Colorful Pages of History
The nature of raw or rough Fordite combines ugly, blackened crust with multiple narrow bands of color in all the hues of the rainbow – and then some. It’s even possible to identify the origin of a piece of Fordite and roughly estimate the era from which it hails. For example, a subset dubbed “Ohio Fordite” denotes material found around the automakers’ midwestern van plants. Vans were commonly painted in subtle earth tones and pastel shades (as were boats – thus, Marine Fordite exists) before fifty years ago, then a switch occurred in the late 1960s and 1970s that brought much more vibrant “this van’s rockin” tints to the fore.
Fordite also shows differences in composition based on nationality. So-called “Dagenham Fordite” hails from the Ford Motor Company’s production and assembly plant in Dagenham, England, where evidently primer coats were not standard procedure (or, perhaps the priming was done in a dedicated paint booth). American Fordite, on the other hand, often displays bands of color separated by layers of pale gray primer. (images via Rhonda and Jerry King)