Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Multi-Tone Paint Jobs


For our next thought-provoking exercise in list-making, we invite you to name cars with two-tone or tri-tone (or more?) paint jobs. This inquiry is limited to factory paint on production cars; please, no custom jobs.

This is fairly common feature, especially back in the 1950s. The Packard Caribbean (above) started out as a two-tone, but famously cranked the concept up to eleven with various combinations of not two but three, um… tastefully contrasting colors.

Our second example is more infamous than famous: the horrifically styled ’77 Charger Daytona, shown here with its more subdued, less eyeball-searing Chrysler sibling.
Please read through the comments before you post, and add one that has not been mentioned. There have been many, many models to feature more than one paint color, so you should have no problem coming up with your own contribution to our list.
I will leave it up to our comment crew to determine exactly where the defining line should be drawn between a true multi-tone paint job and simply a racing stripe or contrasting fender flares. EDIT: The Commentariat has spoken — Vinyl tops/convertible tops don’t count!
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76 responses to “Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Multi-Tone Paint Jobs”

  1. tonyola Avatar

    1955 Studebaker President Speedster – tri-tone.
    And if you think the Charger two-tone was bad, Plymouth Volare coupes could be had in orange/black.
    <img src="http://www.chooseyouritem.com/classics/photos/104000/104190.1955.Studebaker.President.jpg"&gt;

    1. name_too_long Avatar

      You're here, so, yeah, probably.

  2. Tomsk Avatar

    <img src="http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/829/3621/2071810001_large.jpg&quot; width="574" height="431" />
    1979 Hurst/Olds

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      Oh, good one! Man, we could probably do a whole post just on black-and-gold paint schemes. I'll have to file that one away…

    2. omg_grip Avatar

      79 also delivered gold over white,
      83 – black over silver
      84 – silver over black

  3. dwegmull Avatar

    2CV Charleston. Probably one of the most recent factory two tone paint jobs:
    <img src="http://www.leblogauto.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/Pascal_MICHEL/route_d__or_2007/citroen_2cv_charleston_470.jpg"&gt;
    Yes, this particular one has a custom trailer, but the car itself is factory painted. Image from ” target=”_blank”>http://www.leblogauto.com/2007/02/au-coeur-de-la-route-dor-2007-2.html

  4. lilwillie Avatar

    Edsel Pacer, Citation, Ranger ,Corsair, Villager, Bermuda and Roundup
    <img src="http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i65/lilwillie_wi/Car%20stuff/drivesidedone.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

  5. ptschett Avatar

    The Ford F-series had a very long run, into the mid-'90's. Here's a '78 example in a lovely brown/pale yellow.
    <img src="http://i49.tinypic.com/2j5lv0i.jpg&quot; width="500">
    The mid '90's 1-ton Rams had an interesting two-tone — just the upper cab and the hood. And check out that red interior!
    <img src="http://www.edmunds.com/pictures/VEHICLE/1994/Dodge/7782/1994.dodge.rampickup3500.3106-E.jpg&quot; width="500">

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      Brings up an interesting point…should vinyl tops count?
      I guess I can't see why not, but that really opens up the field.

      1. tonyola Avatar

        If vinyl tops count, then you bring up seemingly half the cars built in the US between 1965 and 1980.

      2. ptschett Avatar

        I'm undecided on the vinyl tops. On the one hand, they do provide a contrasting color; on the other hand, they're meant to emulate convertibles, which usually have a contrasting top color, but are more or less monotone when the top's in the proper place i.e. down/off.

  6. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    Just wanted to post this one too…..
    <img src="http://classiccars.com/uploads/classifieds/1111471.jpg&quot; width="500">

  7. P161911 Avatar

    A fairly recent one the Trailblazer, but only with the LTZ package:
    <img src="http://images.dealerrevs.com/pictures/428162.jpg"&gt;

  8. P161911 Avatar

    1978 Corvette Indy Pace Car:
    <img src="http://www.gailgreen.com/1978_pace_car.jpg"&gt;

    1. ptschett Avatar

      YES. I have always loved this car. And I can not explain it. I might have to blame the Corvette book that my folks got for me at our town's Waldenbooks going-out-of-business sale when I was about 5.

