85' is for red leather, and '56' is for black vinyl. Rangoon Red (M-# 1515) is an exterior-only color used '62-'65.
Alan H. Tast, AIA
Technical Director/Past President,
Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"
1963 Hardtop & 1963 Sports Roadster

ICON 1956
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Re: 1961 Interior Color

Post by ICON 1956 »

Alan, I'm referring to the Volume 4 1961 thru 1963 OFS dated November 2002.... 8.1.2.1 1961 interior components H-1-12. the Ford M 1429 Red 55,85 listed most 1961 interior components as Red...My bad on the Rangoon Red 8.1.1.3 1963. ! listed as Vinyl or leather. sorry about that ....
1956 Thunderbird Sage Green
1997 Heritage Springer with Motorvation matching side Car Red/Birch White
VTCI Member # 12309

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