Ford Mystichrome History: A Look Back at the Iconic Color-Shifting Paint

Have you ever seen a car that seems to change colors as it moves under the sun? Chances are you’ve encountered a Ford Mustang coated in Mystichrome paint. This unique and eye-catching color-shifting paint has become an icon in the world of automotive design. In this article, we’ll take a trip down memory lane and explore the Ford Mystichrome history, its inspiration, and its impact on the automotive industry.

What is Ford Mystichrome?

Ford Mystichrome is a color-shifting paint finish that changes hue depending on the angle and intensity of light. The paint was first introduced by Ford Motor Company in 1996, exclusively for the Mustang SVT Cobra. The Mystichrome color, originally produced by BASF, is composed of 2 layers of paint (topped with a clear coat) that create a unique and dazzling visual effect.

The Inspiration behind the Color-Shifting Paint

The inspiration behind Mystichrome came from nature itself. The creators of the paint finish took inspiration from the iridescent colors found on the wings of the Morpho butterfly. The Morpho butterfly is native to Central and South America and is known for its striking blue-green iridescence.

The Launch of Ford Mystichrome

Ford first introduced Mystichrome in 1996 as a special edition color option for the Mustang SVT Cobra. The first Mysticobra Mustang was unveiled at the New York International Auto Show, where it immediately caught the attention of automotive enthusiasts and industry insiders.

Mystichrome Models and Limited Editions

Following the success of the first Mysticobra Mustang (only 2000 original models made), Ford released a limited number of other models featuring the color-shifting paint finish. These included the 1996 Mystichrome SVT Cobra Convertible and the 2004 Mystichrome Package Mustang GT.

In 2004, Ford released a limited edition Mystichrome SVT Cobra, which boasted a supercharged V8 engine and unique Mystichrome paint finish. Only 1,000 of these special edition vehicles were produced, making them highly coveted among collectors and Mustang enthusiasts.

2004 mystichrome ford mustang advertisement
2004 mystichrome ford mustang advertisement

Mystichrome Rivals and Imitators

After the success of Mystichrome, other automakers tried to imitate the color-shifting paint trend. Some notable imitators include Chevrolet with its Flip Paint and Chameleon Paint, Nissan with Midnight Purple, Lotus with Prism Green. Cande Shop has perfected a replica of Mystichrome.

The Legacy of Ford Mystichrome

Ford Mystichrome has become an icon in the world of automotive design and a beloved feature of Mustang enthusiasts. The unique and captivating paint finish has been praised for its innovative and daring design, and it has become a symbol of individuality and style among car enthusiasts.

Mystichrome as a Collectible Item

Because of its limited availability and iconic status, Mystichrome has become a highly sought-after collectible item among car enthusiasts and collectors. Mystichrome Mustangs and other vehicles featuring the color-shifting paint finish can fetch premium prices at auctions and private sales.

mystichrome 2004 ford mustang svt cobra convertible interior 001
what made mystichrome cobra’s unique was that the same pigment was used to dye the seats.

Mystichrome has also made appearances in popular culture, from movies to music videos. Mystichrome’s popularity is partly responsible for all the chameleon paint colors you see today. Without the public demand, we surely wouldn’t see as many crazy color combinations as we do.

Mystichrome at Auto Shows and Events

Mystichrome Mustangs have also made appearances at various automotive events and shows around the world, including the SEMA Show and the Mustang Club of America Grand National Show. At these events, Mystichrome Mustangs are often the center of attention, drawing crowds of enthusiasts and admirers.

How to Care for Your Mystichrome Mustang

If you’re lucky enough to own a Mystichrome Mustang, it’s important to take care of it properly to ensure the paint finish remains in pristine condition. It’s recommended to use a high-quality car wash and avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive materials that can damage the paint. Regular waxing and polishing can also help protect the paint and maintain its shine.

The Future of Mystichrome and Color-Shifting Paints

While Ford no longer produces vehicles with Mystichrome paint, the trend of color-shifting paints is still popular among car enthusiasts and designers. The development of new paint technologies and materials may lead to even more innovative and stunning paint finishes in the future.

ford mystichrome spray out

We at Cande Shop have been able to replicate this pearl & have created a kit. So you too can have a Mystichrome Mustang (or any other vehicle).

The Mystichrome Community and Fanbase

The Mystichrome community and fanbase are a dedicated and passionate group of Mustang enthusiasts who share a love for the iconic color-shifting paint finish. Online forums, social media groups, and Mustang clubs have been created to celebrate and share information about Mystichrome Mustangs and other vehicles.


Ford Mystichrome has become a legendary paint finish in the world of automotive design, with its innovative and eye-catching color-shifting effect. The paint finish has inspired other automakers and has become a symbol of individuality and style among car enthusiasts. As technology continues to evolve, we may see even more stunning and innovative paint finishes in the future, but the legacy of Mystichrome will always be remembered as a game-changer in the automotive industry.

Mystichrome FAQs

How many Mystichrome Mustangs were produced?

There were 2000 Mysticobra’s produced in 1996. For the 2004 model year, only 1,000 SVT Mustang Cobra models, in either coupe or convertible body styles, were made.

What other vehicles have featured color-shifting paint finishes?

Other vehicles with color-shifting paint finishes include the Chevrolet Flip Paint and Chameleon Paint, Nissan Midnight Purple and the Lotus Elise in Prism Green.

Can Mystichrome paint be repaired if damaged?

Yes, Mystichrome paint can be repaired by a professional auto body shop that specializes in paint repair. That is IF they can find the pearl toners.

How do I know if a Mustang has a Mystichrome paint finish?

Mystichrome Mustangs have a special Mystichrome badge on the dashboard and a unique paint code on the door tag.
1996 Mystic Cobras had the paint code LF on the door tag
2004 Mystichrome painted cars had the paint code G6 on the door tag

What is the cost of a Mystichrome Mustang?

The cost of a Mystichrome Mustang can vary depending on the model and condition, but they can fetch premium prices at auctions and private sales.

To ensure accuracy and reliability, the factual data in the blog post about the history of Ford Mystichrome is sourced from reputable articles and publications. Here are the sources:

  2. “2003 New York Auto Show: Ford SVT Mustang Cobra MystiChrome”, published on Motortrend
  3. “Ford SVT Mustang Cobra” on Wikipedia, for additional background information and historical context

These sources provide detailed information about the development, release, and impact of Ford Mystichrome, ensuring the accuracy and authenticity of the content presented in the blog post.

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