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1968 - (1969?) Rainbow of Colors West Coast Promotional Mustangs
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This is a summary of the information we've been able to gather on the Mustang sales promotion that ran between 1968 and possibly 1969 in the western United States called the Rainbow of Colors which allowed new Mustang owners to order a car in one of several special factory colors with wild names. The promotion was heavily advertised in the Los Angeles, San Jose, Honolulu, Salt Lake City areas from February through June of 1968 but its colors and options may have continued well into 1969. We've found owners of several Rainbow of Colors Mustangs, found several local dealer newspaper advertisements, and have been looking up paint codes to find out more. So here is a summary of what we have found so far.

All Rainbow of Colors promotional Mustangs were special order built in the San Jose plant; and as verified by newspaper sale advertisements, ordered in the Los Angeles, San Jose, Salt Lake City areas. We have also found an owner who purchased on in Honolulu. The earliest advertisement for the promotion we could find is a Ford advertisement on February 14th, 1968. This advertisement calls the promotion a Rainbow Sale which features 10 special colors, on 500 limited edition Mustangs, in the West. It doesn't list the 10 colors, but a few years later PPG Ditzler put out a supplemental 1967-69 Ford paint bulletin listing 13 colors for a Rainbow of Colors special. After collecting several dealer created Rainbow Sale advertisements from February through June of 1968, we see that specific color names and options are listed. It appears in many cases, the cars were Sprint optioned hardtops ordered by the dealer in groups of 10 special colors and setup along side their standard color Mustangs as part of a "Rainbow" sale. It also appears from the newspaper advertisements that sale went by many names Rainbow of Colors, Special Rainbow Colors, Rainbow Series, Rainbow Roundup, Special Rainbow Finish, Rainbow Mustang Sale, or just Rainbows. We believe there is also color printed advertising material out there, we are trying to get copies of them.

Below is an early advertisement from Galpin Ford of North Hills, Los Angeles in the February 16th, 1968, edition of the The Valley News and Green Sheet. It says Colors you never dreamed you would see on an automobile are being unveiled today during a spectacular Rainbow Sale at Galpin Ford Square. Orange Ice, Hot Pink, Swiss Chocolate, and Razzle-Dazzle Yellow are just a few of the dozens of exclusive colors you will find on new '68 Fords at Galpin. And the promotion was not limited to just Mustangs, it included the Galxie 500 and Falcon 2-door. A later sale advertised by Galpin Ford on February 24th, 1968 included the color Yummy Yellow and the Fairlane and Cortina Model C. A different ad from Henry S Day Ford of Salt Lake City uses the color names Powerful Purple, Chartreuse, Passionate Pink, Coral, Sunlit Gold, and Acapulco Blue. Another ad from Flandro Ford Ford of Pocatello, Idaho lists the colors of Stone Yellow, Turned-on Orange, Gremlin Green, Flower Orchid, Beatnik Blue, and Poppy Pink.

Wild new colors for wild new Mustangs, says one newspaper advertisement from Utah. Here is a selection of some of the later advertisements we have found:

So look for Vehicle Identification numbers starting with 8R or 9R with a door data tag DSO code of 71 for Los Angeles or 72 for San Jose or 73 for Salt Lake City and a four digit special order number following. So far we believe highly that the the following DSO and special order numbers are Rainbow of Colors promotional Mustangs. We are starting to think the 1969 listings are other promotions. An interesting one is the set of 1969 Mach 1 Mustangs from Russ Davis Ford. In 1969 Russ Davis Ford promoted racing teams including Gas Ronda. It is possible that the 1969, bright, colorful, special order, Mach 1 Mustangs from Russ Davis where part of a racing promotion.