  9. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    I don't think this qualifies as a truly two-tone car…it's a white car with bruises. Or am I wrong?
    <img src="http://cars.88000.org/wallpapers/15/Audi_R8_2007,_Supercar.jpg&quot; width="520">

  10. P161911 Avatar

    1956-62 Corvettes with the contrasting side cove:
    <img src="http://www.webpulp.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/corp_06110_01_z_1957_corvette_side.jpg&quot; width=600>

    1. thomasmac Avatar

      Thats one of my favourite cars of all time, I prefer the later 58-62 but still, such class

  11. P161911 Avatar

    Pretty such any American truck or full size SUV from the 1960s-1980s
    For example the K-5 Blazer:
    <img src="http://www.4x4offroads.com/image-files/1985-chevrolet-k5-blazer-lastscan8.jpg"&gt;

    1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

      I'd love to own one just like that!

    2. Tomsk Avatar

      We used to have an '84 C20 Suburban that was tan with red down the middle of the sides. Definitely an "of its era" combo.

      1. P161911 Avatar

        That sounds better than my Dad's '74 C10 truck. It was orange with woodgrain on the sides. The woodgrain was where the blue is on the K-5 above.

  12. P161911 Avatar

    1979 Mustang Indy Pace Car, seems a bunch of pace cars were at least two tone:
    <img src="http://www.stangbangers.com/79_MustangPaceCar_Pic.jpg"&gt;

  13. scroggzilla Avatar

    MG Magnette Duotone
    <img src=http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/1953-1958-mg-magnette-1.jpg">

  14. P161911 Avatar

    Should wood-grain count as two tone? Or would that be a separate Encyclopedia Hoonatica entry entirely?

    1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

      I thought of that too, but think that since it's a "sticker" it doesn't really classify as a 2-tone 'paint' job.
      Unless you're talking about back when it was REAL wood… paint / varnish… close enough for me!

    2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      Let's save that as a separate category. It could be fun all on its own.

  15. fisheater Avatar

    Should Eagle Talons count? The roof and pillars were black regardless of body color.
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fb/97-98_Eagle_Talon.jpg&quot; width="600">

  16. KAH Avatar

    I thought about a new Mini or Flex but went with Pee-wee's 1959 Edsel Corsair got to plug those classic road movies with classic cars in them.
    <img src="http://imcdb.org/images/095/788.jpg"&gt;

  17. P161911 Avatar

    Some of the early C4 Vettes were available with a 2 tone paint scheme this one has light bronze over dark bronze:
    <img src="http://www.motorera.com/corvette/1980/1984/84bronze1.jpg"&gt;

  18. P161911 Avatar

    Seems most of the Ferrari 365 GT4 BBs had a black bottom half:
    <img src="http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/2/4666/4824/24164911884_large.jpg"width=600&gt;

    1. retro Avatar
  19. engineerd Avatar

    Uh, Gulf Oil livery Ford GT.
    <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4098/4851448368_614a6a9699.jpg&quot; width="500" height="333" alt="Ford GT" />
    If there's any question about factory-ness on that, then this one should be more acceptable.
    <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4098/4851227730_b2aec72e96.jpg&quot; width="500" height="333" alt="2006 Ford GT" />

  20. engineerd Avatar

    A 1925 Diana Light Straight Eight.
    <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4104/4836084610_8b8e89ef06.jpg&quot; width="500" height="333" alt="1925 Diana &amp;quot;Light Straight Eight&amp;quot; Delux 4-Door Sedan" />
    Or is that a three-tone?

  21. muthalovin Avatar

    "Damn. I'm broke. My feet hurt. And that bitch is slippin…" – Ice Cube – Down For Whatever
    2-tone Ford Explorer.
    Boom.
    Cube puts the pedal to the floorin his 2-tone ford explorer.

