1969/70 Shelby Paint Information

January 11, 2013

Updated July 4, 2020 / April 1, 2021

A special thanks to Mickey G. and Grant for the photos!

The Best 1969-70 Shelby Exterior Color Chart
Ford Color Name Ford Warranty Code Ford Paint Code Ditzler/PPG Code DuPont Code Side Stripe Color
Red T M-2008-A 71528 4737 Gold
Black Jade C M-3197-A 2037 5050 White
Gulfstream Aqua F M-3065-A 13329 4868 Gold
Acapulco Blue Metallic 6 M-3077-A 13357 4857White
Royal Maroon B M-3059-A 50746 4864White
Silver Jade 4 M-3230-A 2048 4975White
Pastel Gray D M-3303-A 2038 5053Blue
*Grabber Blue* - MX-820-1555 2230 5205White
*Competition Red* 3 M-1730-A 60449 9397429White
White M M-1619-A 8378 4775Blue
*Grabber Green* - MX-704-1564 2231 5206White
*Grabber Orange* - WT-5014 2232 5208White
*Grabber Yellow* - MX-828-1173 2214 5194Black

The 1969 Shelby color palate has always been surrounded by confusion. The regular production colors were complimented by five special paint colors. Technically, these colors do not have names. Just like previous years, a few one-off cars also seem to have slipped through. Production color codes normally start with the letter "M". Special color codes start with either a "MX" or "WT" prefix code.

There were eight regular production colors for the 1969 model year. These are shown in the chart above. Each of these carries a Ford color code. The most common colors are listed at the top of the chart.

Special Paint Color Names

In most cases, the special paint colors do not officially have a color name or a Ford warranty, color code. The are identified by a blank space on the door/ warranty tag. Many people call these "grabber colors". Almost one-fourth of 1969/70 Shelbys were painted special colors. The special paint names listed in the chart are only for identification purposes. Because these colors never officially had a name, they are often referred to by a name associated with the color codes. These could be names from other years or even other model lines.

"Grabber Blue"

Grabber Blue is denoted by code "820-1555" on factory build sheets. Mercury called the color Competition Blue.

"Grabber Yellow"

This yellow is called Competition Yellow or Bright Yellow. It has a code of "828-1173" on build sheets. There were actually two different special yellow colors, but I dont have any information on the second shade.

"Grabber Green"

Mercury called the color Competition Green. This shade is identified by "WT 7117" on factory paperwork, but also carries the code "MX-704-1564".

"Grabber Orange"

Grabber Orange was called "WT 5014" in 1968. It's also called Mustard or Competition Gold in some literature.

"Competition Red"

Competition Red is the same as Calypso Coral. It was previously referred to as code WT 5185. Some people call the color "Competition Orange". In 1965, the color was Poppy Red. In 1969, the color became a production color and the code was "M-1730-A"

The Frustrating "5"
You will not see the Ford color code "5" in the chart. Many people mistakenly identify this single number as a Ford color code. All 1969/70 Shelby fastbacks were originally built as partially completed Mach 1s. All Mach 1s carried a special, black out, hood treatment with the color suffix "5" included. Therefore, all regular production colors will have the Ford color code followed by the suffix "5". A red fastback will be color code "T5". This hood was not used for the Shelbys, but the code remained in the system.

In the case of convertibles, there was no Mach 1 option. That means there would be no special hood treatment suffix. The color code for a red, convertible will simply be "T". You can have two identically painted production cars with two different codes.
For a special paint fastback, there is no Ford color code. The special paint fastback will simply have a hood treatment, suffix code "5" in the color location. A special paint convertible will be blank. It will be without a paint code or a suffix code.

Manufacturer Codes
Many paint manufacturers offered more than one type of paint. Different codes may indicate different types of paint. Dupont had one code for laquer and a different code for enamel in the same color. Mustangs were originally sprayed with enamel paint by Ford. AO Smith was contracted to use enamel, but often used laquer.

Side Stripe Colors
There is only one factory colored side stripe for each exterior color. They are listed in the chart. As an example a factory, red car will always have gold colored stripes. There are some documented example of the incorrect stripes being applied during production, but these are very rare.

Hood Stripes
All "1970" models received two factory hood stripes. All of these stripes were black in color. All of the stripes were gloss black, except on the Black Jade cars. They received flat black hood stripes. There are no codes or special notations to indicate the presence of these stripes, because these stripes were added by Kar Kraft employees after the cars were painted.

"Some cars are more special than others"

When you look closely, there always seems to be an exception to every rule. A few strangely colored cars came through breaking all the rules.

Serial number 9F02R481027 was GT500 that started off as a Pastel Gray fastback. The car was repainted "Playboy Pink" by a Ford subcontractor. The car was then shipped to Chaffee Motors in California, before being presented to Playboy's Playmate of the Year, Connie Kreski. It's the only known pink Shelby ever built.

Another GT500 was specially built for the president of Goodyear. That car was painted gold and featured a custom, gold interior. Goodyear actually sent a representative to AO Smith to supervisor the build.

Ed Meyer found this usual colored car. It is serial number 9F03R482539. The car was originally shipped to the Marshall Motor Company in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. The car still wears its original Midnight Orchid paint job. The Orchid color was actually a Thunderbird color. The car was ordered by a Goodyear Tire executive.

The build sheet and other paperwork found confirms the special color. M32J 3204 is an internal Ford code for Midnight Orchid. The color was also used on Mercurys and Lincolns.

Remarkably, there was another shade of purple, special paint. This car was denoted by the code "WT 9083".

There were two pre-production cars that were painted black. One was a fastback, the other a convertible. These cars did not receive Shelby sequential, serial numbers.