Question about custom colors back in the day....

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by youdevil, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. youdevil

    youdevil TDPRI Member

    Dec 1, 2011
    Wayne, PA
    So were the various shades of green custom color -- thinking here of Foam, Surf, and Ocean Turquoise -- actual green paint? Or were they shades of blue that the factory covered with yellow lacquer?

    I have long thought that some purported Ocean Turquoise instruments were actually just Lake Placid Blue with yellowing lacquer...and that something that looks like Foam could be Daphne Blue, again with yellowing lacquer.

    But then it occurred to me...what if in fact that's exactly how those rarer colors were obtained back in the day: use yellow lacquer over another color?
  2. mipstoo

    mipstoo TDPRI Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Rockingham Palace
    They were exactly what they were called, so greens were green and blues were blue... The names were mostly derived from the car paint industry...
    For example, (Sea) Foam Green was a Buick color, Surf Green a Chevrolet color, Sonic Blue and Daphne Blue were both a Cadillac color.
    The original color charts introduced in 1960 featured the name and also the color codes from Dupont, mostly Duco (Nitrocellulose) lacquer but some also the superior Lucite (Acrylic) lacquer. The same automotive paints were also available from different suppliers such as Rogers and Ditzler, who matched the color almost spot on. No way to tell for sure that Fender only used DuPont. They probably went for the cheapest and easiest obtainable.
    The differences on the old guitars we see now come from the clear coats being used (or not used) and the different undercoats that were used, which adds to the confusion of course.
    RadioFM74 likes this.
  3. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 18, 2010
    This kind of doesn't count because my Ocean Turquoise Strat is a mid 80's MIJ.

    I cannot get this guitar to photograph in the color my eye sees it. To the eye it's green in incandescent light, blue in the sunlight & every pic.

    In this pic the very left radius is as green as I can photograph & is closest to the actual color I can get without altering camera settings. I think the picture from the back is closest to the actual color as seen by eye (but I had to mess with the settings to get it).

    So I would think achieved color of this guitar is blue with a yellow clear coat. However, if it is blue under yellow it is a much darker blue than Lake Placid Blue.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
  4. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

    Jan 10, 2013
    Weren't the custom colors the same as the GM car custom color selection?
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