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#393358 - 09/07/11 7:20 am Indian Enfield paint colors  
Joined: Aug 2011
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re indian guy Offline
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re indian guy  Offline
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australia
Hi Guys
just thought I'd throw this in:

I've got a paint sample for the Indian Red used in the 55 and 56 series.

I've got a sample of the Metallic Indian Red used in 58 and 59.

I'm pretty confident I have a correct color paint for the 57 series Chinese Red and Seafoam Blue,

but I need the Sahara Yellow for the 58 and 59 Lance,
and the Metallic Blue of the 58 and 59 Tomahawk.

...and would be great if someone out there knew if the 57 Indian Red is the same as the 56 Indian Red, or a new shade. From the way the advertising went in 57 I think it was possible it was a new color and maybe metallic?
any thoughts?

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#394159 - 09/12/11 6:10 pm Re: Indian Enfield paint colors [Re: re indian guy]  
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rotorwrench Offline
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San Antonio, Texas
I've looked all the places I can think of to try and find genuine examples of the paints used by Royal Enfield on the USA export Indian models but haven't had any luck other than for the ones we already know of. When I think of Sahara Yellow I think of the colors the German Wehrmacht painted the vehicles of the Afrika Corps during WWII. Some have it more of a yellow with a slight tint of red and a slight burnt edge to it. I was hoping someone else out there might have an old part laying around that might have an example. I sure don't have any.

My Tomahawk is a metalic blue color. It's a 58 with the removeable cam bearing bushings and larger bore. The only thing about it is that the whole frame and chassis along with all the other normally painted sheet metal is almost a sea foam blue color. Even the inside of the supension unit covers are this color. I just don't know for sure if it is original. I know that Royal Enfield painted the frames on home market bikes same as tool boxes & tanks but most of the USA export Indian Trailblazer models I've seen had black for the frame/chassis and colors for everything else with exception to all black models.

The Indian red is a specific color that I have never seen refered to as Metalic or Polychromatic with the later words starting the phrase. Same with the Chinese red. It's always refered to as Indian metalic red and not metalic Indian red. The Indian metalic red is definitely its own color. It predates the candy apple red colors that came later. The candy apple is a two step process though and I think the Indian metalic red was a one shot process instead of a two step process. It is possible that RE might have started earlier with the same paints used for the 58/59 model year since a lot of 58 models were made in 1957 anyway.

These are tough questions and I was hoping someone else out there might have some experience on these different color changes. Many of the folks that did know are gone now.

Kerby

Last edited by rotorwrench; 09/12/11 6:26 pm.
#394196 - 09/12/11 11:36 pm Re: Indian Enfield paint colors [Re: re indian guy]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,348
BONZO R.I.P. Offline
In Remembrance
BONZO R.I.P.  Offline
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Michigan, USA
If anyone knows a guy named Dale McQull in Ohio he'd prolly know as he has several of these in very nice original condition.Charlie Sturtz may have the info?

I'm certainly no resto guy but I mixed up a red that comes pretty close (as close as my semi color blind eyes can tell) to the red on his pashlee and Trailblazer for the WSI .I chose a metallic red GM color that sorta resembles a early 60's color for the tetanus tess and the chief in a box .I did find the frame and most bits on the WSI were painted the same red color under the black that was sprayed over on the frame and some odd bits .

FWIW-BONZO

#394253 - 09/13/11 6:59 am the list of model colors [Re: re indian guy]  
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re indian guy Offline
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australia
OK, just so we all know, taken from the catalogs.
The color is used for tank, fenders (when not alloy or chrome), toolbox, aircleaner, chainguard. All else is black.

1955:
trailblazer: Indian Red
fire arrow: Indian Red
woodsman: Indian Red
tomahawk: Indian Red

1956:
trailblazer: Indian Red
fire arrow: Indian Red
woodsman: Indian Red
tomahawk: Indian Red

1957 (the colorful year according to the catalog)
trailblazer: Indian Red or Black
hounds arrow: Chinese Red
woodsman: Indian Red
tomahawk: Seafoam Blue
apache: Chinese Red

1958:
trailblazer: Metallic Indian Red or Black
hounds arrow: Chinese Red
woodsman: Metallic Indian Red
westerner: Metallic Indian Red
tomahawk: Metallic Blue or Black
apache: Black
lance: Sahara Yellow

1959:
chief: Metallic Indian Red or Black
trailblazer: Metallic Indian Red or Black
hounds arrow: Chinese Red
fire arrow: Metallic Indian Red
woodsman: Metallic Indian Red
westerner: Metallic Indian Red
tomahawk: Metallic Blue or Black
apache: Black
lance: Sahara Yellow
patrol car: Indian Red (but it was probably Metallic Indian Red like other 59 models, looking at the survivors)

