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During the tare-down process it is important to identify all of the markings that were applied to the vehicle during its manufacture in order to properly reproduce them. Every car is different, so its important to record them before they are lost forever. Here is a list of the markings that I found that can be considered specific to my car only:

  • '252' in white crayon on LH front of the radiator support. Written at an angle from middle bottom to top upper left. Maybe its a rotation number.
  • '8' in white crayon on RH front of radiator support. Located near top right. I've seen this before on a 69 conv in a junk yard in Peru, NY.
  • 'X AC' in white crayon on RH front of radiator support. written at an angle from right to bottom left. Means car has airconditioning.
  • '7' in white crayon written on top of serial number stamped on the RH shocktower. The number is upside down. It maybe a check-mark instead.
  • '52' in blue paint written on front of LH shock tower. May be related to '252' number.
  • '<' marks (3) in faint white crayon on RH lower front of radiator support. May have been reference marks to identify A/C holes that need to be drilled.
  • 'X' marks (2) in faint white crayon across centers of 2 holes in LH lower radiator support. May have been center marks for holes that were drilled there.

There are some markings that appear on all or most of the cars produced. Some of them are color codes for specific versions of a part that correspond to the codes that were on the original factory build sheet. Many specific based on the options that car had. Here is a list of these markings that I found:
  • Yellow/Red paint daubs along length of both front coil springs. This is a spring code.
  • Yellow/Yellow stripes painted on underside rear both leaf springs. This is a spring code.
  • Gold/Gold/Pink paint daubs on center of front anti-sway bar. This is a swaybar code.
  • Yellow paint daub on pitman arm. Lots close to gear box nut. Some near other end. Inspection marks.
  • White paint daub on gear box end cap. Inspection mark.
  • Yellow paint daub on LH outer tierod end. Inspection or orientation mark. MCA judging rules claim it should be green for left and yellow on right.
  • Yellow paint daub on inside of RH motor mount. Designates that mount goes on the right side.
  • Yellow paint daub on rear diff yoke face, large. Line-up mark for driveshaft.
  • Blue paint daub on rear diff yoke by U-joint bolt hole, same side as yellow. Assembly inpsection mark.
  • Yellow 5 or S stamped in recess on rear diff, top right hole just above yoke. Identification mark.
  • Orange paint daubs across the rear emergency brake cables and clips.
  • White paint daubs or lines on the rear brake backing plates next to the adjuster access holes.
Also, a piece of masking tape was found under the upper cowel panel. This may have held a factory build sheet during assembly.


To properly record and the reproduce the original appearance of the undercarriage and other areas, its important to understand how the car was originally primed and painted. First of all the body was attached to a carriage in 8 mounting locations. Because of this, the mounting locations never received paint or primer. They remained bare metal. Most restorers do not leave the mounting locations bare, because they will rust. Starting from the front: The first 2 holes are located on the front frame rails just behind the radiator support, the next 2 are located at the rear of the front frame rails and go right through the floors into the front seat area, the next to are located at the front of the rear frame rails just behind the rear torque boxes and the last two are located in the back of the rear frame rails and go inside the trunk. Eventually the tops of these holes that are inside the car receive plastic plugs on the top.

Prior to priming process, the doors and trunklid were installed. Also the rear quarter extensions and the rear valance panel were hung loosely on the body so that they could be painted with the body. The remaining items to be painted body color were done off the car in a seperate area. The factory used 3 different colored epoxy primers. Gray, Red and Black. However, the standard procedure was to mix the waste paint and primer from the previous cars that were painted, right in with the primer to be used on the next car. This resulted in a primer that was uniquely tinted on each car. A true restoration would require hand tinting of the new primer to match the original primer. At least for the undercarriage anyways. This can usually be accomplished by mixing portions of the base primer colors together. On this Limited Edition 600 the primer on the undercarriage and the shell was a brownish red. This can be easily reproduced by tinting red epoxy primer with black.

Once priming was completed, the lower interior sections of the doors were painted to match the final interior color (in this case charcoal gray metallic, PPG code 23586). Then the lower interior of the doors were masked off and the final body color was applied.

