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Old 10-26-2020, 07:44 AM   #1
oldmotorsguy
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Default What color were OEM engine blocks in 1957?

I am considering buying a 1957 Ford Thunderbird, and noticed that the engine block, while great looking, was painted Chevy orange.

This doesn't seem right to me. What color were 312 cubic inch V8s in 1957? Ford Blue? Or was that too early for this color. Chevy orange can't be right...
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Old 10-26-2020, 08:04 AM   #2
oldave57
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Default Re: What color were OEM engine blocks in 1957?

The Ford engine color for 1957 was indeed a red/orange color (the official name was Ford engine red). The color of the Ford and Chevy engines for 1957 (probably from about 1954 thru 57, but I'm not sure of that) were both an red/orange color. The blue engine colors came with later model FE engines. If you like the 57 Tbird, don't let the engine color change your opinion of it. It is painted the correct color for 1957.

https://www.vintagethunderbirdclub.n...ic.php?t=10463

https://www.macsautoparts.com/ford_m...spray-can.html

Good Luck,
Dave
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Old 10-26-2020, 08:16 AM   #3
oldmotorsguy
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Default Re: What color were OEM engine blocks in 1957?

oldave: thanks, good to know. It's a very nice car throughout. Chevy orange, who knew?
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:35 AM   #4
dmsfrr
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Default Re: What color were OEM engine blocks in 1957?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmotorsguy View Post
I am considering buying a 1957 Ford Thunderbird, and noticed that the engine block, while great looking, was painted Chevy orange.

This doesn't seem right to me. What color were 312 cubic inch V8s in 1957? Ford Blue? Or was that too early for this color. Chevy orange can't be right...
The Ford and Chevy red / orange engine colors are very similar, and with color variations between brands and mixing batches they can be difficult to tell apart.
I don't have a sample of the 'official' engine paint sold for 50's Y-Block engines. Just picked the one I liked from a local store spray can aisle for the two Birds I have. Duplicolor brand ceramic engine paint.

These aren't for judged car shows, I'm just building them close enough so I don't embarrass myself in front of the guys in the local T-Bird club. The engine color met with approval.
Color rendition in the photos varies with the lighting. The 4th photo has more daylight than the others.

My impression is the Ford red/orange engine color is slightly redder than the Chevy color. Photo 1, on the left.
At least it's the color I used...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg red orange engine paint.jpg (40.3 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg engine in.jpg (84.4 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg not a '57 312 engine c.jpg (87.1 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg 20201026_'57 312.jpg (72.6 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg 20200614 '57 front 312 before.jpg (61.6 KB, 21 views)

Last edited by dmsfrr; 10-27-2020 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:36 AM   #5
55blacktie
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Default Re: What color were OEM engine blocks in 1957?

Ford red is correct, but it is not as orange as Chevy Orange. Ford Red can fade with age, looking more like Chevy Orange, but Ford Red is closer to Chrysler Red. If the paint is otherwise in good shape, I wouldn't be concerned. It is common, however, for the intake manifold paint to burn off due to the heat crossover for the automatic choke. Intake manifold gaskets/w smaller hole for the heat crossover are available, which prevent/reduce the possibility of burning off the paint. If you don't live in a cold climate, you can also block off the crossover on the manifold or at the heads. The Mummert aluminum intake manifold does not have the crossover, but the Blue Thunder does.
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Old 10-27-2020, 05:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: What color were OEM engine blocks in 1957?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldave57 View Post
The Ford engine color for 1957 was indeed a red/orange color (the official name was Ford engine red). The color of the Ford and Chevy engines for 1957 (probably from about 1954 thru 57, but I'm not sure of that) were both an red/orange color. The blue engine colors came with later model FE engines. If you like the 57 Tbird, don't let the engine color change your opinion of it. It is painted the correct color for 1957.

Good Luck,
Dave

No! No! No! Chevy orange is NOT the correct color for a '57 Ford engine!! Ford red is much redder than Chevy's orange.
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: What color were OEM engine blocks in 1957?

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Originally Posted by 40 deluxe View Post
no! No! No! Chevy orange is not the correct color for a '57 ford engine!! Ford red is much redder than chevy's orange.
x 2 !!!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:22 AM   #8
KULTULZ
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Post Re: What color were OEM engine blocks in 1957?

Not sure if 100% correct -

https://www.macsautoparts.com/ford_t...tabs-container
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Old 10-28-2020, 06:46 AM   #9
oldave57
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Default Re: What color were OEM engine blocks in 1957?

Originally Posted by 40 deluxe View Post
no! No! No! Chevy orange is not the correct color for a '57 ford engine!! Ford red is much redder than chevy's orange.

X3 !!!!!!

When I replied to the OP that the 57 Ford and Chevy engines both had a red/orange color, I didn't mean that they were the SAME color, so I apologize to the OP if that was how it came across. In my defense, I did say that the Ford engine color was "Ford Red" and included a link to Macs engine paint, so hopefully it didn't create too much of a problem for his decision on the 57 T-Bird.
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:35 AM   #10
estout81
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Default Re: What color were OEM engine blocks in 1957?

Here's a picture of a '53 Ford engine taken at the eastern meet of the early V8 club in 2019.
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File Type: jpg S6300537.jpg (83.1 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg S6300538.jpg (71.5 KB, 11 views)
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