Joe Bailon (born March 18, 1923) is a car customizer credited with creating the paint color Candy Apple Red — which eventually led to a full spectrum of candy paint colors, each with a metallic base-coat, a transparent color coat and a final clear coat.
Bailon has customized cars including Zsa Zsa Gabor's Rolls-Royce, Danny Thomas' Continental, Dean Martin's Cadillac station wagon and Sammy Davis, Jr.'s Vega wagon. Joe built the Olds Toronado-powered Pink Panther car of the eponymous films. He is a member of National Rod & Custom Museum Hall of Fame.
The San Francisco Rod, Custom and Motorcycle Show annually gives the Joe Bailon Elegance Award for the visual appearance of the paint, interior, engine, design and suspension. The trophy, unique for the award, features a Candy Apple Red apple, painted by Bailon.
Bailon, who grew up in Newcastle, California as the youngest of ten children, later worked at a shipyard in Richmond, California prior to fighting in WWII and later customizing cars. He lives in Auburn, California.
- ""The Candy Man" Joe Bailon A True Pioneer Of Customizing". Street Rodder Magazine, March 2006, Jason Walker.
- Lackey, Mike. "Joe Bailon." Lima Daily News, 18 September, 2005.