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Tri-Tone 55 Buick colors


JCK55buick
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This beauty is for sale currently on e-Bay (not mine), so I was curious if the color combination was correct.

In the 2005 Judging Handbook, I note only four possible combos for tri-tones in 1955.  It also states that the first letter is upper color, 2nd letter is for center color and 3rd letter for lower color.

Here are the possible three tone combinations:  ADB, EKH, BML, and ASC.

A = Carlsbad Black

D = Windsor Grey

B = Dover White

 

So here is my question:  has this car been repainted and the owner switched the black to the bottom color and the white to the top color?

Were there any exceptions to the four possible combos?  Could that '55 have been ordered from the factory 'upside down'?

Somebody out there knows!

 

If I wanted to turn my '55 Roadmaster into a tri-tone, I think it would be the EKH, or Temple Grey, Stafford Blue, Cascade Blue.  It still looks nice just as is in two-tone form, with Dover white top and Cadet blue body color ( a mid-year color, I am told).

 

Just for reference if you don't have your judging book handy, the other two possibilities for tri-tones are as follows:

B = Dover White

M = Willow Green

L = Belfast Green

 

A = Carlsbad Black

S = Cherokee Red

C = Cameo Beige

Thanks for keeping me from loosing sleep on these color schemes!

 

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Thanks, Sean, that confirms that other combinations were possible.  Is that data plate off a car you own?  I know the judging manual is dated, but there would be another place to update it and show other possible tri-tone combinations in addition to the four that it currently shows.  We have a non-judged national meet this year.  Maybe by next year's national meet we will have a new book?

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Back in the '50's we had a local funeral home that seemed to have enough clout to get special paint on it's cars.

I recall a new Cadillac sedan that came painted in a dark green to match their older Cadillac hearse. 

Then they had a new Chrysler sedan that was painted a GM color to match another Cadillac hearse.  

My dad always ordered his Chevy sedan because they seldom had much of a selection on the lot, it sometimes

took several weeks to get the new car, but we all know there were lots of GM cars built with special engines (usually referred to COPO) so specials did happen

I suspect a dealer could get special paint ordered but it probably would take some extra time and they might need to push it thru the system.

Today a dealer and the assembly plant would not do that unless you are some company like Mary Kay, ATT,  etc

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In 1954 Dad had a customer that wanted a 4-door Roadmaster painted unusual colors.

 

Green main body, bright Red top, and Blue interior, during that time frame orders were sent in by mail, the factor called and said, ARE YOU SURE, Dad said, YES, it is going to be a Carnival Parade car.

 

I remember the evening the customer came to pick it up, he walked in, saw the car, and said, SMITTY, ISN'T IT BEAUTIFUL.

 

Dim days are long gone, I would imagine.

 

Dale in Indy

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  • 3 weeks later...

In November 1954, my Dad bought a new 1955 Century Model 61 that had a three-tone paint job as follows:  Carlsbad Black roof, Dover White body, and Windsor Grey below the sweepspear.   Based on the paint codes, this would be ABD, which does not appear on any of the charts cited above.  If this combination does not appear on the chart, it is possible that other three-tone combinations are also omitted.

 

By the way, this car had a blue interior, and had chrome vent-shades above all four door windows, chrome door-edge guards, and chrome gas-tank guard.  Was it ever sharp-looking!  When the '55s were introduced, the four door hardtop was not offered, so the sedan was the only 4-door Century available (other than the Estate Wagon).   It has been a long time since I have seen an example of this model in any color.

 

Another bit of trivia:  I think the '55 Century may have been the only Buick ever built with a circular Redliner speedometer.  The '55 Special had a round speedometer with a conventional needle, and the Super and Roadmaster had horizontal Redliners. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

As far as judging goes, I would think that the dataplate would be bible over what some manual says.  When my wife worked at the biggest Buick Pontiac GMC dealer in Oklahoma, we could order a car in any ungodly color we wanted, as long as we bought 5 of them.  This card is usually played by fleet owners who want vehicles in company colors, but not exclusively.  I remember we ordered 5 yellow trucks one time.  One was sold before we got it, two sat on our lot (but not long), and two we traded to another dealer.  I think the price premium was about $250/truck (sticker).

 

Going back a bit farther, when my dad was on the Toro line at Oldsmobile, he would occasionally see a batch of odd colored cars come through.  They were often Cadillac colors, where someone might see something like an ElDog at the dealership and ask, 'Why can't I get my new Olds in that color?"  Well, for the right price, you can. 

 

Historically, paint restrictions (at least at GM) have been pretty fluid and only strictly apply to those who buy off the lot.  You can get anything you want, you just have to know how to ask.  

Edited by SpecialEducation (see edit history)
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