stripes and flat-paint: a primer
#1
I always thought most people knew why stripes and flat ( or matte) paint was used on actual race cars, and then on "performance" oriented street cars.
But, talking to a lot of the younger car-guys I know, it seems most of them just think they are for style primarily, and have ( or had) no basis in actual functionality.
In reality, they all served a purpose.

Camera and video technology, along with radio technology was quite limited "back in the day", and the only way the pit crew could communicate with drivers during the race was with big reader boards on a long pole held in the drivers range of vision as they flashed by the pits at high speeds, and obviously the messages had to be simple and short.
Many of the cars were similar models, so to differentiate them from other similar-looking cars, they used every trick they could. Different colors and unique numbers were one method, but those were not always effective at quickly identifying the cars at long distances and in darkness or bad weather.
So, the teams would come up with unique stripe designs. Big, bold and simple...but unique from other cars in the same race. The stripes made them somewhat more easily recognizable by the pit crews from a distance.

The flat black ( and other flat colors) hoods were simply an effort to remove any shiny paint or surfaces from the driver's field of vision to reduce any blinding glare. I believe Ford even called it "non-glare racing black" in some literature.

These design ideas simply trickled down to the street versions of the cars as a way to simulate some authenticity.
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#2
It doesn't surprise younger people don't understand why flat flack was used on hood treatments. How about this, I have not come across one person younger that my 69 Mach 1 that have heard of a Mach 1. They have no idea a Mach 1 was a Mustang. One man, close to my age thought my car was a Mach 5. Then I kindly pointed to the decals on the side of the car. I guess he was stuck on Speed Racer.

I have found many people born after, say the mid 1970's, are not at all familiar with any of the late 1960's early 1970's muscle cars. Myself, I cannot understand how that happens.

Best Regards,
Mike
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#3
Good post. The question though for me is if I sould put stripes on my mach 1 convertible??
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#4
If you like stripes and want them on your car, the answer is "yes"!
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#5
Yeah, I don't like them because as I'm sure you know many of these cars came without stripes and/or the Tutone hood but most of them now sport both and many have been painted red of all colors. I painted my factory red car blue to look different from the sea of red mustangs that are out there. Two of my others are also red and they too will be a different color before I'm done with then. One has factory ram air so it will get the Tutone treatment but no stripes.

My pit crew can look for the cars without the stripes. Lol
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