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Where is the paint code on an '86 Buick?


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Yesterday I went for a 190 mile drive in the rain up to Muncie, Indiana and bought an '86 Buick Regal with 52K original miles on it. (I got the urge to buy a clean, original, low mileage Buick after seeing the thread on the '80 Skylark.) The Regal (Limited) was owned by an elderly woman who passed away recently and is in really nice shape. Anyway, I'm trying to figure out what color it is. The paint code is supposed to be on this sticker on the inside of the trunk lid. I believe it's called "yellow beige" which is supposed to be code 54 or GM code WA8525 but neither number is on this sticker. Does anyone know where else I can look or is it on this sticker somewhere as stated by several automotive paint web sites? :confused:





Edited by Lebowski (see edit history)
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That is a very clean looking Regal. What engine powers this Buick?

The tag you are looking for is on the passenger side below the wiper arm (visible once you open the hood). It is a Fisher Body stamped metal tag. I believe they used to be called 'Buck Tags'. On your body style, it may be visible with the hood closed. On my '84 Toronado, it's just in front of the shroud which is covered by the closed hood...

I believe the label on the underside of the trunk lid only lists the standard & optional equipment 'order' codes along with the VIN #.


The Limited comes with a 5.0L (307) with a 4 barrel. Thanks for the kind words, Paul.

I looked under the hood on the passenger side and there was no data plate there. Then I spotted it on the driver's side. I tried to take a picture of it while holding a flashlight and this was the best of the 12 pics I took. There's a "54L" with "lacquer" next to it so that's the code I was looking for. Here are the other numbers in case anyone wants to decipher them for me....









Thanks again for the help.... :)


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Also if you look on the service tag third line from the bottom and third number from the right you will see the paint code 54U.

Thanks for pointing that out. Do you know where I can find a site where I can see what all those codes stand for? I'd like to know what is standard equipment on the '86 Regal Limited and what if any options it has....

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FIRST thing is that the WA paint numbers didn't start until about the 1990s decade. Prior to that, you had to decode the option codes on the SPID label.

As noted, the paint colors usually have a "L" or "U" following the two digit code. In this case, "62" is the interior color. But there's a "54U" immediately preceeding it on the SPID label, which is usually how it was sequenced. The paint codes had provisions for "two-tone" paint schemes at this earlier time, so "U" is the upper color and "L" is the lower color. Note that the "54U" is on the SPID label but "54L" is on the Fisher Body tag. AM6 is the front seat option code, which is not related to color. The Fisher Body tag was a short cut sort of situation for the line workers, it seems, as it only has the codes on it for the body shell to get out of the plant's body shop . . . paint, interior color, seat style, plus an option code for the vinyl roof style and color.

Therefore, I'd believe that Code 54 is the paint color designation.

Remember, this car's production year was very near the first time in which GM started using the Service Parts ID label. As things progressed, they did break out the paint information and put it several lines below the body of the option code compilation. When that happened, it also seemed to coincide with the use of the "WA" numbers, which became the main identifying numbers for the paint colors.

It is not supposed to happen, but I've found several colors, over the years, where the letter after the two-digit paint code number were the same, but with a different WA number. Also, after two-tone paint schemes tended to disappear (plus no real need to spec "upper" and "lower" colors any more), the two-digit number could be followed by a different letter for the same numeric number, which generated a different WA number for each one.

It might be that the "WA" number came into use about the same time the basecoat/clearcoat paint systems came into use. As you can see, the '86 has "LACQUER" on the body tag, which is the paint on it (acrylic lacquer), which is what GM was using back then. This is a totally different thing than "water base" paint, which came into use at the factory level in the later 1970s.

Looks like a very nice car! Just don't expect the Olds 307 to win any races, but it'll do better in that weight of car than in a full-size station wagon.

Congrats on (what appears to be) a great purchase! Be sure to check all of the rubber fuel lines if your fuels are "enhanced" with ethanol.

Take care,


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Thanks for all the info, NTX. So Olds made the 307? I remember that several divisions of GM were swapping engines back then. Can you tell me what color the vinyl roof is and what if any options the car has? Is the "62" interior standard for the Limited or an option? I don't think there's any ethanol here in Kentucky but I'm not sure about Indiana....

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