Mystic FAQ

This is version 4.0 of the Mystic FAQ,. If you know of any additional conflicting information or have questions you would like to see addressed here please let me know.

This is not a 96 Cobra FAQ, although a couple of the more common 96 Cobra issues may appear here. This is primarily a FAQ about the Mystic Cobras and Mystic Paint.

FAQ Index:

What Ford/SVT Press Kits mentioned Mystic paint?

So far I have been able to find 3 1996 press kits that mentioned Mystic, listed below. You will note that only 1 of them had a promotional photo (as a slide). According to SVT: The SVT Public Affairs staff hired three different photographers to shoot the Mystic car for the 1996 SVT press kit. None produced satisfactory pictures that accurately depicted the color-shift; the closest one (only one shot) was chosen to be included as a slide in the ’96 kit. There was no photography of the car in the ’96 Cobra brochure.

Press Kit 1: Gray folder titled “1996 Ford Special Vehicle Team” with an embossed SVT logo in the bottom right of the folder. This press kit includes the following press releases and items:


Press Kit 2: White Folder with blue Ford oval logo in the bottom left and the bottom left quarter of an embossed wire globe in the top right quarter of the front cover. I’m told this was a mid-year press kit. This kit includes the following press releases and items:


Press Kit 3: Large, dark blue, heavy cardboard flip-top folder. It has the ‘Ford Motor Company’ script logo all over it in dark grey/silver with “1996 Product Information” and the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury logos, all in textured Silver. This kit includes the following press releases and items, split into 5 categories by tabbed dividers:


How much did the Mystic Paint option cost?

The factory option price for Mystic was $815.

Have any other production cars been made with the Mystic paint?

Sort of. BASF held their “Horse Of A Different Color” sweepstakes in 1996 that gave away a 1995 Saleen Speedster painted with Mystic. The car was originally shown in the 1995 NACE and SEMA shows. While not really a production car, it was the first car to have Mystic applied to it outside of the testing lab.

  Mystic Saleen
The Mystic Saleen Speedster
I have been told that the paint has more of a color shift, or the color shift is more noticeable, than standard Mystics. This was reportedly due to BASF adding a small amount of black paint to the Mystic pigment to help lower the cost of using it. This way they could use a little less of the actual Mystic pigment from Flex Products.

For more information on the contest, read these two press releases from BASF:

1995 Mystic Cobra GT
2 1995 Mustang GT Convertibles were used as a prototype for the Mystic paint by Ford to see how it would look before deciding to use it on the Cobras. It seems one went to a BASF Manager, the other to a Ford manager. The one that went to the Ford employee was destroyed after it was stolen & wrecked in a crash. The BASF manager sold his to another BASF employee in late 2002. This picture is of the one remaining GT.

According to SVT: Since Team Mustang held lead engineering responsibility for the 1996-1999 SVT Cobras, they would have procured GTs to prototype the paint with BASF, not SVT. The goal of PP1-to-PP4 level pre-production engineering prototypes / management cars, is to have them as close to production ready as possible.

The 2004 Mystichrome Cobras also had 2 prototypes built, but these were Cobras, and were used to show off the car and paint at the shows before production began. According to SVT: The two Mystichrome prototypes (the Coupe on the auto show circuit and the Convertible that was on display in the SVT tent at the Ford Centennial) are both engineering-level pre-production prototypes and, as such, are non-saleable units that cannot be retailed. As with all engineering prototypes, they will likely be stripped and crushed after they live out their useful lives.

BASF’s Extreme Rainbow Paints are also available as an option on Saleen modified Mustangs & Cobras. This paint uses the same color-shifting technology that is in Mystic, but will involve different color combinations. The option will run you $11,500 or more over the base Saleen sticker price. For more information see the Saleen web site.

For information on the Mystic Gold and Mystichrome colors, see Are there plans to make any more cars with Mystic? below.

How do I determine my Mystic/Cobra Build Number and “Born On Date”?

If you have your original documentation that is sent to all new Cobra owners by SVT, you can find the Cobra Build Number and the date it came off of the production line on the Owners Certificate.

The Mystic build number can be found on the Letter proving the car is a true Mystic.

If you do not have these documents, you can call SVT at 800-FORD-SVT with your VIN and they can tell you the build numbers. You can also request a new copy of the documents from SVT.

