""It is often stated that Ford suggested the use of black from 1914 to 1926 due to the cheap cost and durability of black paint.""
Within the vast archives of the Henry Ford, are there records or correspondence between Henry Ford and his suppliers and design folks about the proper mixture formula for the correct shade and hue of black? Was the first formula selection carried through to the end of production? Was there a Ford paint department to mix and supply the paint near the end of the T's production?
Can any one supply the original formula for the Model T Black paint?
Here's a 2014 thread where an intrepid forum member tried mixing his own paint using Ford's original formulas:
Can the OP give us an update on the durability of his paint job since then?
Here is the best research to date on "why black" and the likely forumla from the professor of all things Model T
Thank you for the leads and information. As this book was written close to the 1914 production of the "any colour as long as it is black" Ford it may well be a formula used to finish the bodies.
From - PAINT MAKING AND COLOR GRINDING December 1913.
""So called black asphaltum paints are often simply benzine asphaltum varnishes with or without admixture with coal tar. While the name asphaltum paint has become a synonym for something very cheap in the line of black paint, it need not deter the paint maker from placing a good article on the market. A good elastic black paint can be made by mixing 10 pounds grinders'
lampblack in oil with 2 gallons raw linseed oil and 1/4 gallon liquid dryer, with 11 1/2 gallons benzine asphaltum varnish, thus producing 15 gallons black paint, that will stand exposure to the weather very well. An asphaltum composition, that is insulating and capable of resisting high degrees of temperatures is made by melting in an iron kettle 200 pounds gilsonite asphaltum with 40 pounds candle tar, and adding 30 gallons 160° coal tar benzol or solvent coal tar naphtha and 50 gallons 62° benzine for a 100 gallon batch."" (page 400)
A lot of good information about Fords methods of flowing, brushing and spraying the paint on Ford assembly lines.
I guess if someone is a purist they might want to try to use the formula and method to get an authentic paint job on his T.
But he might want to get a good respirator to apply it! That would be an improvement on Fords methods!
I wanted to use Midnight Black, but Sambuca is a '17 so I guess I'll have to use Coal Black, even though I don't think it looks as nice as Midnight Black.
When I was in the ink business, most of our customers thought black ink was just carbon black and vehicle. That produces a very charchol grey looking black. To get a true, deep, dark black, we needed to add cobalt blue which was a very expensive pigment.
So I am not so sure that old Henry picked his shade of black out of his being frugal on the color, or just being able to use one paint color for all his applications and not need to supply parts of different colors.
I've never made automobile paint, but I am wondering if black is the absolute cheapest color to make.
Long ago MTFCA forum contributor Reid Welch painted his coupe with gilsonite paint that he formulated and mixed himself. Unfortunately, I could not find any of his MTFCA posts but a general Google search brings the following:
Otherwise, here is a "made in the U.S.A." gilsonite paint for those who like to experiment:
My car is painted absolutely deep, dark, blue black like Robert mentioned and that's the way I like it. When I took my car apart, I found some of the original paint that was still shiny new. It was black but, very different. I would call it a brown black by comparison.