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Colour fashions for cars through the ages


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The latest thing on the forums seems to be the restoration of older models, say S1 or S2 Esprits, and returning them quite rightly to their original bright or earthy coloured paint finishes.

 

Typically these will originally be yellow/orange/brown cars etc which have been turned to something tedious. Their next owners somehow reasoned that, at the time, a black paintjob applied with a yard brush was somehow cooler than looking 10 years old.

 

As an example, my car is orange, it came back into fashion in the mid 1990s, and can still be specced on Evoras and Exiges, so about 20 years and counting. The last time it was acceptable before that would have been1977 stretching back to the Miuras of the 60s, so 10 years. Orange was seriously uncool in between. A magazine article from 1991 had a Lotus dealer reminiscing about their first (orange) Esprit and you can almost hear the sniggers.

 

At least orange came back......how long has brown been in the mortuary as a colour choice, even today after a 35 year break it's a bold choice!

 

Who or what dictates colour fashion in vehicles? I loved the 1990s overrall but the average car colour palette was a bleak selection of dark metallics and greys.

 

I fancy doing a sine curve of colour fashionability to identify peaks and troughs......

 

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Maybe colour is a reflection of the population's psyche at the time. Look at the bright colours that dominated during the re-construction decades of the 50's and 60's when just about everything was positive and on the up.

 

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=car+colours+of+the+50%27s+and+60%27s&client=ubuntu&hs=twk&channel=fs&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=K94oU_LpGaXZigfF_YDQDA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1250&bih=637#imgdii=_

DanR

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Not many original colors in that search result  :help:

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Maybe colour is a reflection of the population's psyche at the time. Look at the bright colours that dominated during the re-construction decades of the 50's and 60's when just about everything was positive and on the up.

 

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=car+colours+of+the+50%27s+and+60%27s&client=ubuntu&hs=twk&channel=fs&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=K94oU_LpGaXZigfF_YDQDA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1250&bih=637#imgdii=_

 

@@@Danny

just thinking how my Psyche was when I had my first car, same Color as the following but with a vw badge........

 

In 1988 when I bought this used car the Color was extremely unusual and often mentiones as annoying - but I liked it (well the most important Thing on your first car is that you have "a" car...)

post-14744-0-94697200-1395217536.jpg

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In the late 70s I used to love cars in metallic brown and bronze, looked very sophisticated. No self respecting 911 or Mercedes SL would be in any other colour. You still see Lotus Elites kicking around in thoughs colours. It's come back again too, though in darker shades.

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Perhaps there are more social parallels also at work here.

 

For example, the colour of womens hair? We have seen it all - black, white (plat blonde) green, red, orange.

Worth noting that there arn't many true blondes in the hair world out there either yet every woman and her cat seems to want to be that colour.....

 

Current dreadful trend seems to be magenta but only after the age of 40 it seems. Are we about to enter the realm of the magenta supercar?

 

Having said all that, I don't recall many silver hairdos........

 

....no, wait - thats just grey.

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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Not many original colors in that search result  :help:

One of the many further links from there...

 

www.pinterest.com/pin/3969http://www.pinterest.com/pin/396950154628702499/50154628702499/

 

Seems like they worked hard at various colour combinations back then.

Didn't work, try this

 

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/396950154628702499/

DanR

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Twelve years ago, every other Lotus Elise sold was silver. I haven't however, sold a silver car of nay description for the past few years ago. I think everybody just ended up with silver fatigue :).

 

I wonder when white fatigue will set in? Very fashionable at present but will it last?

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Brown, how sadly maligned and misunderstood. Never have people bowed to peer pressure more than shrinking under the threat of some lobotomy victim at the pub asking how "the flying turd" handles, hrr hrr. Only when described in Italian as "Marrone" or "Nocciola" and slapped on a Lambo do people remember it can look good, and best of all allow some gorgeous tan leather upholstery instead of default black/grey.