196871 0424at least one special order orange (Madagascar Orange) 302-4V (J-code) Mustang convertible with deluxe interior scheduled for assembly on December 11, 1967
196871 0772ordered by Mel Burns Ford of Long Beach CA
196871 0776at least one Flower Power Red convertible ordered by Highland Park Motors of Los Angeles CA with a build date of February 9th 1968
196871 0777at least one Red or Orange (probably Flower Power Red) hardtop ordered in Los Angeles CA with a build date of February 23th 1968, and another just found which is definitely Orange.
196871 0778Passionate Pink hardtop ordered in February just in time for the Color of the Month St Valentines day promotion (7th of February) but to date we have found no evidence that the Color of the Month promotion actually existed
196871 0779at least one cream hardtop ordered in February with a C-code 289ci V8.
196871 0782133 Mustangs (at least one ordered with customer selected special paint light yellow) by Mel Burns Ford Long Beach CA
196871 0783at least 2 (one, two) Sierra Blue hardtops ordered by MCCoy & Mills Ford Fullarton CA with a build date of February 23rd 1968. 123 cars were part of this order.
196871 0784at least two Mustang fastback and 1 hardtop, painted special order WT8095 delivered to Bill Ellis Ford in Rialto CA, and/or Vels Ford Sales in Torrance CA
196871 0785at least one Light Blue or Green (WT7080?) hardtop, automatic, 289ci V8
196872 1185at least two yellow Mustangs (possibly the light yellow Whipped Cream color), build date February 16th? (one was sold in Honolulu)
196872 1187at least two Madagascar Orange hardtops (one and one) with a build date of February 16th
196872 1192at least one Sierra Blue from Paul Swanson Ford 16005 San Jose, CA
196872 1193at least one J-code hardtop, originally probably Poppy Green (WT7034)
196872 1194at least 2 (one, two) Olive Green cars ordered by Lou Gerard Motors, Redding CA scheduled for build on February 16th
196872 2806at least one possible Madagascar Orange hardtop ordered by Ames Ford of San Rafael CA with build date of June 7th 1968
196873 3059at least 2 cars (one, two) ordered by Russett Ford of Salt Lake City in what we think is Forest Green
196873 3060at least one hardtop J-code V8 with a build date of the 21st of March 1968 in special order purple (probably WT9083)
196873 3061at least one Coral (WT9012) ordered by Gooding Fordin Gooding Idaho.
late Rainbow of Colors or other local promotion
196973 7479at least one pink Sportsroof shipped to the Salt Lake City area and assembly date of November 19 1968
196971 3200
71 3313
two shipments of 10 special order paint Mach 1's to Russ Davis of Covina CA build date May 22nd and June 10th (see all three cars on our site)

Besides these, we've found several dealers with advertised Rainbow Mustang Sales. They include:

Galpin Ford in North Hills, Los Angeles, California
Conoga Park Ford, Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California
Mel Burns Ford of Long Beach, California
Glen Organ Ford of Long Beach, California
Harper Ford of Eureka, California
Underwood Ford of Ukiah, California
Givan Ford in Provo, Salt Lake, Utah
Larson Ford in Salt Lake City, Utah
Henry S. Day Ford of Salt Lake City, Utah
E&M Ford of Layton, Utah
Capital Ford of Helena, Montana
Flandro Ford Ford of Pocatello, Idaho

Published list of 13 colors + Purple

We think it was up to the dealer to select and name special order paints offered by Ford in 1968 and 1969 for the Mustang Rainbow Sale. The preferred special order color list may have been from the 13+1 we've listed below, although the original promotion had 10, one of which was purple. From many of the newspaper advertisements we've found, the dealer pre-ordered the colors on Mustangs in groups of 10 or so and displayed them as part of the promotion.

The special color information from a Ditzler 1969 Supplemental Bulletin indicates 13 colors for the 1969 Special Mustang Rainbow Colors. Note the "Over" at the bottom, there is more special order paint information on the back for other Ford promotions. More information comes from the The Sherwin Williams paint database. It lists a Fleet of "Rainbow of Colors - 1968 Mustang" which specifies 12 colors which match perfectly with the 13 listed by PPG Ditzler with the exception of WT5185 Flower Power Red which is not included.

One other note is the date of the promotion. From this bulletin we don't see the promotion listed as both 1968 and 1969, but Sherwin Williams lists only 1968. We know that 3 of the 13 colors were part of the 1968 Color of the Month promotion which was run at least in Denver and the first 4 months of 1968. But this doesn't explain the use we've found for many of the other colors listed here in 1968. It is possible that due to the excessive use of special local colors in territorial special promotional Mustangs in 1967, that this carried over to the 1968 Color of the Month promotion which may have lasted more than the first 4 months of 68 and/or used more than the four paint colors traditionally identified. Although we believe that its not a coincidence that of the over 200 Ford special paint colors available in 1968 that most of the Color of the Month paints were also on this list of 13, and that the western US Rainbow of Colors promotion started in 1968.

But what about purple? We think WT9083 (ditzler code 50785) is the purple called Powerful Purple or Flower Orchid. There are several possibilities for this color. See the bottom of this page for more information. You can also visit our Purple Mustang page which has all the possibilities along with other purple Mustang information.

