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View Full Version : The most popular car colors today are silver, black, gray, and white.


grundle
04-25-11, 06:59 AM
It seems kind of odd that as everything else becomes available in wider and wider varieties of colors, car colors have become just about as boring as possible.


http://mobilelifetoday.com/health/01/31/car-colors-yesterday-today-and-tomorrow/

Car Colors Ė Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

31 January 2011

You would think by now that car colors would have come a long way. Especially when you consider that long, long ago a Model T Ford could be purchased in whatever color the buyer wanted, as long as it was black.

Yes itís true. The first automobiles that were manufactured way back at the beginning of the last century were painted black. Of course, black is still a popular color choice, following close behind silver which has been the leader in car colors for a number of years.

Actually, silver and black vehicles now account for more than one half of all new car color choices. And when you add in gray and white, the next two most popular color choices, you could easily come to the conclusion that two out of every three cars on the road are painted either, silver, black, gray or white. Red and blue are the only non-neutral colors on the list, accounting for about one out of every ten vehicles.

Letís take a look back in time at a couple of interesting trends in car colors.

Along with the introduction of the mini-van during the decade of the 1980ís, popular car colors slowly gravitated towards various shades of green. And the popular trend in green lasted well into the decade of the 1990ís. Speaking from my own knowledge of being involved in the auto racing community, I can honestly tell you that green was not a color of choice for race cars. Actually, green was considered by many involved in the sport to be a bad luck color. Donít ask me why, but somehow all of that changed rather quickly when green finally emerged as a leading car color.

Being a car guy, I canít help but think all the way back to 1972 and the most popular car color for the Chevrolet Corvette that year. For those of you who lived through the decade of the 1970ís you will most likely remember this color was also a very popular color choice in home decorating and other fashionable styles. Want to take a guess? Well, there were more Corvettes painted Ontario Orange in 1972 than any other color Corvette. And for the younger people reading this, can you imagine, an orange Corvette? Donít worry. Chevrolet wasnít the only car company painting cars orange. Just about every car manufacturer out there was following that trend with colors like Hemi Orange and Sundance Orange. Other interesting car colors of the 1970ís included, Deep Plum, Lime Green and Lemon Twist

Car colors of the 1960ís saw the introduction of metallic paint colors such as Acapulco Blue Metallic, Sunlit Gold Metallic and Sequoia Green Metallic. Itís no surprise that the metallic hues of todayís paint colors can be traced all the way back to the metallic colors manufacturers came up with over forty years ago. From what I understand, the metallic colors of the decade actually had their roots in the custom car community. You see, custom paint jobs often involved the use of metal flake paint, which was considered a rather unique painting process back in the day. Letís face it, car color trends usually begin and end in somewhat unpredictable ways.

Of course, talking about trends in car colors wouldnít be complete without mentioning the pastel colors of the 1950ís such as Goldenrod Yellow, Skyline Blue and Tropical Turquoise. Sure it would be easy to write them off as Easter egg colors, but when you take a second look, you could make the assumption that the car colors back then were merely a reflection of the good times being enjoyed by hard working post-war Americans. Once again home furnishings and fashion styles paralleled the trend in car colors.

And for those old enough to remember; what ever happened to the optional Ďtwo toneí paint jobs? Back in the day, buying a car painted in two distinct colors was a very popular option. I clearly remember my Dadís 1956 Oldsmobile Holiday 88. It was painted white with a black top. Of course, the spinner hub caps that were repeatedly stolen were also a popular option, but thatís another story.

When you think about how we got to where we are today, itís anyoneís guess as to where car colors are headed. From my own experience being in the automobile detailing business, I can honestly tell you that the lighter metallic colors are much easier to maintain compared to deep dark colors, such as red, blue and black.

But wait, the current trend in the neutral colors of silver, black, gray and white just may be turning a corner. Consider this, the Indianapolis 500 Official Pace Car for 2010 was a Chevrolet Camaro painted Inferno Orange. And for the first time in almost twenty years Chevrolet is now producing a limited quantity of replica Inferno Orange Pace Cars for sale to the public. Maybe itís a sign that todayís automotive executives are beginning to understand the thinking that it takes more than styling to sell cars. I guess weíll have to wait and see.

al_bundy
04-25-11, 08:18 AM
no love for blue?

Sean O'Hara
04-25-11, 08:40 AM
I'll never understand people who own white cars.

SterlingBen
04-25-11, 08:40 AM
I have a silver car now and decided about a year ago that my next one would be green.

RichC2
04-25-11, 08:46 AM
Better than some of the colors that used to be popular (that aqua blue, turqouise, and certain shades of red) that are just ugly and tacky as hell.