 

Screenshot2011-05-03at65143AM.png

 

 

 

My Riviera is Copper. It was quite an unusual colour when it was new, and fairly out of fashion for a long time. I thought it would make a splash when eventually restored, but that was 4 years ago and it still not on the road. Now everything from Aygos to Chryslers are in dazzling coppery shades, so I'll just have to blend in.. ^_^

 

Another colour which was very late 90s, Laser Blue, was originally a Volvo shade applied to the last Esprits. Volvo dropped it years ago but Evoras and Exiges wear it with pride.

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Brown, how sadly maligned and misunderstood. Never have people bowed to peer pressure more than shrinking under the threat of some lobotomy victim at the pub asking how "the flying turd" handles, hrr hrr. Only when described in Italian as "Marrone" or "Nocciola" and slapped on a Lambo do people remember it can look good, and best of all allow some gorgeous tan leather upholstery instead of default black/grey.

 

Screenshot2011-05-03at65143AM.png

 

 

 

My Riviera is Copper. It was quite an unusual colour when it was new, and fairly out of fashion for a long time. I thought it would make a splash when eventually restored, but that was 4 years ago and it still not on the road. Now everything from Aygos to Chryslers are in dazzling coppery shades, so I'll just have to blend in.. ^_^

 

Another colour which was very late 90s, Laser Blue, was originally a Volvo shade applied to the last Esprits. Volvo dropped it years ago but Evoras and Exiges wear it with pride.

 

 

Looks familiar,  The owner of this brown Diablo was at a track day when my head gasket blew.  Very knowledgeable about the Esprit engine.

IMG_3798.JPG

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

 

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There's a subtle difference between bronze and brown.... I've never seen a metallic turd!  :smoke:

 

Btw.... whatever happened to Regency Red? Velvet Red doesn't quite cut it for me... 

Currently having an illicit affair with another marque, be back in the fold one day... B-)

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As you know, our fleet is many thousands in number and I have seen different colours trend even over the 6 years I have been doing this job.

 

When I started 90% of our fleet was "Shades of Grey", Silver, Shark/gun metal Grey, Blacks and variances in between. Our buying is set on what colours the dealers want (as this is who we sell back to after they have been on rent). However, about 5 years ago we started to see more and more unusual colours, starting with Honda Jazz in Yellow or pink, Peugeot 207 in a bright almost fluorescent Green, 107 in yellow, Ford KA in Yellow and now many manufacturers include these in their line ups.

 

While Germanic Brands still tend to be 95% shades of Grey some of the more adventurous brands are more and more going towards the unusual. Peugeot 208 is immensely popular in Rose Quartz (Grey with a pink overlay), Virtual Blue (Blue with Purple overlay), Light Blue, Red, White, etc. 107 is still very Popular in Yellow, White, Plum etc.

 

But overall, white cars are the most popular right now. Green is popular in other markets but considered very unlucky in the UK market, so rarely sells. As for "Brown" or Mocha, as many call it these days, they stick badly and are near impossible to sell. That said, Bronze and Orange are 2 of the most popular colours on Honda Civics.

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about 5 years ago we started to see more and more unusual colours

 

 

Interesting point made previously about bright colours reflecting optimism in the general populace, i.e. the lat 50s/60s. If that is so why are we seeing them come back now during economic uncertainty for the majority?

 

It's like the classic car boom, last time it happened in the late 80s was when the country was considered to be well off, why is it happening again when everyone is allegedly skint? I would never make an economist.

 

Anyhow to keep the gorgeous pictures coming, heres Tangerine Scream on a Focus, last seen in the 70s on sporty Fords and kit cars

 

70632261.jpg

 

marcos-3.jpg

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Brown is quite popular here in Switzerland at the moment.  My guess is that about 1/10th of all Porsche 911s (991) are in that colour.  Less so on Boxsters and Caymans but certainly on the non-sports cars.  Quite a few of the dealers have ordered their cars up in brown.

 

The colour that seems 'up-and-coming' at least from my recent trip to the Geneva motor show is red, especially something between red and burgundy.  Mazda had all their cars on the stand in that colour.

 

When I'm back in the UK I always notice how many different colour cars are on the road.  Here it's grey / black / white and thoroughly depressing.

 

I have a soft spot for green.

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