What Is Mystic Paint?

Mystic Paint Can


“The car literally changes from emerald green to violet blue, magenta, burgundy, amber, and a dark brown. It is truly fascinating and the object of many open-mouthed stares on the freeway.”
– Todd Hayes for the North American Auto Writers Syndicate

Mystichrome is described as “a bright, metallic topaz that transitions to cobalt blue, then to royal purple, and finally into a deep onyx black.”
– 2003 Ford Press Release

The Mystic and Mystichrome Cobras are the same as any other 1996 or 2004 SVT Cobra – you just can’t tell what color they are. (Quick Note:  1996 Mystic and 2004 Mystichrome owners can’t stand when you confuse the two one is Mystic one is Mystichrome try not to confuse the two)

Mystic paint was made by BASF and is the first paint ever to work the way it does. With 1 exception, the paint was only applied to 1999 of the 7492 SVT Mustang Cobras built in 1996, and the 1996 Cobra was the first production car to ever wear a paint using this color-shifting technology. DuPont made the Mystichrome paint that was applied to 1010 Cobras in 2004, as well as the Mystic Gold color that never saw actual production.       

The Mystic line of paints contain color-shifting interference pigments, called ChromaFlair® pigments. These pigments were developed and are manufactured by Flex Products, Inc. They allow the paint to show drastic color changes as observer’s angle to the car, or the angle of the light hitting the car, changes. The microscopic layers act like a tiny prism: White light is reflected off the core layer, and then split by outer layers into visible colors. As the viewing angle changes, so does the visible color. The color produced is controlled by precise variances – measured in atoms – in the prismatic layers. In the case of Mystichrome the thinnest ChromaFlair pigment shifts from gold through silver and into light blue; The thickest pigment shifts from silver through green, and into purplish blue. As a finishing touch, aluminum flakes were added to provide a bright, metallic sparkle.

Traditional paints exhibit color by absorbing most of the light, and reflecting only the light within a narrow color band. ChromaFlair® pigments create color by light interference. There is almost no absorption of light at all.

For more detailed information, read these press releases from BASF or the Patented issued on the technology below

Mystic — The Look of Car Colors to Come
Mystic Color Car paint — How Does it Work?
US Patent Issued On The Technology Behind Mystic Paint

Other articles on the Mystic Cobra and ChromaFlair pigments:

Common Questions We Get About Mystic Paint

  • Question:  Mystic is no longer available……..
  • Answer:  The original process to get Mystic paint which is outlined in Ford Bulletin No.: 95-16-3 explains the process. From what I understand between the price of the original paint and the fact the technology was being used newly released currency thus Ford made sure every drop was accounted for. There has been stories of IRS agents and or BASF reps on site to make sure what was to be painted was and the extra was shipped back or destroyed. They didn’t want counterfeiters getting their hands on any left overs. I know for a fact that getting a cowl hood or any aftermarket body kits was impossible to get painted back in the “Early Years”  Ford had only certain number of repair packs in their inventory once those packs were used up Original Mystic Formula was no more………… But wait there’s more.   BASF released Mystic 2 paint after the run or OG Mystic was depleted. Mystic 2 is a 99.9% match to OG Mystic.
  • Question:  You need to fill out all types of forms and speak to the secret service etc etc to get Mystic paint
  • Answer:  Nope no longer true Mystic 2 paint is easily available over the counter at pretty much any automotive paint supplier. (Believe the properties in Mystic 2 make it harder to use on paper )
  • Question:  Mystic Paint is expensive
  • Answer:    True its usually 2-3 times the cost of a basic color
  • Question:  Where can I get my car painted not many people know how to paint them so most get repainted other colors.
  • Answer:  Multiple members of The Mystic Cobra Owners Association on Facebook have had their repainted without issues. For guidance on where to go in your area I suggest you make a post on there.