|Mystic, Mystichrome, and Mystic Gold SVT Cobras
In 1996 Ford approved a new paint technology created by BASF to be showcased on a limited number of SVT Cobras. This paint was called "Mystic". Depending on the angle of the viewer in relation to the car, or the angle of the light hitting the surface the paint will actually seem to have changed color.
These color changes go from an almost solid black to emerald green, violet blue, magenta, burgundy, amber/gold, even an almost "root-beer" brown.
Unlike other paints that create special effects by using a blend of pigments or tricky multi coat applications of different colors of paint Mystic achieves it's dramatic color-change capability via tiny transparent layered flakes in the paint's chemistry that act like prisms to break up white light into its various component colors.
Based off traditional black pigment paint it uses a special line of color-shifting interference pigments made by Flex Products, Inc called ChromaFlair pigments. You can learn more about the ChromaFlair line of color changing pigments by going to their website.
Mystic Gold Cobra
Although the Mystic paint was specifically made for the 1996 Cobra and never to be made again there have since been many varieties of color shifting paints created. After the production of Mystic Cobra BASF created a one off Saleen Speedster using a variation of the Mystic color to be given away in their "Horse Of A Different Color" contest. From there Saleen added a color to their Mustang lineup called "Saleen Extreme" which was a much lighter version of the Mystic color changing paint. At more than $11,000 this was quite an expensive option, but a unique one none the less.
Saleen SR with it's "Extreme Paint"
Since then Ford has released two more Mustang Cobra's with different varieties of the Mystic theme. The first came in 2000 and was called Mystic Gold. At most angles the Mystic Gold looked to be bright solid gold color, but under the right light it would change to a bright yellow or green tint. Unfortunately the 2000 Cobra never made it to production due to problems with the 1999 Cobra and with it died Mystic Gold.
2004 Mystichrome Cobra
In 2004 SVT released yet another "Mystic" Cobra this time resulting in color shifts from a bright, metallic topaz that transitions to cobalt blue, then to royal purple, and finally into a deep onyx black. Ford's color and trim director for North America Alan Eggly described the new paint color like this;"The bright, iridescent colors reminded me of chromed exhaust headers blued by intense heat," Thus he dubbed the new paint "Mystichrome".
2004 Mystichrome Cobra Seat
This new car added to the extreme look of the Mystic Cobra by adding an even more unique addition than the paint itself, a color shifting leather interior.
Satisfied with the exterior hue, Eggly and the Ford Special Vehicle Team turned their attention to the interior. "The interior needed something special to complement the stunning exterior," says Eggly. "We considered spraying hard parts, like the center stack or door handles, with Mystichrome paint. Then I recalled a Ford supplier, Garden State Tanning (GST), had developed leather colored with ChromaFlair pigments." According to Eggly "The paint and interior trim perfectly complement the dramatic style and explosive performance of the SVT Mustang Cobra." Only 1010 Mystchrome Cobras were produced for the 2004 production year with 515 in coupe form and 495 in convertible.
-View the 2004 Mystichrome press release
- Read the USA Today article on the 1996 Mystic Cobra