The following is a list of items that were painted body color off the car in a seperate area:
  • The hood
  • The front fenders
  • The front fender extensions
  • The non-functional hood scoop (if equiped, all Limited Edition 600 Mustangs were equiped with one)
  • The upper cowel panel
  • The front lower valance panel
  • The front stone deflector
  • The quarter panel scoops
  • The side window stop plates, located towards the back of both doors. Also in the door jamb on coupes.
  • The sports mirrors (if equiped). These were actually painted by the manufacturer, which means that not only could they be off a shade, they could not be ordered on a car that received a special order paint like the Limited Edition 600's.
Finally, once the body color was applied the engine compartment and other areas of the car were blacked-out with a semi-gloss black enamel as needed. The area under the upper cowl panel was sometimes blacked-out with the engine compartment and sometimes not. Also as a general rule, if the body color was a light color then the lower rocker pinch-weld seam and the lower rear quarter pinch-weld seam would be blacked-out as well. However, this is a general rule that was not always followed. The correct thing to do is reproduce what the factory did on the car that you are restoring. This may be a problem since the MCA Judging rules say the seam should be blacked-out on light colored cars, period. To avoid a point deduction you must either prove to the judge that the car never came with the black-out or you must black-out the seam to avoid the deduction.

According to the 1969 Body Assembly Manual, the upper cowl area was only to be blacked-out if the hood received a black-out treatment. This rule seems to not be followed very well either. From the unrestored examples I have seen, many of the cars had the black-out treatment of the upper cowl area done anyways. My theory is that since the upper dash area (just inside the windshield) was always blacked-out, in order to save the time that it takes to mask and paint this area, the assembly worker would just paint the whole area.

During this entire process the undercarriage was never painted. It just received a thick coating of epoxy primer. During the painting process the undercarriage was oversprayed with body color along the left and right outer edges. Then if the lower rocker pinch-weld seam was blacked-out, then there would be a layer of black overspray on top of the body color overspray. As mentioned before the locations were the body was mounted to a carriage remained bare metal, with no overspray of any kind.

On this Limited Edition 600, the body color overspray went as far forward as the front shocktowers. Also the overspray covered the underside of the torque boxes and the lower rear portion of the front frame rails. The entire upper cowl area and the lower rocker seams where blacked-out. Also from the overspray pattern, it appears that the person who performed the black-out treatment may have been left-handed.

OK, what about the parts that were painted off the car ? It is often asked "What is the correct appearance of the back side of these parts ?"
  • The hood: was completed painted body color on both sides. No primer should show, except for areas deep inside the back re-enforment that can't be reached with a normal paint gun.
  • The front fenders: were painted everywhere that they could be seen from the outside and when the door and hood were opened. This means that the front top inner edge by the front fender extension and the entire rear re-enforcement (by the door) was completely painted. The remainder either received quite a lot of overspray of body color or very little depending on the mood of the person doing the painting.
  • The front fender extensions: were mostly coated with a light gray primer and the were only painted on the front and on the two tabs that were used for mounting them to the radiator support. After painting the area that was covered by the grill was either completely or partially blacked-out. The black-out was done so that the body color could not be seen throught the grill. It makes for a much cleaner look. I've seen this blackout treatment omitted on quite a few restorations.
  • The non-functional hood scoop: From what I've seen the scoops were coated with a gray primer before the mounting studs were applied. The ends of the studs were never painted so they were either capped or they were covered by the fixture that was used to paint then scoop. The back side tended to get mostly covered with body color.
  • The upper cowel panel: either received quite a lot of overspray of body color or very little depending on the mood of the person doing the painting. Every one that I have seen has had two 'L' shapped bare spots in the paint, which is most likely where the panels were mounted to the painting fixture.
  • The front lower valance panel: either received quite a lot of overspray of body color or was partially oversprayed depending on the mood of the person doing the painting.
  • The front stone deflector: received very little overspray on the bottom.
  • The quarter panel scoops: were coated with gray primer and received a little overspray depending on the angle that the visible side was painted from.

Once all of this information is determined for the subject car its time to finally start getting some work done .....