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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Mon, Mar 28, 2011

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

2011 Ford Explorer All-Media Drive in San Diego
Above: Ford Explorer in Tuxedo Black

Henry Ford famously said, "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black." Today, that motto has been flipped upside down: Ford would like you to order certain cars painted in any color, so long as it’s not black—or more specifically, Tuxedo Black. The problem stems from a Japanese supplier that has been impacted by the earthquake and tsunami. The supply in question is a substance called Xirallic, which is used to give black and red paints a slight metallic glitter. Yes, red is a problem too. Ford has asked dealers to not order Tuxedo Black for all full-size SUVs and all full-size pick-ups. Ford has also scaled back its use of Tuxedo Black for the Taurus, Lincoln MKS, and all mid-size SUVs. Finally, Ford is scaling back its use of three shades of reds on the Focus, Lincoln Navigators, SuperDuty and Ranger trucks, and Econoline vans. “Ford is working with its paint supplier to find another substance that can be mixed in, instead,” said company spokesman Todd Nissen. "To be clear, though, all these vehicles and colors are available now," Nissen told the Detroit News. "We have adequate inventories on dealer lots to meet consumer demand." Historians will recall that Ford only allowed its Model T to be ordered in black for many years at the turn of the 20th century. The color restriction back then was due to the black lacquer—then called Japan Black—drying faster than other colors. The single color also made mass production simpler.

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