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Repainting older vehicles

Is it possible to locate paint in the original color even if that color has been discontinued years ago? For example, I would consider at some point repainting my 90 Eldorado. It does not need it now, but in the future maybe. The original color is dark carmine red metallic – no longer made. Are there places where I could look for colors such as this that are no longer being used on new cars?


Any paint shop that sells automotive paints can make the original formula. They can even put it into aerosol paint cans if you prefer. I hit a deer with one of my custom rides (coincidentally, a red metallic) and went into the store and they made up a batch of paint that so closely matches the original, you can’t tell unless you’re inches from the surface and staring at it. I’ve done many restorations with original paints as well. It would help to have the paint code you’re looking for but most shops can figure it out from the make/model/year and desired color.

GM cars have have a long code glued to the undeside of the trunk lid. Part of that code is the exact paint number. Any paint shop can formulate the exact original paint color. The paint on my Caprice was starting to peel, and I had it repainted and the result was great.

The shop I’ve dealt with can even do a spectral scan on the actual paint and mix an exact match. And yup, they can put it in a spray can. The good news too is that it’s not a spray can like you’d get from a department store. It’s actually a spray applicator more like a shop would use that can be supplied either with a compressor attachment or with charged cartridges attached.

On a GM car look under the deck lid, on the rear floor by the spare well or even on the glove box door for a sticker a little larger than a credit card. On the very bottom look for a letter “U” and 2 or 3 numbers. That should be your paint code. Also any paint store can use a “prophet gun” to scan the color and mix some paint. The match may be dead nut on but not always. Paint can sometimes come in different variances that must be played with to get a perfect match.

Of course. You can get paint back to the 40’s. All you need is the paint code like 72, etc. They mix it based on the formula.