Colors a Car Should Not Be

July 21, 2008

  • Robins-egg blue a la late 1990s Ford Tauruses. And while I appreciate vintage Thunderbirds, the new ones look sickly and clashy in that pale aqua.
  • Metallic pumpkin. Not an acceptable trend.
  • Mint green. My mother owned a mint-green Honda Accord in the 90s. My sister was good enough to smash it into a pole at high speed. Good riddance (my sister is fine).
  • Goldish-bronzish-metallic-beige. Not even fleet cars should have to suffer this humiliation.
  • Carnation is not OK unless you won it as a prize from Mary Kay.
  • I am also of the rather controversial opinion that black is a wretched color for cars. To me, it makes all of the lovely lines (well, in some cases) of the car disappear into a murky, confusing shadow. I want to see the shape!
  • I also don’t like white but I understand that other people do.

Colors I do like on cars:

  • European red. I emphasize: Euro-red. Japanese red is too purply (Subaru) or orange (certain Toyotas). Audi and VW have the best red. That milky, deep soft yum red.
  • Charcoal. I just like it.
  • Acura had a lovely indigo a few years back. Indigo. Dense. Mmmmm.
  • Silver. Straightforward, but it works.
  • Subaru currently has an acceptable, unique mid-blue with some grey in it that is appealing.



  1. autumn says:

    i am pleased to say that i can see no future in which you and i might need to co-own a car. cause, well, i LOVE that metallic orange that’s been going around. and if i had lots of expendable income, Klaus would be getting a makeover. i also love that midnight blue/indigo that VW and Audi have been running for the last few years. and, Triumph has a production spring green that is the color of my fantasies about cycles.

    i do however HATE white cars and would not own one. mint green & aqua are vile. beige is a cop-out, not a color. competition yellow (you’ve seen it on corvettes and the long lamented Geo Storm!) is offensive. no shade of pink belongs on metal. ever.

  2. Aaron says:

    For my graduation present my parents paid for a paint job on my truck. I chose to go with a dark metallic gray.

    I had it back from the paint shop for a grand total of three days before totaling it. Weep.

  3. Troy H says:

    Just as I think men and women should pick fashions that look best *on them* and not what looks best on the rack, I’m also of the opinion the car design often influences what color looks best on it. Plus, if a car design has reached iconic status in a particular color, our brain gets conditioned to it, and expects to see the car in that color.

    Cars that IMO go best with red: Ferrari (almost any model, any year), Porsche convertibles, and Alfa Romeos (especially their new 8C Competizione!). Black: Porsche 911 Turbos, BMW’s (almost any model, any year), Audi A8L/S8 and S5, C2 Corvette Stingrays. Silver: 1st gen Audi TT, Mercedes (almost any model, any year). White: C1 Corvettes, 2nd gen Audi TT, new VW Scirocco. Charcoal: BMW 335i. Seal grey: Porsche 911 and Boxster. Metallic Blue: Mini Cooper S (with racing stripes). Lime Green: new Beetle (Actually, IMO the new Beetle can pull off almost any color, but just not with lime green or yellow rims too). …….

  4. Matt G says:

    I hate cars that come in that shade of “tarmac grey” which instantly becomes invisible when it rains.

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