Monday, May 10, 2010

What ever happened to two-tone paint jobs?

Two-tone Paint
Personal File: So I was driving to work last week and noticed a two-tone Mercury Grand Marquis drive by me. I thought - wow - that looks really good. The colors did wonders for the aging body lines.

As I continued onto work, I had trouble finding any new two-tone cars (not trucks/SUVs). That seemed odd. Classic cars of the 50s and muscle cars of the 60s had available two-tone paint jobs. Even well into the 80s and 90s you could purchase Mercedes, Buicks and Lexus vehicles with two-tone paint schemes.

Why have the automotive two-tone offerings suddenly dried up? What was the determining factor?

  • extra cost to vehicle - Maybe manufacturers no longer saw the value in offering the option?
  • lack of interest in two-tone paint by the consumer - What if the consumer just lost interest, just as they did with shag carpeting and vinyl roofs?
  • car body design - Perhaps car designs today don't lend themselves to having two-tone paint easily?

What do you think? Should manufacturers start offering two tone-paint again or should that task be left to high-end aftermarket and custom shops?

All source photos copyright original owners


  1. I think it's a combination of all 1 & 3 - the extra cost and current designs that don't allow for 2-tone paint jobs to look decent let alone great. There are some great car designs that COULD look great in 2-tone paint schemes - Dodge Challenger for one :) Any design with a belt-line.

    1. Hi Peter - I agree a two tone Challenger would look great! :) Excellent pooint about the belt-line. Cars today are going crazy the belt-lines: moving them up very high, chopping them up, or doing away with them entirely...

      Thanks for posting