Last edited by re indian guy; 03/06/12 10:40 am.
#394314 - 09/13/11 5:33 pm Re: the list of model colors [Re: re indian guy]  
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rotorwrench Offline
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San Antonio, Texas
One thing that I have noticed was that Royal Enfield used some of the colors on the UK home market machines. Brockhouse's Indian Sales Corp was just that, a sales corporation. Whatever literature they printed up was based on the Royal Enfield publications with the exception to actual sales brochures, magazine adds, & flyers. I'm sure that Indian Sales Corp or maybe even John Brockhouse himself was responsible for changes to the machines for sales to the USA market. Royal Enfield seemed to want to please many requests for this. The first color of red used in 1955 was also used on many of the UK home market machines. I'm not sure if the "Indian red color changed in there somewhere or not. The Chinese red seemed to be a request for a brighter red. The metalic colors were not new to the industry in 1957/58 but they were not used by Royal Enfield much before that time. Sea Foam blue was a relatively well used color by Royal Enfield. I have seen darker shades of blue metalic used but they were more a medium blue and not dark at all. I have a fender with this medium blue metalic color but it's a Trailblazer fender so I can't trust it to be OEM. The USA market Interceptors may have continued some of those colors for a while since the chromed tank and panels weren't used as much as on the home market models. There is not a whole lot of information out there about the USA market models either. I have never seen a parts catalog that covers the 1960 700cc Interceptor model. The UK stuff is all I've ever seen besides the sales adds of the day.

Hitchcock's bought all of Sam Avellino's stock after his son sold out. Maybe they have some left over parts for the smaller Indian models like the Lance. Beno Rodi's dad collected a lot of stuff over the years and he might have some knowledge about the colors. He had a web-site last I checked. George Helm's son, from what I hear, has no real intrest in motorcycles so that knowledge is probably lost too. I should have made a trip up there years ago to visit Mr. Helm. He forgot more about the old RE Indians than I will probably ever know. I could have picked up some parts I sent hm to copy and repair. I learned not to farm out stuff any farther away than I can drive in half a day from George. I've since replaced all that I lost but I sure wish I had it back. It's a long way from south Texas to just below the Canadian border.

Kerby

Last edited by rotorwrench; 09/13/11 5:38 pm.
#394469 - 09/14/11 8:41 pm Re: the list of model colors [Re: re indian guy]  
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George Elston Offline
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upstate ny
Jut one note on the paint list. I was always under the impression that it was only the toolbox covers that were colored and the center was black. I did not do this on mine and now wish that I had.
As for colors I used Ford Toreador red on the Blazer as I had no reference except that it ws available in Poly red. Mine is actually an iridescent red but did not know it when I bought it. Looks red outside but has slight brownish overtones under artificial light.


57 Woodsman
64 Interceptor
58 Trailblazer
59 Constellation
64 500 Sport twin
61 Hornet

2001 W650
1966 W1
#394479 - 09/14/11 10:13 pm Re: the list of model colors [Re: George Elston]  
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re indian guy Offline
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george,
i think the toolboxes were all one color, based on the factory photos, and most of the bikes i have seen.

#394547 - 09/15/11 2:14 pm Re: the list of model colors [Re: re indian guy]  
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rotorwrench Offline
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San Antonio, Texas
My T-blazer tool box still has the original metalic red on it. The short fender piece behind the tool box also still has the OEM metalic red.

I noticed, while checking through my 58 Tomahawk sheet metal, that it has two different colors among the parts. The tank and the chain guard have a medium blue metalic color. The nearest color I can eyeball match it to is a Dupont Imron 44409U Turquoise Metalic. It's hard to say though on a coat of paint that old and worn. It has a tendency to yellow a bit over time. The part also appears to have a red color underneath but it is thin. Anyone know what color of primer was used on the OEM parts if any? I might have to sand one of my OEM parts to see if I can find something under the paint that might answer that question. I'll have a closer look at the tank too and see if I can detect evidence of a respray.

Kerby

#394641 - 09/16/11 7:00 am Re: the list of model colors [Re: rotorwrench]  
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re indian guy Offline
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re indian guy  Offline
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kerby,
under the respray red of my 58 tomahawk is the remains of what could be a metalfake turquoise:

and under the turquoise blue is a darker metallic blue which might be the original RE color.

The 57 tomahawk is a non-metallic color more like the original indian seafoam blue from the 40s.

#396708 - 09/29/11 4:48 pm Re: the list of model colors [Re: re indian guy]  
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rotorwrench Offline
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San Antonio, Texas
Blue was a common color for Royal Enfields in general but not for the 1955 thru 58 T-Blazers. For 1958, the polychromatic red or black with gold accents on the tanks were the most common colors I've seen on original parts that I know are NOS or original. I've never seen the blue on an NOS part for a T-blazer and I have seen quite a few. The Tomahawks were a different story but I have seen little or no NOS stuff for them to be certain on the original shade of blue. The seafoam blue/green is the most common color that I have seen for them but I've seen a few that were resprayed polychromatic red and I know that wasn't a factory offered color for them.

I guess the best place to ask would likely be someone with the UK RE club if there are any old timers over there.