The largest list of promotional color names was researched by Karen Rose who owns one of these special cars. Her list includes: Whipped Cream, Spanish Gold, Dandelion Yellow, Hot Pink, Caribbean Coral, Forest Green, Sierra Blue, and Moss Green. Our goal is not to assign color names to colors but to determine what all the colors looked like and find examples of each. From what we can gather, Ford assigned a 4 digit M paint code to production colors from the 1930s to the present. Special order fleet colors got 4 digit WT paint codes. All other colors, usually brought over from other manufacturers, got 5 or 6 digit MX paint codes. Lists of Ford paint codes, especially the Ford Special Paint Fleet books, have allowed us to track down all of the colors.

The Paint Color Codes

This is a list of all 13+1 colors and the information we have found for them to date. Click on the color name to see examples of Mustangs we've collected. We've guessed at the paint color names and their pairing with the Ford special paint codes. If you have more information please let us know.

Paint Name Sample Number Ditzler PPG Dupont Sherwin Williams
Flower Power Red WT 5185 60524 97249 1778
Hot Pink WT 9036 71617 6679,6781D 1848 same as 1967 Playboy Pink
Caribbean Coral WT 9012 71667 6779DH 1846
Madagascar Orange WT 5063 60381 1964 1173 a version of Omaha Orange
Spanish Gold WT 3822 23019 6762D 1864
Dandelion Yellow WT 6018 81634 58044 1781 not same as WT6135
Whipped Cream WT 1179 81633 7179 1725
Moss Green WT 7080 43821 7233 1127 Ford Truck Green
Olive Green WT 7105 43827 7235 1807
Forest Green WT 7126 43829 6864 1809 we may have found 2
Poppy Green WT 7034 43817 6770 1799
Beatnik Blue WT 8095 13592 7252 1836
Sierra Blue WT 8002 13582 6544 1825
Powerful Purple WT 9083 50785 6783 1852

Below is a photo of the 1972, Ford, Special Order Paint Selector - Fleet Colors paint chip book with all 13+1 Rainbow of Colors promotional paints pulled out. Books of special order paints were available from Ford every few years to allow custom exterior colors to be ordered from the factory. This inside cover of the book says, The color-chip selections were made on the basis of historical usage by major fleet accounts and to provide a color-range spectrum to meet reasonable needs. There is a red 1968 Special Order Paint Selector book from Ford which contains a similar set of colors. We have several of the later year's books and many of the same colors appear in them as well.

Ford Paint Numbers were typically assigned in order, starting at 0001 in the 1950's preceded by a M2J. By 1968, the numbers were in the low 3000s, preceded by the letter "M" and typically an "A" at the end for an exterior gloss finish. In 1977, they were up to the mid 5000s. It also appears that very early on Ford reserved some numbers for special order paints at first with 5 digit numbers and later, in the 1960's, with a series of 4 digit number preceded by the letters WT (non-standard special order paints having 5 digits and preceded by the letters MX). The special WT codes are divided up as follows WT0000s for whites, WT1000s for off whites, WT2000s for gray, WT3000s for brown and gold, WT4000s for red, WT5000s for orange, WT6000s for yellow, WT7000s for green, WT8000s for blue, and the WT9000s for purple maroon and pink. The metallic paints were 800 and above in each set. This special use of reserved color codes is still being used today.

Ford Paint Number reuse is not that common. In most cases we see very old colors, such as Diamond Blue M0921, don't change and is used a great number of years even though the Dupont formulation changes. We have been able to confirm that in many cases if a special order WT code paint is used as a standard offering for a year, then the 4 digit number does not change; just an M is added to the beginning and in most cases an A at the end. Blue WT8816 follows this reuse rule, Yellow WT6018 does not.

Special Order WT5063 WT5185 Orange

The 1969 Ditzler Supplemental bulletin shows two special order orange paints used by the Rainbow of Colors promotion.

Special Order Orange, WT5185, was also Flower Power Red used on the 1969 Limited Edition 600 Mustangs and strangely enough on Gravely lawn mowers called Mustang Red. The 1984, Ford Special Order Paint Selector - Fleet Colors book indicates that WT5185 has an alternate Dupont paint code of 97249 which is Poppy Red or Calypso Coral or Competition Orange. Poppy Red and Calypso Coral both share Ford production paint code M1730 and as well as 1969 Ford Competition Orange.

Red is not one of the 9 color names listed above, so we will use the 1969 color name Flower Power Red for now.

