1929-1962 Dark Gray Engine Paint

By Stephen Kassis

We have had many customers question us about the dark shade of our engine gray paint. Here is a detailed explanation of why we sell our paint proudly:

The question of the correct color on Chevrolet engines has been an ongoing discussion with many “experts” for more years than I can remember. I can only tell you what I know from my 40+ years of experience in selling parts for, and restoring, Chevrolets.

TRUTH: Chevrolet did not mix one big batch of paint with exacting specifications to use on all six cylinder engines from 1929 through the early 1960’s.

Engine paint was mixed in many different locations, by different companies and at different times. Because of this, there are differences in paint lots and shades. When I was restoring my 1931 Sport Coupe in 1980, I found a company that had original paint chips for the body color on my car. In fact, this store had three different paint chip books from three different companies. Yep, all three color chips were different! These were well known manufacturers – Du Pont, PPG & Martin Senour. My point here is that there is no way to have an exact match to paint that was done 90+ years ago. With that said, I will tell you how we came up with the color we sell.

I had a good friend named Dick Bertolucci. I met Dick in 1977 when we both belonged to the Sacramento Valley Region of the Vintage Chevrolet Club. He was a nationally known body and paint man that did show quality restorations for over 50 years. He also had several national show winning Chevrolets. In other words, this guy knew his business – paint & body. He passed away in 2021 and his children are now operating Bertolucci’s Body & Fender Shop that he founded in Sacramento, CA. At one time, he owned nearly 50 vintage Chevrolets, from low mileage originals down to parts cars.

Dick is the one that mixed our original paint sample. He took (from his extensive collection of Chevys) samples from several engines and color matched them himself. Over the years, we have compared this color to NOS parts. Yes we have found slight differences in the shade from ours to some of these. However, you must remember that these parts were manufactured 30-40 years after the engines to which he matched the paint samples. The paint batch color differences must also be considered.

This paint is mixed especially for us to match the original engine enamel color for 1929-1962 Chevrolet cars & trucks. It is made in dark gray acrylic enamel. It can be used, AS IS, right out of the can without a catalyst or reducer for AIR DRY finish. If a catalyst is desired for a harder finish, use PPG Light Industrial Coatings Division ALK-200 catalyst, which is a compatible product.

NOTE: This is not a high heat paint and should not be used on exhaust manifolds. See our high heat Cast Iron Gray paint for manifolds.

Specific Applications: 1929-1952 All Chevrolet Passenger Cars & Trucks; 1953 Passenger with Standard Transmission; 1953-1962 Chevy Trucks with 6-Cylinder engines.

Bottom line to all of this is that we have done everything possible to sell the correct engine paint to our customers. We firmly believe that our paint is the most accurate match to original color that is available anywhere. We guarantee all of our products to be to your satisfaction.