original 1969 commando colors

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Hey fellow Nortonians,

I have a matching number 1969 750 Commando "S", the one with the high pipes on the drive side, nice for cooking. I was wondering if any of you fine ppls might know of the original metal flake colors they came in. If so would you know of comperable present day color match???
:) Starvin
 
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I have an original 69S and I have the original ad posters. The only two colors available in 69 were red and metal flake blue. Mine is red and I would like to paint it blue, but the original paint is in too good a condition to change right now.
original 1969 commando colors

I'm sure you could find new paint colors to match. The red is not metal flake. I always wanted a yellow S which were only made in 1970.
 

DogT

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I agree, in 69 there was only red and blue, the blue was called Fireflake Blue. Here is a picture of what is left of the original blue from under the panel rubber gasket where later paint didn't get to it. Notice that the colors are only blue, silver and black. Looks to me like a blue undercoat with black and silver specks and then a gloss coat over the whole thing. I see a lot of reproductions that seem to have gold in them, there was no gold in the original. Metalspecks blue by Duplicolor is not a bad rattle can option.

original 1969 commando colors


original 1969 commando colors


Dave
69S
 

Ron L

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I'm sure you could find new paint colors to match. The red is not metal flake
.

I believe both the red and blue were metalflake in 1969. I remember seeing the '69 'S' from the late Zach Reynolds collection after Mike ?? (can't recall his last name) from Northern Ohio purchased it. It was red metalflake. Also a buddy has his single owner '69 'S' that he says is metlalflake red under the yellow he sprayed years ago. I also recall that '69 ad that was like a cut-out showing how the driveline was supported by isolastics as being red metal flake. (Anyone have that ad?). Of course, the color was in the gel-coat.
 
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Ron L said:
I also recall that '69 ad that was like a cut-out showing how the driveline was supported by isolastics as being red metal flake. (Anyone have that ad?). Of course, the color was in the gel-coat.

I would never use the ads as a true guide for what came out of the factory. For one thing the ads are usually with from pre-production bikes and second, the bikes never came with such a fair lass astraddle the bike, or else they would have sold even more bikes. :mrgreen:
 
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DogT said:
I agree, in 69 there was only red and blue, the blue was called Fireflake Blue. Here is a picture of what is left of the original blue from under the panel rubber gasket where later paint didn't get to it. Notice that the colors are only blue, silver and black. Looks to me like a blue undercoat with black and silver specks and then a gloss coat over the whole thing. I see a lot of reproductions that seem to have gold in them, there was no gold in the original. Metalspecks blue by Duplicolor is not a bad rattle can option.

original 1969 commando colors


original 1969 commando colors


Dave
69S
Thanks Dave, might have to go for the blue. Looks real gewd.

Starv
 
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Hey 69750S, thanks for the info, can't really tell what colour my bike originaly was as I think the tank and panels have been replaced at some stage as the tank shows yellow under the red respray at the tank mounts. Thanks for the reply.
STARV
 

rvich

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Of course gel coat and paint are opposites when it comes to the layered effect. Gel coat gets the outter finish sprayed first whereas paint gets the base laid down. I think this is one of the reasons that people comment that the later bikes where a sightly different color. Looking at my '74 it looks to me like there is a very deep blue under coating, and it is lightened up by the addition of the silver flecks in a couple of different layers. The first layer gets some blue over it so it looks light blue and the second layer gets a clear coat over that so those flecks show silver, thus any spot that doesn't get a silver fleck looks like it has a dark fleck. I wonder if this isn't what you are seeing in the gel coat as well, it is hard to see from a photo but are you sure they put black flecks in or is it the absence of light that makes it look dark? I am not a painter, so I would like to know a little more about the process.

Russ
 

DogT

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Russ,
I think you have hit it. I looked at my old Fireflake blue and it was real hard to tell how they did it. It would be real interesting if someone that painted back then could fess up and tell us. But I doubt if that will happen. I think I would know if I saw it though. Nothing seems to compare as a modern paint, not to say it hasn't improved.

Dave
69S
 

rvich

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DogT said:
Nothing seems to compare as a modern paint, not to say it hasn't improved.

Dave
69S

Paint technology has changed a lot. I used to buy yellow paint from the Catapillar dealer here to put on a commercial steel boat. I wanted the boat to show up on the water, and this stuff was not only bright but bullet proof even in salt water. Problem was it had so much chromium and other heavy metals in it that it was outlawed and the newer stuff not only didn't look the same, but it didn't hold up as well. I can't say I recommend exposing ourselves and our planet to these toxins, but it is one of the reasons that some paint will never look the same. It also brings to mind that one should be careful when grinding and sanding on old surfaces just as a precaution, no telling what might have been put into stuff "back then".

Russ
 

Ron L

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Paint technology has changed a lot. I used to buy yellow paint from the Catapillar dealer here to put on a commercial steel boat. I wanted the boat to show up on the water, and this stuff was not only bright but bullet proof even in salt water. Problem was it had so much chromium and other heavy metals in it that it was outlawed and the newer stuff not only didn't look the same, but it didn't hold up as well. I can't say I recommend exposing ourselves and our planet to these toxins, but it is one of the reasons that some paint will never look the same. It also brings to mind that one should be careful when grinding and sanding on old surfaces just as a precaution, no telling what might have been put into stuff "back then".

Amen to that!

The original finishes in the '50's and '60's and even into the '70's were often nitrocellulose lacquer. Nitrocellulose was known in the paint business as "gun cotton" as it was extremely flammable and explosive. Many tank of cellulose lacquer was "lit off" by someone scraping the sides of the tank with a steel paddle rather than a beryllium one. Today's acrylic enamels, even with isocyanate hardeners are much safer to use. Plus we now have chemical respirators rather than "dust masks" for the painters.
 
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