Were all of the Mystic Cobras painted at once?

Yes. When the Cobras were sprayed at the Rouge Plant, they ran all 1,999 of them back to back so as not to lose any paint during cleaning between color changes. It took several days to paint them all.

Does the entire car need to be repainted to fix damage to the paint?

No. The paint can be touched up and panels can be repainted easily. A black base coat is applied, then the Mystic paint and then a clear coat. The application procedure is supposed to be easier than some metal flake paints.

Information on how to apply the paint can be found in both the Glasurit and R-M repair manuals.

Is Touch-up Paint available for the Mystic?

Yes. Mystic’s Paint Code is LF and the Ford Part Number for the bottle of touch-up paint is ALBZ-19500-6806A. This may not be available from dealers any longer. If you need some call SVT at 1-800-FORD-SVT.

The original run of touch-up had this part number: AL81-6806-B. However, it had problems with shelf life beyond 3 or 4 years and there was a limited run, so it became very had to get for a while. SVT worked with BASF to get a new batch created, which was available in late 2002.

Can Mystic be obtained from any paint dealer?

No. BASF is no longer producing Mystic. There is a restrictive procurement process in place to insure that the current supply of repair paint will be available for years to come, and to preserve the limited edition status of the original Mystic Cobras. The procedure for obtaining the paint is outlined in Ford TSB #95-16-3.

To insure an undetectable repair, pigment from the same batch that was used in the OEM finish is also used in the Glasurit and R-M repair paints.

Note that there are some colors very similar to Mystic (and very different but with the same color shifting look) in BASF’s line of Extreme Color paints, Dupont’s ChromaLusion paints, KameleonKolors by House of Kolor, PPG’s Harlequin, and Dupli-Color’s Mirage line of paints.

Are there plans to make any more cars with Mystic?

No, SVT has stated there will be no more Mystics made using the original Mystic paint.

The 2000 Cobras were to use a new color called Mystic Gold. This color would have been limited to 800 cars and would have been used on convertibles as well as coupes, the numbers to be decided by the orders for each. Since the 2000 Cobras were cancelled the color never saw the production line, and it was not part of the 2001 Cobra options. reported that Mystic Gold was not carried over to the 2001 model year due to problems with the paint working with the new paint shop:

“Paint compatibility problems are reportedly the cause of the Mystic Gold edition not carrying over into 2001. With the new paint shop coming on line the Mystic Gold paint is apparently not compatible with the new process.” (Full Article).

SVT confirmed this: For 2001, Dearborn Assembly switched to a more environmentally friendly water-borne paint process for Mustang. Unfortunately, the Mystic Gold was developed under the old oil/solvent-based spray-booth paint shop system. There was no funding left in the 2000 Mystic Gold program to rework the paint for 2001, so it was dropped.

The base color of Mystic Gold is a solid gold color, and in bright light the color shifts are into the yellow and green ranges of the spectrum. DuPont made the Mystic Gold, as with the Mystichrome used on the 2004 Cobras.

It was officially announced on 4/16/03 that around 1,000 Cobras would be made in 2004 with Mystichrome, a new color-shifting color (final total made was 1,010). This color is made by DuPont and is not limited in any way; it can be purchased over the counter for any use.

Is Mystic used on the new U.S. Currency?

No. The ink used on the color changing numbers on the lower right of the new currency is not Mystic. It is however made by Flex Products and is using the same technology as Mystic.

The Mystic pigments are reported to be used in some foreign currency however, one of the reasons for the limited availability.

My letter verifying the Mystic Clearcoat on my car states there were 2,000 Mystics made, but SVT’s official Productions Numbers only show 1,999 were made. Which is correct?

According to SVT: The letter is correct. SVT has 2,000 VIN numbers officially designated as 1996 Mystic Cobra coupes. Butttttt only 1999 of them left the factory as Mystic one accidently was left black read about the adventure to uncover the truth here   

It’s also been noted that the Letters and Certificates for the 1996 Cobras state a production run of 7,496 total Cobra Coupes, but SVT shows only 7,492 were made. I did not ask SVT about that, but I’d bet the numbers were off for the same reason.

1996 Cobra Cooling TSB Information.

There is a TSB for the 1996 Cobras to upgrade their cooling system. The TSB number is 96-25-12 and should be performed on any car that is overheating.