Discussing the topic of the engine color is like discussing what is the one true religion. Everyone has an opinion and everyone has done research (and has sought true/divine enlightenment). And, everyone trusts different experts. In fact, maybe this topic should be moved to the Greasy Spoon (just joking).
Jim Carter has been in business since 1972 and he has been interested-in and researching-on the Stovebolt engine longer than that. Bob Adler is considered (by me and by many others) to be "the expert" on Advance-Design Chevrolet trucks. He has had more than a few hundred Advance-design (and other antique) Chevrolet trucks in his restoration-shop/truck-yard/museum in Stephentown, New York. He has been studying/researching, writing about, and restoring Chevrolet trucks since at least the early 70s.
I have had one or more Stovebolt engines (216, 235, and or 261) in my possession since 1969, and worked on Stovebolt engines in a shop in 1970. I did not start studying/researching Stovebolt engines with any dedication/seriousness until about 2001 (around the time that I joined Stovebolt.com). So, my opinion is of minimal importance.
I appreciate The Filling Station's (around since 1979) research on engine color, which has resulted in their opinion that all 1929-1962 216/235 truck engines
had the same one and true color, a relatively dark gray (with what seems to be a little blue in it). I have seen earlier (pre-1954) 216s/235s with that color/shade-of-gray, but I do not know if that paint on those engines was original.
Based on his personal experience, I appreciate Jim Carter's opinion that the one and true color for 1929-1962 Chevrolet truck 216/235 engines is a lighter shade of gray
. I have also seen that color on many newer 235s (in junk yards since 1969) but I do not know if that paint was original.
Anther respected vendor, Bill Hirsch, seems to have split the difference (and also seems to have made a complete mistake). He sells a dark grey 1929-52/53 six-cylinder engine paint
and a presumably lighter grey 1929-52/53 six-cylinder engine paint
. His complete mistake is a mistake that Classic Parts used to make and that is to also sell a Blue 1954-62 (and 53 Powerglide 235) blue six cylinder engine paint for trucks
. That blue paint was only used on automobiles that had the Blue Flame 235 (and of course it was not the color of the 54-63 6-cylinder 261, which is another engine paint story).
Bob Adler wrote that the 1954 truck 235 was PPG 34560 gray (he published an article stating that this color was the same as the earlier 216 engine color). I do not know what this color looks like.
A source of valuable research that was not refuted when it was published is the article listing Chevrolet engine paints for 1912 through 1966
by Bill Hensel, a VCCA member (the Bible-keepers of all truths in the Chevrolet world). He shows a blue gray pre-54 216/235 truck engine color and a gray 1954 and later 235 truck engine color. I do not know if Bill Hensel (an Early Truck Tech Advisor for the VCCA) is still around but I think that his VCCA brothers now disagree with him BUT they have no documentation.
I have heard and read the opinions that so-and-so company/person has done long and careful research before reaching their conclusion on the one and true 216/235 truck paint color. As is the case in picking the one and true religion, picking the one and true 216/235 truck engine paint is an act of faith and can never be fully proven as being correct.
This attempt to choose a Stovebolt engine paint color is further hampered by the fact that "in the day" these engines were painted various formulas/mixtures of engine paint in what was not a carefully controlled process (just mix it up, keep the line moving, get it done). Nonetheless, the differences in darkness/lightness and shade-of-gray and amount-of-blue are quite distinct between Jim Carter and The Filling Station.
My 235 1954 engine is painted the gray sold by Jim Carter. I do not know if it is "correct" and if it is the one true color.
Please note that I have not shown you only one color and only one opinion by one company or by one person. I have shown you opinions from a variety of well-meaning people and companies. I am not trying to convince you to choose one particular color/paint. On the other hand, I am interested in people knowing more of the story than the results of one company's or one person's extensive
research and strongly held opinion. Also, I hope that this information will help people enjoy whatever engine color they choose to paint their Stovebolt engine.
Choose the shade of gray that you like.