Special Order Orange, WT5063, was probably more popular. We got wonderful examples from Karen Rose of North Carolina and list of the nine colors she knew of and what she thought they were. There are also other Madagascar Orange Mustangs out there.

Karen has called her car Madagascar Orange, so we will use the same name for Orange WT5063. Other orange promotional names used include Orange Ice and Turned-On Orange.

Special Order WT9036 Pink

Special Order Pink, WT9036, was also called Passionate Pink which was used on the 1968 February Color of the Month promotional Mustang, and Playboy Pink available as a special order Mustang paint in 1967. Two other pink paints were common in the late 1960's on Mustangs but were not the same as special order pink WT9036. One of these, is the 1967 Mustang paint Dusk Rose, M0835, which was also used as a standard color on the 1957 Thunderbird. Dusk Rose is a bit darker than Pink WT9036. The other pink is 1966 Playmate Pink which is lighter than Pink WT9036. We are searching for more information on 1966 Playmate Pink used on a Mustang given to the 1966 Playmate of the year. We have more information and color examples side-by-side for all these pinks.

We are calling Pink WT9036, Hot Pink, which is the only pink in the possible list of 9 Rainbow of Colors promotional paint names. Other pink promotional names used included Passionate Pink and Poppy Pink.

Special Order WT9012 Maroon

Special Order Maroon, WT9012, shares the same paint code with Eastertime Coral used for the 1968 Color of the Month promotion for April of that year. We received our first example of Maroon WT9012 from John in Michigan which we believe is a 1968 Eastertime Coral April Color of the Month Promotional Mustang. How do you tell a Rainbow of Colors specially painted car from a Color of the Month promotion? All WT9012 specially painted 1969 model year Mustangs are most likely a Rainbow of Colors. If the DSO on the door data tag is 72 (San Jose) or 71 (Los Angeles), than it is also a possible Rainbow of Colors Mustang unless scheduled for assembly in April.

We are calling Maroon WT9012, Caribbean Coral, from the possible list of 9 Rainbow of Colors promotional paint names, since it matches the code for 1968 Eastertime Coral used as the April Color of the Month Mustang promotion.

Special Order WT3822 Brown Poly.

Special Order Brown Poly., WT3822, shares the same code as the 1968 January Color of the Month Black Hills Gold promotional color.

We have a wonderful example from Mal Hillier of Melbourne. We believe Mal's specially ordered Mustang is a Rainbow of Colors promotional Mustang because it was scheduled for assembly on February 23rd of 1968 which may be a bit late for any pre-ordered January Color of the Month promotional Mustangs.

We are calling Brown Poly WT3822, Spanish Gold, from the list of 9 possible Rainbow of Colors promotional paint names since it is the only gold on the list.

Special Order WT6018 Yellow

Special Order Yellow, WT6018, is a bright yellow and Reiny van Uden of the Netherlands owns the car shown above restored to the same color.

The Ford Special Order Paint Selector - Fleet Colors book says that special order paint WT6018 shares the same Dupont paint code (58044) of 1955 Golden Rod Yellow, M0358, which was also used on Ford trucks in the late 50's, early 60's.

We are calling Yellow WT6018, Dandelion Yellow, the only obviously yellow name from the list of 9 possible Rainbow of colors promotional paint names. Other wild yellow paint names used were Yummy Yellow and Razzle-Dazzel Yellow.

Special Order WT1179 Cream

Special Order Cream, WT1179 is a light yellowish color with a bit of green in a 1972, Ford, Special Order Paint chip book. Gonzo from Hawaii has a ROC Mustang originally painted in Whipped Cream.

We've also found a PPG Ditzler Automotive Finishes, FORM 8006, Ditzler Antique Car Offset Listing Chevrolet, Ford, Corvette Only!, October 1983 that says Ditzler 81633 is a DDL offset number for the original Ditzler 80859 which is called Inca Gold supposedly used on the 1958 Corvette. Ditzler 80859 is also FORD M0641 used on the 1957 Thunderbird and 1959 general Ford lineup. Inca Gold is a greenish yellow but it is quite bright, it also appears not to be a factory color for the Corvette from 1958. For these reasons we are not ready to call them the same color.

We are calling Cream WT1179, Whipped Cream, from the list of 9 possible Rainbow of colors promotional paint names. Another possible promotional name for this color is Stone Yellow.

Special Order WT7034 WT7080 WT7105 WT7126 Green

There are four special order green colors on the Ditzler Supplemental list but only two possible Rainbow of Colors paint promotional names. We've made many assumptions in matching and creating names of the green paint shown here.

