Who Did It First? Chris-Craft Silver Arrow Colors

Amazing color combo

One of the most wonderful color combinations on a boat is the Chris Craft Silver Arrow. Silver Blue and red interior. That was in 1959, and I have often wondered what may have inspired such an amazing color combo. Well. Maybe Chris Craft WAS the color inspiration. Or, most likely a corvette. Which in 57 used this color combo, and knowing the endless meetings of GM, would have been chosen in around 1955. But, there is also a color combo like this for early 356 Porsche’s And no doubt used on Mercedes 300’s.

1957 Vette – source Hemmings

I suppose silver cars were a thing once the technology of paint had reached a point of mass production. But thats Silver, Silver blue is a twist on that.

1957 Porsche Speedster Source, Web Forum on Jags. Yes Jags!

WARNING: you could spend a week on internet searches about the history of colors. Its a rabbit hole. SO! Lets say this. Chris Craft was always on top of the latest design trends because they were based near Detroit, and used many of the same designers as GM, Ford and so on.  And most likely the color combo is from Germany. Porsche and Mercedes. If you have ever been to Europe the color pallet is far more expressive than here in the USA. I would suffice to say its the 57 Corvette that inspired the Silver Arrow color combo punch.

1962 T Bird Roadster on Barnfinds.com last week, to be sold at Mecum

1959 Brochure with the Silver Arrow less than 100 were made from 1958-1959

The YNOT gang nailed it bigtime with there Silver Arrow.

Mike Green brought one of these to Algonac this year. WOW.

Amazing lines. YNOT Yachts style

Silver Blue and Golden Dora skies

High Ho Silver – it’s “Tonto”, and near perfect Chris Craft Silver Arrow owned by Buzz Lamb, with a Chris Craft 283 engine.

One at Lake Norman?

I think???? These are new electric boats? I am still trying to find the story on this.

In a barn somewhere in Barnville

Another Katz Vette match up. This killer very rare Carlisle Blue special Vette and Silver arrow. I LOVE THE COLOR ON THIS VETTE..

Here is the shot from ebay from clearly “back in the day” original one

20 replies
  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Does anyone know who made the paint and what kind it was? That was an era where most paints were nitrocellulose based and would yellow with age and sun, but new acrylic lacquer tech was emerging and seems like a likely candidate for a premium corvette or silver arrow.

    • George Burgess
      George Burgess says:

      The original paint supplier for the Silver Arrow was the Boydell Bros. Paint Company Detroit Mich. The hull was first sprayed with a grey primer then a Silver Blue Metallic was applied. The Silver Blue color was very close to GM’s 1958 Silver Blue on Impala’s & Corvette’s.

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Not a big Silver Arrow fan, but it is a cool color……….for a car! Nice story about a very unique classic boat.

  3. Syd
    Syd says:

    This brought back an old memory. At an early show back in approx 81 or 2. The first one of these that I had seen was there but it stayed on the trailer so that it would not get dirty in the water

  4. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    To me the Silver Arrow represents that time in boating history where the builders where trying to figure out how to use fiberglass. The concept was interesting, but a wood bottom with a glass top seems to have gotten it backwards.

    This is one of the coolest Vettes I have ever seen.
    A 1963 fuel injected split window fastback.

    • Howard Lehman
      Howard Lehman says:

      Troy, I’m not sure you or anyone else will read this as it is late evening, but Chevrolet introduced fuel injection in 1957, first in their Corvette but later in other models. They advertised it as 283 cubic inch and 283 horsepower, but they also offered a less powerful fuelie as well, 250 horsepower for a few years. The Chevy fuel injection unit was built by Rochester. Pontiac also offered fuel injection in some models in 1957. The Pontiac fuel injection unit was similar, but with differences. The Corvette offered fuel injection, increasing in power up through 1965, when it was listed as 375 horsepower. I’m a wood boat lover, but a Corvette person first.

  5. Dan m LKM Ohio
    Dan m LKM Ohio says:

    Had hull number 48 silver arrow Name Bat Boat it was a fun apox 50 mph boat with a 350 GM 40 years ago . We used it as a everyday ski boat living on the lake .

  6. tom
    tom says:

    I used to see Tonto at Lke. George. Why do some of them have a moulded plank sides, some don’t? The smooth sides look better.

    • George Burgess
      George Burgess says:

      The moulded plank sides you refer to are due to the wood planking on the sides warping which causes the fiberglass to warp also.

  7. George Burgess
    George Burgess says:

    I have SA-19-002 Silver Arrow that was the Grand Prize in 1958 Algonac Lions Pickerel Tournament. It is one of ten KFL 6 cyl. powered Silver Arrows. The total number built is 92. An interesting fact is Chris Craft always sold the Prototype boat numbered “Model-length-00P”, the Silver Arrow is the only series I know that had 2 Prototype’s SA-19-00P & SA-19-002P.

    • Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)
      Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P) says:

      I don’t remember seeing those at Algonac. I remember the cruiser docked next to them. Maybe I had my wood glasses on. Were they there o0n Saturday?

  8. Steve Anderson from Michigan
    Steve Anderson from Michigan says:

    Wait, are these fiberglass or wood? I saw them and assumed they were fiberglass! Beautiful boats and I really wanted to bring one home! 😛

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      They are hybrid.
      Half wood, half fiberglass.(bottom is wood, top is fiberglass)

      It is my understanding that they are quite heavy, but I have never owned one or even ridden in one for the matter.

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