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History of Auto Paint

According to George Barris in volume four of his Barris Kustom Techniques of the 50’s series (Thaxton Press, 1997), one other Northern Californian who was also experimenting with candy paints was Mel Pinoli of Pinoli’s Body and Paint Shop in San Leandro. In his book George says that Mel “was experimenting with translucent toners, trying to find the secret to what would eventually be called candy apple.” George goes on to say that, “Mel remembers combining different amounts of toner and clear, but that the results weren’t very good.”

What we do know is that by late 1956, Joe had completed customizing Frank Livingston’s ’49 Chevy Fleetline, which Frank then took to Mel for painting. Mel used printing dyes in clear lacquer, two-toning Frank’s car in Brazilian Gold and Tropical Tangerine Orange. Entered in the 1957 Oakland show in January, Frank’s car took the Colonite Wax Best Paint Award, as well as Custom Car d’Elegance. However, the colors faded quickly when exposed to the sun, as the Chevy was Frank’s only transportation at the time. So, ink for toner wasn’t the answer, no matter how brilliant when first applied. George finished his story about Mel by saying, “Eventually he hit upon a combination of toner and clear that worked.” Read more >

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