Solid Snake
04-25-11, 09:10 AM
Better than some of the colors that used to be popular (that aqua blue, turqouise, and certain shades of red) that are just ugly and tacky as hell.

....if it was on a modern car.

for the older cars of the era where they fit well...yeah...I'd be cool w/ it.

al_bundy
04-25-11, 09:10 AM
my wife's first choice was gray, but late september/october there isn't much choice of previous model year honda's

Michael Corvin
04-25-11, 09:15 AM
I'll never understand people who own white cars.

Same. I would assume they are lifeless, boring and un-creative people. I know 3 people at work where that is the case.

Here's my car(well, stock photo of my car):
http://autodigs.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/2011-Ford-Fiesta-SES-front-side-pictures.jpg

Solid Snake
04-25-11, 09:17 AM
I actually have a silver car...but it was more based on that I'm a cheap bastard. Insurance was cheaper w/ those 4 colors than with another color. So....financially it was better. i'm a college student...all I care about it saving as much as I can w/ my monthly budget.............of course...my BD budget is huge...nearly as equal as my rent pay.

spainlinx0
04-25-11, 09:18 AM
I'll never understand people who own white cars.

Same. I would assume they are lifeless, boring and un-creative people.

Here's my car(well, stock photo of my car):
http://autodigs.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/2011-Ford-Fiesta-SES-front-side-pictures.jpg

:(

IdgIe49
04-25-11, 09:29 AM
I have a silver car now and decided about a year ago that my next one would be green.

HA! My last car was Green, now I have a VAPOR Silver car.

It's not *just* silver! :)

VinVega
04-25-11, 10:08 AM
Silver and gray cars don't look as dirty as other colors with the same amount of dirt on them. That's the best I can come up with. Generally, people are lazy and don't want to wash their cars, but don't want them to "look" dirty either.

starman9000
04-25-11, 10:10 AM
I drive a white car, but it has some sweet orange-red marks all over it.

DirkUSA
04-25-11, 10:16 AM
Steel-blue car here.

foofighters7
04-25-11, 10:20 AM
I have a green car, and well another greenish blue car...I actually have never thought about the color.

Its a Saab and I bought it because I got a fantastic deal on it.

I can go down the list of my cars.
1st-64 Impala -Fawn(brown)
2nd- 87 Jaguar - Red
3rd- 92 Cadillac - Black
4th-01 Cadillac- Silverish brown
5th- 66 Riviera- Greenish blu
6th-98 Saab- Green

I have always hated White cars but if the price was right, I would quickly forget about how much I hate it.

Anubis2005X
04-25-11, 10:23 AM
I love the look of a black car. I don't want some big yellow eye sore that I drop thousands of dollars on...

Nick Danger
04-25-11, 10:31 AM
Silver, gray, and white are fairly common colors here, but that makes sense. They are cooler in the desert sun. Maybe the change in popularity is a reflection of the population shift from northern states to the south.

Nick Danger
04-25-11, 10:35 AM
I'll never understand people who own white cars.

Same. I would assume they are lifeless, boring and un-creative people. I know 3 people at work where that is the case.

Mrs Danger drives a white car. Here it is parked in front of her artist's studio.

http://www.unseengallery.com/assets/images/newwagon02.jpg

Patman
04-25-11, 10:39 AM
I've only driven Hondas. Had a brown hatchback in my college days. Then a Aztec Green Pearl coupe, and now a Fiji Blue Pearl coupe. I loathe white/black/silver/grey car colors.

Plus, driving a more colorful car makes it easier to find it in a parking lot if you forget where you parked it, though using the car alarm key-dongle helps finding the car when you get close to it, too.

TimeandTide
04-25-11, 10:42 AM
I would assume they are lifeless, boring and un-creative people.

Says the guy that drives a yellow Ford Fiesta. :lol:

I don't mind my white car so much:

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a365/Time_and_Tide/3series_5.jpg

wendersfan
04-25-11, 10:47 AM
Mrs Danger drives a white car. Here it is parked in front of her artist's studio.

http://www.unseengallery.com/assets/images/newwagon02.jpgThat's not a white car, that's a woody.

boston george
04-25-11, 10:53 AM
Maybe it has to do with the fact that since those colors are the most popular that they will bring a better resale value. Like a self-perpetuating cycle.

Moopher
04-25-11, 11:00 AM
This doesn't even seem surprising to me. I work in a pretty upscale suburb of Minneapolis and those are the only colors of BMWs, Audis, Mercedes, etc. I ever see. I don't mind black or white cars, sometimes with the right accents they look pretty sharp. I understand the grey and silver too, they usually hide dirt fairly well, as far as I've seen anyway.

