1938 Dark Red - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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1938 Dark Red

I'm looking for assistance identifying the paint code of the 1938 6C 2300B cars featured in the links below.

1938 6C 2300B Mille Miglia Berlinetta Chassis 815025:
https://www.classicdriver.com/en/car...6c/1938/132860

1938 6C 2300B MM Touring Corsa Spider Chassis 815001:
https://www.ultimatecarpage.com/chas...er-815001.html

It looks similar to AR509 (Rosso Amaranto / Plum) used on 1960s-70s 105/115 chassis Alfas, but I don’t know whether or not it is the same.

This 1939 6C 2300B Corto Spider (Chassis 813219) looks as if it might be a slightly lighter shade:
https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/a...touring/293437

I've sent an inquiry to Museo Storico Alfa Romeo, but any useful information or advice you all might have to offer would be appreciated.

For ease of visual reference, this is the color about which I'm inquiring:




1969 1750 GTV (US), 2002 BMW M3, 1991 164S, 1972 2000 GTV (US), 1968 1750 GTV (Euro), 2003 BMW M5

Last edited by TonyRomeo; 01-18-2019 at 10:22 PM. Reason: Add photos
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-19-2019, 09:44 AM
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Hi ToniRomeo,
Colours in question on 6C 2300 (based on photos, so not completely reliable for measurement, but traditionally used for both of models), are:
For 6C 2300B MM the colour is rosso Rubino Scuro AR507
For 6C 2300B MM Touring Spider, colour is rosso Amaranto AR509
Similar but more recent red (after 1978) under the name of Rosso Veneziano was used as final restauration colour on some cars, but it is not considered as authentic colour for 1936-1939 cars.
The similar colours were known in England and USA under names of Royal Maroon and Majestic Maroon and coded 32144 (Hudson chart) or DAL50023 and DAL50077 in Ditzler chart.
Original tonality used in Italy was produced by Glasso as Glassomax Rosso Amaranto 66 AR509, and Rubino Scuro 65 AR507, with darker variant Amaranto Scuro 68 AR516.
I will repeat that it is not absolutely proved that colours in photos are those cited above as photos are not certain source for analyse. Anyhow, traditional colours used by factory were usually AR509 and AR507
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-19-2019, 12:42 PM
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I agree with @ARGTAReg that Rosso Rubino Scuro and Rosso Amaranto would be the closest candidates -- as a starting point.

I would suggest the consideration of the following three caveats:

1. I do not believe that a race car (like the Spider shown in the first post) would have been painted in that color (but rather the Rosso Alfa race color of the period).

2. I do not believe that the was a uniform or standardized Alfa Romeo color palette at the time, because (a) paint was applied (and color decided) by the coach builders, and (b) color was mixed in such small batches that there probably was quite a bit of variation even of the same color, and here was likely some variation in painting processes (who painted it, temperature, humidity, etc.).

3. Ian, who painted the 8C 2900B that won Best of Show at 2018 Pebble Beach (see here), told me that he painted over 100 test panels until they figured out the shade of dark blue color, and how to reproduce it repeatedly (as the restoration workflow dictated that the body and fenders had to be painted at different times). I recall him showing me three test panels that came from the same gallon of paint (with same prep, dilution, solvents, etc.), but, under test lights, looked different -- just because of different drying times (which may have been due to small variances in temperature, humidity, moon phase, etc).

So, I would not go overboard with research on original color: First of all, I don't think there are any reliable sources what the original color was. Secondly, the chemistry of paint has changed quite considerably since then. Thirdly, the quality standards of what we consider to be good or perfect paint are substantially higher now than they ever were in period (for example, the paint job on the car shown above is now probably much better than when it left the factory).
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-Ruedi
[SIZE="1"]'63 2600 Touring Spider (AR 191437, the car that started the 2000/2600 International Register, reassembly in progress)
ex-'65 2600 SZ (AR 856043, the car in my avatar, sold as resto project to Austria)
Maintainer of a private 2600 SZ register (not the one in the Netherlands).[/SIZE]
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-19-2019, 12:52 PM
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BTW, the references to 65, 66, and 68 in the Glassomax card seem to pertain either to the model year of the car, and/or the year that this specific paint formula was introduced. Note that "Kann nicht gemischt werden" means "cannot be mixed" by a paint shop (which often meant that paint could not be mixed in small batches, i.e. the correct hue/tint requires less than 1 drop of a mixing color per kilo or liter of paint).
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-Ruedi
[SIZE="1"]'63 2600 Touring Spider (AR 191437, the car that started the 2000/2600 International Register, reassembly in progress)
ex-'65 2600 SZ (AR 856043, the car in my avatar, sold as resto project to Austria)
Maintainer of a private 2600 SZ register (not the one in the Netherlands).[/SIZE]
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-19-2019, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the very informative responses, all caveats included. In full disclosure, I am restoring (resto-mod'ing?) a 105 series GTV and have been wavering between the original period AR509 and AR516 colors, having seen examples of both that vary a bit in shade and wishing there were a hue that bridges the two and evokes the early racing era(s). I've considered the modern Alfa color Monza Red, as well as a number of period Ferrari, Lancia, and Maserati colors, but was not already aware of Rubino Scuro AR507. With all of this information, I feel much better about being able to achieve my objective.

Molto grazie!

Tony

1969 1750 GTV (US), 2002 BMW M3, 1991 164S, 1972 2000 GTV (US), 1968 1750 GTV (Euro), 2003 BMW M5
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