Paint Match Help Needed

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Paint Match Help Needed

850 Dave

Jan 2, 2005
Minneapolis, MN
I am ready to take my 1971 850 Sport Spider from a pitiful brush painted brown back to its original factory color. However, I am at a condrum as to which color is correct. The manufactures plate shows "paint color no 120", and that number corresponds to Fiat Racing Red. However, when I look at 1971 850 color samples on-line the color that best matches the original paint is Fiat Rosso/19 Red. The Rosso Red has orange tones while the Racing Red is straight up red. So, this begs a couple of questions. First, I know that the car is almost 50 years old but the color (in the engine compartment and boot where the previous owner did not paint) would not have faded from a bright red to an orange red would it? And, would Fiat have used more than one color associated with the same color designation? I asked the second question becasue some of the on-line color samples list the Fiat Rosso/19 Red as color #120 ????

Any help with this would be kindly appreciated....


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When I looked up code 120 it comes up as Fiat Rosso/19 Red, which was a colour used on fiats in 1971, and by looking at your colour in the engine bay it deff looks an orange-red colour, remember car paints 50 years ago would not have been of high quality, so it might have gone faded over time, even in engine bay and boot,if the Fiat Rosso/19 Red 120 is orangy it would be colour I would go for,but to make sure remove your identification plate,looks like just 2 philips head screws,original colour should be preserved underneath it.
Thank you jockmr2. I appreciate your opinion. The next step is to find someone who can reproduce the paint color, but that is yet another challenge...
Nearly all good car paint shops, auto factor shops, have scan machines now that can match your exact color even without a paint code, try taking off petrol cap, as the inside should be original color and bring it into your paint sales shop so they can scan and match your color.
Assuming your plate is the original plate for your car, then the original colour is clearly 120.

If it looks like more like 019 now, then that could be just age, or someone might have painted it in 019 at some point. The original colour is always visible under the carpets, or the bulkhead etc. unless the car has been completely nut-and-bolt restored.

Are you sure it's "019" though? I turned up a colour chart where 019 is dark red.

Having said all that, you can paint it whichever colour you like. If it was me, I'd stick to the original colour (120?) even if I didn't actually like it (1970s cars offer quite a lot of nasty colours). Failing that, if you really can't live with the original colour, try to pick another colour that the car came in, so that it remains "period".

Ralf S.


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