Kerby

#396765 - 09/29/11 11:59 pm Re: the list of model colors [Re: rotorwrench]  
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re indian guy Offline
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australia
Kerby
over the years i've collected a few pics of bikes in the USA which have received the blue treatment - must have been a popular color or a dealer's attempt to update the bikes to make them more attractive. For example, my own 58 'blazer:

often the frames are painted blue too, I've got pics of a 57 'blazer, apache and hounds arrow all in a similar shade, but none of those blues are that close to the blue underneath the red on my tomahawk tank, so I am hoping it is the correct blue.
My understanding is all the Enfield Indians were painted in the Redditch factory, except for the 58/59 patrol car, which was painted in the USA and explains why the color of them is the old Indian Red rather than the Metallic Red from the other 58/59 series bikes.
phil

Last edited by re indian guy; 09/30/11 12:02 am.
#396767 - 09/30/11 12:19 am Re: Indian Enfield paint colors [Re: ]  
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rotorwrench Offline
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rotorwrench  Offline
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San Antonio, Texas
It looks like the sea foam blue that RE used so much. Frames were mixed and matched to a lot on different RE models depending on the sales orders or back log. The Tomahawk frames only had a few differences. The tab to fit the front of the seat and the threaded bungs for the seat on the siderails above the rear suspension units. Super Meteor, Contenintal, and Traiblazer frames were pretty much the same with the swingarms being different on the T-Blazers. Engine numbers were what got really interesting.

That frame may have been ready to mate to a Super Meteor motor and then was resprayed to fill a Trailblazer order. It may have also been resprayed several times in all these years since Redditch. Its just too hard to tell

Kerby

Last edited by rotorwrench; 09/30/11 12:24 am.
#396775 - 09/30/11 1:00 am Re: Indian Enfield paint colors [Re: rotorwrench]  
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re indian guy Offline
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re indian guy  Offline
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australia
I've had frames with the blue underneath too. And some that were red, but that may have been a lead oxide primer.

#396776 - 09/30/11 1:00 am Re: Indian Enfield paint colors [Re: re indian guy]  
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Bigtwin Offline
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Southeast Usa
Hi!
Oh, if only these things could talk!!! They all have an interesting tale or two to tell!!! I try to keep some sort of "forensic" notes on the bits and pieces I have acquired over the years. Bits of paint here and there, or even a particular configuration of cycle parts. Often times they are a bit of a clue as to the heritage of the machine. Titles & year make and model are even worse!!! I always defer to the information from the REOC, but I have some frames and engine numbers that certainly do not even match the oral history that came with them. I have seen frames with layers of red and blue metallic & the seafoam color described under very stubborn black paint. The idea that there was some respraying at hand at the factory makes sense. Using leftover colors as primer could have been a cost cutting measure. My Police Chief project from years gone by came to me in bits, but had all indications of being a standard machine disassembled for no apparent reason. The black paint on that frame was unbelievably hard! I only had to touch up some nicks and scratches, wet sand and clear coat. I could not see any primer at all where the paint had been scratched. Wish I new what that paint was...

Good Luck on your projects! Cool Trailblazer picture!!

Bigtwin

#397034 - 10/01/11 9:08 pm Re: Indian Enfield paint colors [Re: ]  
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Posts: 918
Don Leaming Online content
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Don Leaming  Online Content
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Ontario Canada
Here's an old frame I got with a 65 Interceptor a few years ago. Nice of someone to chop off the rear engine mount! Grrrrr! ... But I like the colour.
Number is 7294. I think somebody on here told me it was from a mid to late 50s 500 or 700 twin. don't know what I'll ever do with it, but maybe someday i'll come up with an engine a gear box to start!
Interesting thread.
Don





1965 Royal Enfield Interceptor
1969 Triumph Tiger 650
#407239 - 12/05/11 5:25 pm Re: Indian Enfield paint colors [Re: re indian guy]  
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anflecher Offline
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Paris,Īle-de-France,France
Normally we get the foam in Black colour only. Pea green paint tends to be of Indian service origin. There are a lot of Bullets on the Indian roads with green color painted on it.

#417420 - 02/07/12 7:59 am Re: Indian Enfield paint colors [Re: re indian guy]  
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rolfdh9 Offline
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England
Does anyone have a current paint manufactures reference for what is referred to as "Chinese Red"?
From the G May book this was what was used on the 1960 Fury.
On this thread it is suggested it is a brighter colour than metallic red.
Hitchcocks have a red, but I do not know if it is the same as "Chinese Red".

#417502 - 02/07/12 11:34 pm Re: Indian Enfield paint colors [Re: re indian guy]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,348
BONZO R.I.P. Offline
In Remembrance
BONZO R.I.P.  Offline
In Remembrance

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Posts: 3,348
Michigan, USA
I look fwd to reading this entire thread as this subject is interesting to me . My input , I have 4 Indian badged RE's , 2 Chiefs and 2 fire arrows .Both Chiefs are '59 model frames and only black . On FA was too rusted to see any color on the frame (not anymore ) and the other was black with a maroon under it . My thinking is the Chief models had a few differences and were likely done to U.S. spec black and the FA was pulled off the line and the home market clipper color was resprayed black for an export??

FWIW-BONZO



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