Which Original Mustang Paint Color Is Worth the Most?


April 17 marks sixty years since the Ford Mustang’s public debut at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The original pony car immediately became a pop-culture and automotive phenom, and it remains one of the most impactful cars in history. We’re celebrating with stories of the events surrounding the Mustang’s launch, the history of the early cars, and tales from owners. Click here to follow along with our multi-week 60 Years of Mustang coverage. —Ed.

When the Ford Mustang debuted sixty years ago at the World’s Fair in New York on April 17, 1964, it became an overnight hit. However, though Ford accurately targeted the up-and-coming baby boomer generation with the car’s avant-garde design and features, the Mustang wore many colors that were more ’50s pastels than ’60s shock. The discrepancy between the car’s image and its colors has complicated the picture for Mustang enthusiasts ever since. Many owners have opted to repaint their Mustangs, while others have sought cars painted in a rare, original shade. Which original colors are most likely to be covered with a repaint, and which original colors are most valuable? Read on.

For the 1965 model year, the Mustang was available in 24 colors (a few, like Pagoda Green, were only available on the 1964 ½ cars). Yellows, golds, blues, turquoises, beiges, reds, and greens were available, along with more common colors like black, white, and silver.

Some of the original colors aren’t especially valued by enthusiasts today—specifically, Silver Smoke Gray and Silver Blue. To reach that conclusion, we reviewed auction data from over 700 sales, going back to 2014, and compared those results to condition-appropriate values from the Hagerty Price Guide, whether the car in question was a six-cylinder or a K-code, a notchback or a convertible. We found that Silver Blue is worth just 5 percent more on average, and Silver Smoke Gray just 8 percent more.

Rarely seen or ordered, Prairie Bronze is worth nearly one-third less on average, and so is Sunlight Yellow. Vintage Burgundy is popular (almost 50 out of the 700 cars in our data set wore it) but typically worth 16 percent less on average. Conversely, Wimbledon White is relatively common (almost 40 transactions) but worth 16 percent more. Twilight Turquoise isn’t as common (about 20 sales), but worth 19 percent more. Dynasty Green is rare, with just three sales in the past ten years, and worth 24 percent more. A car wearing its original Raven Black is also worth a lot, despite being somewhat common (15 sales): This color is worth nearly 30 percent more on average. The prize for the most valuable color goes to the rarely seen, 1964 ½-only Pagoda Green, worn by only one car out of the 700: This color is worth 61 percent more.

If we group together all the colors, whether original or not, we see that yellows are worth the least on average, followed by reds and blacks, which are very common. However, white is more valuable on average, even though it’s frequently used, and so are orange, turquoise, and green. Gold, blue, green, and silver are in the middle.

What original Mustang colors are most likely to be painted over? Surprisingly, Wimbledon White: Though it is worth 16 percent more than other original colors, on average, it is replaced by a different one almost 75 percent of the time in our data set. Silver Blue, Silver Smoke Gray, Honey Gold, and Prairie Bronze are painted over nearly as often. Given the popularity of red in our dataset (150+ transactions), Poppy Red and Rangoon Red are rarely swapped out. Valuable Raven Black is also rarely painted over, as are Ivy Green and Twilight Turquoise.

What colors do owners typically use for a repaint? Red is the most popular shade, picked almost one-third of the time. It is followed by blue, white, black, and silver. Though Wimbledon White is often painted over, it is also occasionally picked as a repaint shade.

Which 1965-model-year Mustang color is most valuable to you?


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    I think calypso coral and poppy red are the same color. It’s my favorite color. Hands down. Followed by ivy green.

    There’s also an ember glow color (forget the second part of its name) that’s quite nice.

    Calypso Coral was introduced as an available color in 1969. It is NOT the same as Poppy Red, which was actually a shade of orange.

    Many Mustang and Ford forums will disagree and say they are the same color. Just a rename in 1968. I used poppy red on my 65 mustang and was told at the time is was exactly the same formulation as Calypso Coral.

    Couldn’t agree more! When I bought my 65 fastback in 78 it was painted black. When I restored it in 85 I returned it to the original Twilight Turquoise color and never regretted it. Even today, the paint looks great and still get many compliments.

    I have a 63 1/2 Galaxie 500 that’s painted close to Pagoda Green. Looks more like blue.Everyone who sees it says”I love that BLUE”.Can’t understand why Ford called it green.

    Not sure Al. The calypso coral looks a bit more ‘orangey’ to me than Poppy Red, but I’ve also seen it where they look similar. Maybe depends on whos formula and the lighting I’d guess.

    I have a Meadowlark Yellow 1969 convertible and a lot of folks think it’s Wimbledon White. I agree that pastel yellow is a great color on Mustang convertibles.

    My 65 A code is Vintage Burgundy with a white convertible top (The color It was born with). It gets a lot of positive comments on it’s color!

    My 65 A code convertible is Caspian Blue with a white top and two tone blue interior. Maybe not real flashy but I like it.

    I’m surprised the burgundy is so far down on the list. it is my favorite. I actually painted my 56 Ford interior pieces that color in in 1965.

    Which color is the most valuable? The one you desire the most of course.

    Not surprising to see blues, black and green are the most likely to be seen, that is what I have observed in the wild.

    Boy that is really putting quite a fine brush to it, isn’t it?
    Assuming you forgive me for the rather bad pun, I have one silly question:
    The three cars in the last 10 years that were worth 24% more with the Dynasty Green paint, were they really worth more just because of the paint or because they were also specifically and individually better cars?
    I mean there’s some really terrible colors on a Mustang and some really good colors, of course, obviously. And I appreciate the provocative article but just makes me wonder If you can be that scientific. Although as a once-thoughtful, and now antiquated car collector myself, I appreciate the effort.

    The condition of the cars is factored into the analysis. While one Dynasty Green car was nicely restored (condition #2), another was was just a good (condition #3) example. Both sold for similar percentage premiums given their specifications when they sold.

    My 65 coupe has been vintage burgundy for well over 45 years, altho not its original color, which was champagne beige.

    My 66 coupe was vintage burgundy with a black top and interior had the 289 4 barrel my high school car

    I just bought a Dusk Rose 67 convertible that’s been painted over to blue then white. I’m taking it back to Dusk Rose. That’s a RARE color not many people liked.

    Robbie…not what I’d choose but it takes a big man with a big pair to go Barbie. May I suggest perhaps a nice 390 sir?

    and, I think one of the six 66 GT- 350 convertibles was pink. Shelby gave it to his secretary if I’m not mistaken.

    I would think grabber green was a one year color with only 1857 cars painted in that color which only came on the boss and grabber models and special orders would be the most valuable in my opinion

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