When I bought a new car I always wanted black, but then a hell of a deal came along and I ended up with this: http://ai.autosweet.com/inventoryimg/120/1N4AL2EP8BC135490_01_640.jpg

I really wasn't a huge fan of red at first, but It's really grown on me. Finding it in crowded parking lots or at the MOA have been a lot easier as well.

rexinnih
04-25-11, 11:08 AM
Black for me, Silver for the wife.

arminius
04-25-11, 11:19 AM
My truck is silver but I only use that for a station vehicle and to 4 wheel.
My wife's car is what we use going out.

http://imganuncios.mitula.net/2007_bmw_3_series_328xi_92787525127391426.jpg

kvrdave
04-25-11, 11:30 AM
Having a gravel driveway and plenty of dust, we have 3 silver cars.

Michael Corvin
04-25-11, 11:35 AM
Maybe it has to do with the fact that since those colors are the most popular that they will bring a better resale value. Like a self-perpetuating cycle.

Yeah, that was a thought when I bought a yellow car. :lol: However, I'll drive it until it falls apart, so I'm not to concerned. At the same time doesn't over thinking re-sale = practicality = boring? Pick something with color and go with it = fun. You only live once. :) I've gotten a ton of compliments. It's really sharp in person.

I've had two black cars, a green and a purple. Purple was fun for a few years, but I doubt I'd do it again. Won't do green again. Black is a nice fall back color. I'd probably try red or blue next. It really boils down to the type of car though. I can't picture a yellow Lexus, or a lime Mercedes.

TimeandTide
04-25-11, 11:58 AM
I can't picture a yellow Lexus, or a lime Mercedes.

A yellow Lexus:

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a365/Time_and_Tide/yellow-lexus-lfa-official-4.jpg

Chrisedge
04-25-11, 11:58 AM
^^ Former President of one of the divisions of my company drove the Yellow one like that ^^, he ended up buying a black one with white leather interior (Could have taken the yellow one). They used the yellow one on Paris Hilton's reality show, but she is getting a white one?

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3086/3153884189_97e52b0537_z_d.jpg

Dark Blue for me...

Moopher
04-25-11, 12:23 PM
Man, do I love me a Maxima. When I was out car-hunting in November, the dealership I bought my Altima from had a White Maxima with TONS of awesome black accents and an orange-ish leather interior. For the price, I could have gotten a Z coupe instead.

Michael Corvin
04-25-11, 12:56 PM
A yellow Lexus:

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a365/Time_and_Tide/yellow-lexus-lfa-official-4.jpg

rotfl

Okay, let me rephrase that. I can't picture a yellow Lexus that I would actually see on the road around here. Sports cars are a whole 'nother ballgame when it comes to crazy colors.

Nausicaa
04-25-11, 12:56 PM
My car is a dark gray color. I wanted something that looks 'classy' or 'professional' or some bullshit. It's a nice color I guess. In hindsight though, I wish I had gone for a white or silver model with the tan/beige interior. Something a bit more light and fresh, less serious looking.

Goat3001
04-25-11, 01:39 PM
http://imganuncios.mitula.net/2007_bmw_3_series_328xi_92787525127391426.jpg

That's a great color. I was buying my dad a car a few years ago and I wanted the 750 in the same color but they didn't have any pre-owned in that color so he settled on the silver. Looks kind of blah if you ask me, not a good color on an otherwise great looking car. But hey, I don't drive it.

I have an X5 and that only works for me in one color.... black (with black interior). Don't know why, but I just don't like it in any other color. Although I don't think I've seen one in that color blue before. The green metallic is ok too but I still prefer the black.

And white sucks on any car. My mom drives an Acura TL in white and my sister has a white Volvo.... both look terrible.

MoviePage
04-25-11, 02:07 PM
I've never bought a new car, so color was somewhat irrelevant when making a choice between a limited number of available used ones.

Tarantino
04-25-11, 03:25 PM
Mine is a dark gold color. My cars have been...baby blue (handed down from dad), maroon, gold, gold.

Giantrobo
04-25-11, 03:31 PM
I have a burgundy-ish colored car with a white top.

Supermallet
04-25-11, 03:35 PM
My current car is green. My first car was gray, but it was a hand me down so I wasn't about to complain.

Mabuse
04-25-11, 05:49 PM
Owner of 2 white cars here, and I'm not boring. One is a powerful euro touring car and the other is a Japanese 4x4. White is easy to keep clean, doesn't show the dirt as much when it is dirty, and looks "right" on my two cars.

Certain cars just have a look that looks best when painted a certain color. The Chevy Tahoe looks terrible in white, but the Rav4 looks great in white.

As an aside, there have always been "traditional" colors for certain manufacturers:
Lotus green
Ferrari red
BMW grey

arminius
04-25-11, 06:51 PM
Owner of 2 white cars here, and I'm not boring. One is a powerful euro touring car and the other is a Japanese 4x4. White is easy to keep clean, doesn't show the dirt as much when it is dirty, and looks "right" on my two cars.