  22. tonyola Avatar

    The ultimate in multi-toning paint has to be the 1930 Ruxton front-wheel-drive car. Five or six tones and it's a factory finish, not a custom. It was also available in shades of brown or blue.
    <img src="http://nethercuttcollection.org/Images/DynamicLoad/AmeliaRuxton_l.jpg&quot; width=500>

  23. Martynas Avatar

    VW Golf Mk3 Harlequin Edition: 4 Tones

  24. engineerd Avatar

    Of course, these:
    <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4083/4847177014_daf58f6ed5.jpg&quot; width="500" height="333" alt="1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante" />

  25. retro Avatar

    This was a UK special edition celebrating the Lemans success of the 787B:
    <img "src =http://ploader.net/files/318603290539ad269438c6fb4adadefb.jpg">
    And of course there was the Mini Cooper:
    <img "src =http://ploader.net/files/9ba0fdc1ec823e65aa2eed9cbceeca39.jpg" width="400px">
    Plus the new 'Mini' Cooper, but I don't much care for that.

    1. retro Avatar

      OOps, try that again…
      This was a UK special edition celebrating the Lemans success of the 787B:
      <img src ="http://ploader.net/files/318603290539ad269438c6fb4adadefb.jpg"&gt;
      And of course there was the Mini Cooper:
      <img src ="http://ploader.net/files/9ba0fdc1ec823e65aa2eed9cbceeca39.jpg&quot; width="400px">
      Plus the new 'Mini' Cooper, but I don't much care for that.

  26. retro Avatar

    OOps, try that again.
    This was a UK special edition celebrating the Lemans success of the 787B:
    <img src="http://ploader.net/files/318603290539ad269438c6fb4adadefb.jpg"&gt;
    And of course there was the Mini Cooper:
    <img src="http://ploader.net/files/9ba0fdc1ec823e65aa2eed9cbceeca39.jpg&quot; width="400px">
    Plus the new 'Mini' Cooper, but I don't much care for that.

    1. retro Avatar

      Over here in euroland, our Harlequin was a Polo:
      <img src="http://ploader.net/files/c3fdef6dfce0988b196941ccf72e08c8.jpg"&gt;

    2. P161911 Avatar

      Only in the last couple of years have I learned that the Harlequin was a factory job. Before that I thought it was a junkyard special.

  27. Kah Avatar

    The Opel/Vauxhall Corsa Color Race, 3-türig
    and my 2nd car an Kadett B
    <img src="http://www.maxi-tuning.ru/post/14740/Opel_Corsa_Color_Race_6_s.jpg"&gt;
    [youtube pb5NF2QVob0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb5NF2QVob0 youtube]

  28. salguod Avatar

    1 – '58-'60 Thunderbirds could be had (and most were) with contrasting roof color.
    2 – First generation Chrysler minivans
    3 – Current Subaru Outback Sport has a pretty awful two tone.

  29. dragon951 Avatar

    Not alot comes to mind…except the best paint job EVER!
    <img src="http://static.blogo.it/autoblog/porsche_911_carrera_rs_1973.jpg"&gt;

  30. thomasmac Avatar

    1969 Chevelle Malibu all had the 2 tone paint
    <img src="http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d184/photothing2006/Chevelle/P1010568.jpg?t=1281150214&quot; style="width: 600px; height: 450px; border: 0" alt="imgTag" />

  31. Tomsk Avatar

    Don't forget the SVX!
    <img src="http://www.robertlevinson.com/images/svx_1.jpg&quot; width="640" height="460" />

      1. eric Avatar

        and the citroen DS

    1. retro Avatar

      That S13 has got some 180SX on it.

  32. frenzic Avatar

    Mercedes W124 got a two tone job when it was first facelifted. <img src="http://thumbnails14.imagebam.com/9201/caf4f392009667.jpg&quot; alt="imagebam.com">

  33. BlackIce_GTS Avatar

    The first two generations of Supra, Previas, Chevy G-vans, Bronco IIs, Fox Mustangs, most Rolls-Royce, GM C/K MkIII, GMT400 and 800 Silverado/Sierras, first generation Explorers, Mercury Villagers.

  34. scroggzilla Avatar
  35. GlassOnion9 Avatar

    The 1984 300zx Anniversary Edition. I always wanted one of these:
    <img src="http://duncanmotorseugene.com/84300zxae39.jpg"&gt;

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