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Old 04-22-2012, 03:54 PM   #1
Texas Tom
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Default Are MAFCA's paint guidelines missing something?

While looking over ads from the Model A era, I came across the attached example, which appeared in the November 1930 issue of GOOD HOUSEKEEPING magazine.


The car depicted is described as “The New Three-Window Fordor Sedan.”


This image caught my eye because the paint pattern is one that does not appear in the “Model A Ford Paint & Finish Guide” published by MAFCA. The lower body is maroon (although it’s far more reddish in tone, and brighter, than “Ford Maroon”). But the upper body is also maroon! MAFCA’s paint guidelines (and every other reference I’ve ever seen listing original Model A paint colors) indicates that the upper body on this car should be black.


Common sense tells us that Ford – or any other company – would not advertise a product that it does not sell. And while it’s possible that the colors in the ad could have been unintentionally altered due to printing variances, all other colors in the ad (dark blue sky, orange pumpkins, black tires, bright chrome, etc.) appear to be normal. So there’s no reason to believe that the maroon/red color is not an accurate depiction of what Ford wanted to show.


Which begs the question: Is it possible that Ford offered more exterior color combinations than what’s included in the MAFCA guidelines? I don’t know how else to explain this advertisement.
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File Type: jpg AD.Model A maroon sedan.3.jpg (52.7 KB, 115 views)
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: Are MAFCA's paint guidelines missing something?

Not all advertisments were of cars or colors that were actually produced. the artist had his ideas.....
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Are MAFCA's paint guidelines missing something?

Unfortunately the depiction is in error. The description is correct for an early '30 Standard Fordor w/quarter windows. Note there are no cowl lamps. Ford was quite emphatic to their dealers about some colors being absolutely reserved for Deluxe models. Ford Maroon was one of those colors.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Are MAFCA's paint guidelines missing something?

Marco:

I'm not arguing the point, but I still am very puzzled by the fact that Ford would publish an ad that includes an "incorrectly" painted Model A. The ad likely appeared in 50+ magazines, and probably several issues of each.

Having been in the advertising business myself with a Fortune top-10 corporation, I know how meticulous the advertising approval process is. Mistakes of this magnitude are virtually non-existent in a large corporation that advertises frequently. Artists, photographers and writers are never allowed 'literary license' in depicting the product. Otherwise, we might see ads with red 7-UP cans, green Coke cans, etc. Never gonna happen.

What is the origin of the specific Model A color guidelines that we are all familiar with? Did MAFCA obtain original Ford documents? I would suspect that is the case.

But this ad is still quite puzzling!
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Are MAFCA's paint guidelines missing something?

This Roadster Ad from May 1931 depicts a color scheme I don't believe was availble in 31 for a Roadster.

I'm surprised that Ford would approve artist leeway. Puzzling.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Are MAFCA's paint guidelines missing something?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 400A-64 View Post
Not all advertisments were of cars or colors that were actually produced. the artist had his ideas.....
Bruce Davis a400usa@nccn.net
I beleive this is covered in the book about model A ads.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: Are MAFCA's paint guidelines missing something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Tom View Post
Marco:

I'm not arguing the point, but I still am very puzzled by the fact that Ford would publish an ad that includes an "incorrectly" painted Model A. The ad likely appeared in 50+ magazines, and probably several issues of each.

Having been in the advertising business myself with a Fortune top-10 corporation, I know how meticulous the advertising approval process is. Mistakes of this magnitude are virtually non-existent in a large corporation that advertises frequently. Artists, photographers and writers are never allowed 'literary license' in depicting the product. Otherwise, we might see ads with red 7-UP cans, green Coke cans, etc. Never gonna happen.

What is the origin of the specific Model A color guidelines that we are all familiar with? Did MAFCA obtain original Ford documents? I would suspect that is the case.

But this ad is still quite puzzling!
Much of what you say regarding ad industry standards were not rigid in practice "way back when". Truth Laws were not adopted until later, and with regard to product accuracy, that was less important than catching the eye of the reader. If you really want to see some unreal color combos you should look at old Packard ads. Green cars with orange wheels? 4 and 5 colors? Definately not in the mainstream of what buyers were looking for. If one needs to justify this practice in their mind, or try to rationalize what the ad men were going after, think "Somewhere West of Laramie".
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