There’s something special about certain paint colors you see on cars. Miami Blue Porsches, Papaya Orange McLarens, and Blood Red Ferraris have always enticed the automotive fraternity. However, if there’s one paint color that elevates the “cool factor” of any Ford, it has to be the color-shifting Mystic/Mystichrome shade.
While there is a misconception that both Mystic and Mystichrome are similar, it couldn’t be further from the truth. First introduced in the early SN95 Mustang Cobra (1994-2004), the Mystic paint—part of an exclusive mix—had pearlescent hues shifting from green to brown to black to purple with hints of copper and teal. On the other hand, the Mystichrome paint was brought in as a homage to the original Mystic paint and now adorned the “Terminator” Cobra with a mix of blue, green, purple, brown, and black hues.
Repainting a car in any of these Mystic shades is a bit challenging. It’s so exclusive that a mere 16 ounces of the paint cost well over $3,000, translating to more than $26,000 per gallon! Attempting to paint your muscle car in Mystichrome has its fair share of problems, and that’s precisely what YouTube channel DipYourCar demonstrates in their latest video.
Sourcing Ford’s Now “Illegal” Mystichrome Paint Isn’t Easy
As you can tell, the Mystichrome paint is a fairly exclusive item. It’s believed that only around 500 coupes and convertibles of the Mustang Terminator Cobra ever wore the color. Mystichrome was one of the most complex paintjobs ever offered and was developed by Dupont and BASF. The latter took three years to develop the Mystic paint of the 90s Mustang SVT Cobra and apparently owned the rights.
Ford, however, locked away the special ChromaFlair paint to keep it safe and secure for future use. Not a lot of shops had clearance to use the exclusive paint. This meant that whenever a car needed repainting, a Ford representative must be present during the process and was responsible for recovering the leftover paint.
But why was it so closely guarded? Apparently, certain variants of the toners used in the Mystichrome paint were supposedly used by the Treasury Department to print $20 bills. As a precaution, Ford wanted someone to supervise the process and ensure the paint was used for its intended purpose, preventing any illegal print of counterfeit bills.
Now, though, things have eased, and more shops have been authorized to work with the color without requiring Ford’s supervision. But, given the cost and intense labor involved, not many shops are willing to work with the exclusive paint. But that hasn’t stopped people from trying to replicate the color.
DipYourCar’s Mystichrome Paintjob Looks Great But Isn’t Perfect
From the video, it appears the team mixed Mystichrome with Xylene, adding two gallons of top coat with two bottles of the solution. The Mustang, which is about to receive the paintjob, has a black base coat, crucial to the Mystichrome paint, as it augments its color-shifting properties better. The team went with the idea of achieving the 90s Mystic paint, which explains the deep orange hue pointed out by Tommy from Spray Source. So technically, the paintjob is more Mystic than Mystichrome.
It’s believed that Mystic shifts more than Mystichrome and appears to be more fun than its successor. Both colors feature the proprietary pigment with tiny 1mm-thick synthetic flakes doubling as light-refracting prisms. However, Mystichrome is ever-so-slightly darker and relatively less sensitive to extreme color shifts.
While DipYourCar matched the paint brilliantly, it isn’t quite there entirely. We wouldn’t call it perfect. As pointed out by one of the comments in the video, it feels like there’s something missing. The comment read, “As a former Mystichrome owner (and having replaced 2 bumpers that needed to be painted), I could immediately spot what was missing. The metal flake.”
DipYourCar’s Mystichrome Paintjob Is Missing A Bit Of “Chrome”
Several people with first-hand experience point to the paintjob featuring a semi-gloss look, or in other words, lacking a bit of sheen. The mastermind behind the Mystichrome color, Alan Eggly, took inspiration from chrome exhaust headers that get super hot and develop a unique hue over time. From what we can tell, DipYourCar’s Mustang has a visible lack of shine, which could be sorted with a bit more gloss?
Honestly, we’re no paint experts. What they managed to achieve is pretty spectacular. It isn’t exact, but it’s easily the closest you’ll ever see anyone get to the Mystichrome shade, other than Ford, of course. Speaking of which, a 2020 Ford GT was commissioned in the Mystichrome shade as an absolute one-of-one, with the paint cost alone amounting to $100,000. While a Mystichrome Terminator Cobra is rare, shelling out four times the money for a paintjob is not something you see that often. But we can’t blame the owner, though. The paint does pop on the new Ford GT.
Source: YouTube/DipYourCar, YouTube/ThatDudeinBlue