Special Order Green, WT7080, is a light green which has been a special order Ford color up to at least 1988. Looking up historical use of this color we see it on Cessna Aircraft and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

From a process of elimination, we are calling WT7080, Moss Green, from the possible list of Rainbow of Colors promotional paint names.

Special Order Green, WT7105, is a brownish green. Jeff from Oregon has one and so does Robbie Tromp from the Netherlands.

The paint codes match a Testors model paint code which is an official World War II olive green. It is unknown if Testors copied this Ford paint but its interesting that the number matches one of the Ditzler general green numbers in the 1969 Supplemental Bulletin. This is the official color of the State of Maryland Police Department. Sherwin Williams also calls this color Olive Green.

Is this the deep blue-green Special Order Green WT7126 ? We are beginning to think so. We actually have two cars of this color, one is in restoration. Historically, this color has been used by Hudon Crane and the Scott Paper Company.

From a process of elimination, we are calling WT7126, Forest Green, from the possible list of Rainbow of Colors promotional paint names.

Special Order Green, WT7034, has been extensively researched by Peter Manson while restoring his Poppy Green 1969 Rainbow of Colors Mach 1 Mustang.

Peter Manson's research work has found that special order Green WT7034 has been called Poppy Green; therefore, we are also using his name for this bright green paint.

Special Order WT8002 WT8095 Blue

There are two blue paints on the Ditzler list of Rainbow of Colors promotional paints but only one blue in the possible list of nine; therefore, we are going to make one name up.

Beatnik Blue is a color name we've found in several advertisements for the Rainbow of Colors promotion and and for now assigned to the light blue green WT8095 special order blue paint. Dave contacted us on June 27th, 2013, about his Mustang Fastback originally painted this color. Mike, recently contacted us about his fastback form the same special order number (see the image above). With the special order code in the WT8000-WT8800, we'd expect the paint to be non-metallic.

Special Order Blue, WT8002, first came to us from Scott Johnson of Nebraska who owns one. This is an amazing car. This color is still available as a blue special order fleet paint by Ford. Special Order Blue WT8002 is a Ford special paint which is also used as a fleet color by Pepsi.

We are calling Blue WT8002, Sierra Blue, the only blue from the possible list of 9 Rainbow of Color promotional paint names. It is possible that that the lighter blue WT8095 is actually Sierra Blue and this darker blue had another name.

+ Purple WT9083 or M3203 or WT9106 ?

We believe the purple color used by the Rainbow of Colors promotion in the Salt Lake City area is Ford special paint code WT9083 which is a bright purple, see this amazing one example from the Bozeman Montana. Newspaper advertisements use the names Powerful Purple or Flower Orchid.

We are calling Purple WT9083, Powerful Purple, from the list of possible purple Rainbow of Color promotional names.

Two other possible purple paint colors are M3203 which has been used as a production paint on Ford cars, and WT9106 which is a more red purple and has recently been confirmed to have been used on a 1969 Russ Davis Drag Race (Gas Ronda) special promotion.

Purple WT9083

Purple M3203

Purple WT9106

For a list of all special order purple colors available in 1968 see our purple Mustang page.

Purple WT9083 has been heavily documented by Robert Nowland who owns a 1968 Rocky Mountain Life Insurance Company Ford Cougar which was originally painted this color. An historical Ford Fleet search of this color comes up with the following list: City of Ann Arbor, Ford Fleet, Heil Manufacturing Company, House of Sobel (which also used playboy pink WT9301), and Penn Central Railroad.

Purple M3203 came to our attention from Curly and Karen Long who has a special order Purple metallic 1967 Mustang. His car is painted Ford purple M3023 which has been used on the 1969 Lincoln as Medium Orchid and on the 1969 Thunderbird as Lilac Frost.

Purple WT9106 is developing to be a possible Rainbow of Colors option due to Thomas who contacted us about his 1969 Russ Davis Mach 1 painted in that original color.

More to come...

+ Yellow WT6135?

The thirteen colors plus purple may not be the only special order paint selections of the Rainbow of Colors Promotion. Special order Yellow WT6135 came to our attention many years ago because it is a sister car to Peter Manson's Poppy Green 1969 Mach 1 which his research shows is also part of this promotion.

Yellow WT6135

Possible promotional names for this yellow could be Dandelion Yellow, Yummy Yellow, or Razzle-Dazzel Yellow. These are some of the wild yellow named colors we found in Rainbow of Color promotional advertisements of the time.

If you have more information please let us know.