Information About Painting Your Imperial's Engine Compartment & Block


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Question from April (1958):

Could someone please let me know what color the motor and transmission originally were on the '58 Imperial?


From Hugh:

The answer, as far as I know, is entirely silver for both engine and transmission. I have seen pictures of these cars with certain items in black, like the oil filler cap and the spark plug wire covers.

I think there is a stand color called "MOPAR ENGINE SILVER."

In passing the interior of the fenders and the fire wall should be the same color as the exterior of the car. Certain attachments are black, like the A/C compressor, the generator and the air cleaner.

From Philippe:

I confirm: spark plug wires covers, oil cap, oil filter canister, fan are painted black. All other parts (+ trans.) are silver.

Question from Ken (1959):

Just spent a good amount of time searching through the website, because I am getting the engine rebuilt on my 59 Crown Imperial. Still trying to decide if I should paint the block silver or black. Any sugestions? I want to keep it as true to stock as I can.


From Phil:

I think I'd go with silver, but if you've cleaned the block, maybe the best idea would be to check in all the recesses and see what color paint is left over. Even on a hot tanked block, occasionally there'll be some paint left over. Also, on any brackets that were bolted to the block or cylinder head, sometimes the pressure of the bolt will transfer the paint from the block to the bracket and leave a little paint on the bracket.

From Patrick:

You can get all the needed stickers from Gary Goers. My older catalog shows for '59-'61 valve covers, a decal that reads "Golden Lion 413: Personally if I were doing a full rebuild on my engine due to the costs involved and anxiety, I would not hesitate to replace all the decals and stamps. To me the restoration wouldn't seem complete not doing so.

Correction from Paul:

Golden Lion Decal was for Chryslers. The Imperials had one that said "IMPERIAL".

From Teddy:


From Steve:

The engine was painted black from the factory. Air cleaner should be gold.

From Tim:

Paint it Black like it should be, and paint the valves covers black, air cleaner gold. It will look awesome.

Question from Elizabeth (1960):

Can somebody out there help me? What color I should have at the engine on my Imperial from 1960?


From Paul:

Your engine should be black with a gold air cleaner housing, and gold emblems on the valve covers.

From Kenyon:

Go with black and you can't go wrong for 1960.

Turquoise was the color that appeared about the time that they introduced that newfangled Pentastar trademark, which was later.

Make certain that you have a gold air cleaner. The model store where they sell plastic tanks and planes that you glue together will have a small can of gold that's just right for doing an air cleaner.

Question from Dennis (1961):

I am restoring a couple of Imperials. The first one is a 61 Crown Imperial with a 413, single 4 barrel and I need to know the correct colors for the engine, valve covers and air cleaner.


From Marty:

I have a '59 Imperial 413 and it has a black block, black valve covers, and a gold air cleaner.

From John:

For the Imperial from '59-'61, the engine is black with a gold air cleaner. Starting in '62, the engine is Chrysler Tourquise with a black air cleaner.

Question from Rob (1964):

I had a valve job done on my 64 imperial, and am going to have the engine repainted, and I need to find the original color. If anyone has any Ideas, I believe it is a blue / green color let me know. If there is a place to get this from?


From Don:

Year One is where I got my paint.

From Bill:

I got my 65 Imperial engine paint at the local Chrysler Dealer who had it in stock in rattle cans, the price is right & it's the real stuff. They had a good variety of colors going back to early Hemi's. If you want the IMPERIAL decals that go on the top of each valve cover contact me direct & I'll clue you in, the price is right on them also.

From Dave:

I'd like to recommend against the MOPAR spray bombs, as they have considerably more blue shading in them than did the original turquoise paint (correct color name). The noted restorer Roger Gibson has, through associate Frank Badalson, what they designate in ads in Hemmings and elsewhere as the correctly pigmented paint.

I did a gasket teardown and rebuild of my engine a couple of years ago, and the areas still in good original condition were considerably different looking after using the MOPAR paint. That genuine turquoise is a unique color, and as someone else said, it'll run better with the turquoise paint.

From John:

The correct name for the 64 paint is "Chrysler Turquoise". I've seen it in places like Pep Boy's under the VHT name. Other sources would be Mitchell's or Eastwood to name a couple.

From Leo:

If the '64 engine is the same color as a '67, here's a recipe right from Dupont. It's the correct Dupont turquoise paint recipe for '67 440ci. engines.

758           23.5 

747           24.8 

720           27.8 

705           70.0 

721          127.9 

742           277.3 

700           469.5

I took this to the local NAPA and they stirred up this witches brew and put it in spray cans. It made three cans with a bit left over.

From Dave:

That Dupont recipe is certainly best if you need a lot and have a spray gun but if the 64 color is the same green as a 67, I bought a can of it from the Chrysler dealer in Lawrenceburg about this time last year. If I could get it here, where we go TO Mayberry for supplies, then certainly a Chrysler dealer in civilization would have it. I remember when Chrysler green was on every shelf next to Ford blue and Chevy orange but I guess those days are gone.

From Biff:

The paint for your Imperial is available through any Chrysler dealer. It was used for over a generation. The Mopar Performance part# P4120752.

Question from Jim (1965):

My 1965 Crown's air filter housing is black but I can see that it was once the same turquoise as the engine. The car has been in the family since new and I don't recall this part ever being painted (or have a clue why anyone would do so) but I suspect that its supposed to be turquoise. Does anybody out there know for sure?


From Kerry:

I've seen articles about this in some of my Street Rod magazines. Doesn't harm chrome, stainless or even glass but somehow removes paint. It takes a HUGE compressor, one of those things built from a V8 engine that they use to run jackhammers.

From Rodger:

The only non-black air cleaner housing that I have seen ( in MoPars ) are the ones painted orange/red with the rectangle shaped dual snorkels, shaker ram air and the six pack stuff.

Tips and Observations from Dick (1967):

I doubt there is anyone else in the universe that cares about trivia like this, but just in case there is, I've noted some unexpected things about the engine in my very low mileage 1967 Imperial that I am in the process of freshening up. I'm doing a complete cosmetic restoration of the car only because I want to change the color from the present white to Regal blue. This has required a complete gutting of the body to a bare shell, so while I have the running gear out of the car, I am re-detailing it to look as much like it did the day the factory shipped it as possible, right down the paint dabs that the inspectors used to signify approval of torque on the suspension parts, and the various inspector's marks on the engine etc.

In particular, I was surprised to find that the engines were painted with some items attached which I would have thought would have been masked off or installed after the engine was painted. The items that have turquoise paint on them are:

Fuel pump (well coated on the top surface, just overspray toward the bottom) Water pump (but not fan bolt hole area) Oil pressure sender (gauge unit) Spark plug wire guides and wire harness clips on valve covers (these are painted right over the black rubber dip).

An area that is not well covered by paint is the backside of the water manifold and the front of the timing cover, where these two items are very close so as to prevent spray from reaching them.

One oddity that I have not yet figured out is the black crayon "523" written in what I would guess is a woman's handwriting on the front of the right valve cover. This does not agree with any other numbers on the car, so it must have been a number assigned to the engine during production.

This page last updated August 22, 2004.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club