Datsun Roadster Information from Rallye Enterprises, Ltd.

Page Title:  The Hardest Part?

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Original Colors

Which Colors Which Years?

Chassis & Upholstery Colors

Quite a few people over the years have asked us what color they should paint their car. Most were inquiries pertaining to questions on the original colors. Some people just couldn't make up their minds and wanted me to do it for them. (That's a good way to lose a friend!) I thought I'd put out my generalized answer so all of you can agree/disagree, snicker, be shocked, be offended, have a good laugh, or most important...take a look at your own roadster and see if it could use some sprucing up!

The color's got to be something YOU like. YOU are going to have to pay for it, wash it; wax it and LOOK AT IT. To heck with everyone else. Cars like the roadster are culture, whether or not they are bone stock white or screaming, eye watering metalflake yellow.

When we used to have a walk-in counter in the 70's I always thought about putting in two doors and divide the waiting room, like the animal clinics have for dogs and cats; except in my case it would have been one door for the "keep it original" people and the other door for the "keep the shell everything else goes" people. People in between would be on their own!

I don't want to be thought of as a fence sitter, just wide minded! I like both groups of people but they sometimes didn't like each other! I like seeing roadsters that are correct down to the 5.60 tires with correct whitewalls. I also like the other extreme. My favorite was a car that had the rear axle and IRS system off of an XKE I think. The entire rear axle assembly with all the linkage pieces was chrome. The front body had been welded together into a one seamless piece that flipped forward, like a Triumph GT6. I never found out what drivetrain ended up in it.

The original colors that were used on the roadster were for the most part very mild. (except "Cherry Red" on the early cars!) It was a very expensive car to own in Japan at the time and I think they wanted the car's paint color to reflect its hoped-to-be "status". As far as staying with an original color, if you like it, great, but I wouldn't expect any financial benefit from it at this point. Someday maybe...when it's time to put the car in a museum. In the meantime...in my humble opinion...YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, SO

GO FOR IT!....for 19" & bigger monitor click here
Sorry I couldn't do any earth tones (gold, silver, copper) and there are a few hundred other great colors out there also. Check what was on the MGB in the early 70's. Nice...almost all of them. And that rootbeer on the 74 Buick. Just doing this section makes me want to stop working on this website and go play in my own garage!
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ORIGINAL COLORS (LHD cars)

The purpose of a "chip-chart" is just to order touchup paint and to identify your color if the original tag is gone. Looking at a small piece of color in a book will not tell you what the color will look like on your car. If you are really considering going with a certain color, original or not, and cannot find a car that has recently been painted that color; you should consider having your body shop purchase a minimum quantity of the color and paint at least a one square foot of metal that they've probably got lying around. It's best to use a chunk of something that has both curves and flat spots; and look at it in all types of light. Keep in mind that unless the care in preparation and painting is the same as you are going to require on your car the paint will not look the same. The color may be the same, but the "look" of the paint will be different. (That's why even BEIGE looks great on a Mercedes!)

With these color samples below I have tried to make something that is more representative of what the colors would look like if the sample was bigger. A true "chip" chart will look different. I took a picture of a chip chart, compared the digital images to the chart, adjusted them so they looked close, and comparing the result to actual paint samples found they did not give an accurate "feel" of the color.

I went through most of our car inventory, peeling off never removed smog stickers and paint stickers to find original "kept from the light and air" paint samples. Even so, paint can change color just from age, but it's as close as we can get without actually mixing the paint. After taking closeup digital pics and then comparing the monitor's presentation of the color to the sample (usually a small piece of the car's cowl) we again adjusted our colors to be as close as possible. These colors look completely different from sunlight to shade to artificial light. Different computer monitors and/or operating systems can represent each color differently as well. The lighter grays look like silver, the darker one is just gray. Unfortunately, due to an unacknowledged paint problem, all of these grays began looking like gray primer within just a short time. Many roadsters were repainted very early in their lives.

This chart represents what we believe to be correct. Although exported SP310s and SPL310s supposedly were painted in the Turquoise and the Nissan Blue, I have never found one I could prove was original. It's possible that they were only on RHD cars. We keep hoping that one of these days someone will turn up accurate sales records from Nissan showing how many of each color where shipped/sold everywhere or even what vin numbers were painted what colors. If any reliable information lands on our doorstep we'll pass it on. As we began this journey when the cars were relatively fresh and have always had a bit of an information fetish, we've kept notes on a lot of these tidbits, however, information from any of you REAL oldtimers is ALWAYS WELCOME!

PAINT NOTES: We are also providing the current PPG formulation numbers where possible. (In case your paint store doesn't have an old enough book) Some colors have been used by Nissan before under different paint numbers. One paint number, 531 was even used in the 80's for a different color! (Vail White). Color #410 Pagoda Red, was used on the 312 and other vehicles. The same formulation red was used on the roadster as #524 and called Hustler Red. Cherry Red was issued under #525, but previously was #415 (same PPG formulation#) Turquoise #562 is the same formulation as Turquoise 170 from earlier years. RETURN TO TOP

COLOR

COLOR #

NAME

PPG#

502

IVORY WHITE

8408

503
511

GRAY
SILVER GRAY MET.

33026
32536

505

THUNDER BLACK

9769

524

HUSTLER RED (prev Pagoda)

79913

525

CHERRY RED

71535

531

BEIGE GRAY MET.
(SILVER BRONZE MET.)

39953

562

TURQUOISE

19924

563

SORA BLUE

13165

567

NISSAN BLUE

12520

655

OFF WHITE

8794

664

SPANISH RED

71812

665

YELLOW

81768

666

SILVER GREY MET.

32831

WHICH COLORS WHICH YEARS?

Available records only show useage by calendar year, not model year so you have to guess by your vin which year your car was actually produced in. Keeping in mind that we believe some of Nissan's paint records to be inaccurate (compared to what we've seen) making definitive statements on pre-68 cars can be difficult. Some colors may have been used only at the beginning of the model year which would have been some months before the calendar year expired. If you still have your original paint sticker on the cowl, let us know your vin and the paint number, we'll update this information. I have yet to see any Nissan sales brochure for any year's roadster production that lists the colors for that year, or a separate paint chart from Nissan for a given year. These were available for some of the older models. Of course, this isn't hard to accept when you realize that Nissan didn't bother to take new pictures of its cars from 67-70, deciding instead to have someone "doctor" the old photos, with somewhat humorous results.


63-65 1500

502

503

505

524

562

563

567

.

65-67 1600

502

505

511

525

531

563

.

67 1/2 1600/2000*

*Some evidence suggests that the colors for 65-67 and for 68-70 overlapped for a time on the 67 1/2 models. Other information suggests that only the "68-70" colors were used on 67 1/2s, which are the only colors that I have seen.

502

505

511

525

531

563

655

664

665

666

.

68-70 1600/2000

505

531

563

655

664

665

666

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Paint chip chart for Datsuns in general for 1968-69 HERE.


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