Certain cars just have a look that looks best when painted a certain color. The Chevy Tahoe looks terrible in white, but the Rav4 looks great in white.

As an aside, there have always been "traditional" colors for certain manufacturers:
Lotus green
Ferrari red
BMW grey

Grand Prix national colors:

Blue France
Green England
Red Italy
White or Silver Germany

Jason
04-25-11, 08:05 PM
I had a silver car once. Cheap color for a cheap car. Never again.

White cars can be nice if it's an off-white, but so many are refrigerator white. Makes it look like you work for the gas company.

Gray can be nice, if it's a metallic gun metal gray.

Black can be really sharp, but it's a bitch to keep clean.

And FYI, my car is redfire metallic clearcoat.

http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/4811/mustangday126.jpg

PopcornTreeCt
04-25-11, 08:40 PM
Cars in general are really boring regardless of color. Apple needs to start designing cars.

FiveO
04-25-11, 08:51 PM
My take home squad car is white....2007 crown vic...really hate it during the spring/summer/fall...doesn't blend in. Winter time though its great :) LIDAR on I-35 with a few piles of snow by the crossovers and I'm invisible!

Silver is great for dust...can't even see it for the most part...my Marauder is silver. Love it.

I really love black cars..but they are tough to keep clean...but when they're clean, sharpest in my mind.

Our department just got a black 2011 Dodge Charger Hemi for traffic enforcement shifts....unmarked, camera and regular license plates.. it'll be like taking candy from a baby ;)

Deftones
04-25-11, 09:27 PM
i think people chose those colors of vehicles because outside of white, dirt doesn't show a ton. most people are lazy and don't want to wash their cars often. i know i am. that's why i chose a charcoal grey color for my mazda 6.

mndtrp
04-25-11, 10:37 PM
I don't have a problem with any car color, as long as it isn't brown or tan. Terrible colors for a car. I particularly like dark blue.

I've owned a few different colors: white, navy blue, purplish gray, black, cadet blue. The cadet blue is probably the easiest to keep clean, followed by the white, actually. The black looked awesome clean, but then only for about 20 minutes.

Nick Danger
04-25-11, 11:05 PM
My car is green, and Mrs Danger's car is a white woody because I buy used cars, and the color is close to the bottom of my priorities. As it was, we had to drive 350 miles each way to get the wagon I wanted.

Dr Mabuse
04-25-11, 11:49 PM
I like yellow on the right car, I have a yellow car that looks really nice I think.

Different cars seem to look better with a given color, so I'm not married to anything.

My favorite paint color I ever saw was on a TVR Tuscan. It changed shades and even color with the light direction. It was amazing to see IRL. These photos kind of reveal the way it is blue, and purple, and shades in between depending on the angle of view and light.


http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lj545wQDom1qb815co1_500.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2290/2194549517_e6a0b82b48.jpg

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_E5ELxVgPQd4/ShomxTrfZqI/AAAAAAAABl8/Q9TFCjXR028/s1600/tvr_tuscan_mk1_tvrblog_blogspot.com_1.jpg

grundle
04-26-11, 01:35 AM
Silver, gray, and white are fairly common colors here, but that makes sense. They are cooler in the desert sun. Maybe the change in popularity is a reflection of the population shift from northern states to the south.

But there are plenty of lighter shades of lots of colors too.

Living Dead
04-26-11, 03:38 AM
I've always bought blue cars. Red gets you pulled over, black and white are too hard to keep clean, and silver is just boring.

tommyp007
04-26-11, 08:26 AM
Currently in the family;

Red Mazda Miata
White Dodge Dakota
Green Honda Element

Michael Corvin
04-26-11, 08:27 AM
i think people chose those colors of vehicles because outside of white, dirt doesn't show a ton. most people are lazy and don't want to wash their cars often. i know i am. that's why i chose a charcoal grey color for my mazda 6.

Mazda had a 6 in sunset orange that I thought looked pretty sharp. That's another color that really depends on the make/model.

I don't have a problem with any car color, as long as it isn't brown or tan. Terrible colors for a car. I particularly like dark blue.


:up: I think tan/gold is worse than silver/grey. Right up there with white.

mrhan
04-26-11, 10:48 AM
Same. I would assume they are lifeless, boring and un-creative people.

Here's my car(well, stock photo of my car):
http://autodigs.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/2011-Ford-Fiesta-SES-front-side-pictures.jpg

I guess the engineers and designers at Porsche fall under your assumption because all their factory backed race cars are white. -rolleyes-

http://www.nuragungsantoso.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Porsche-911_GT3_RS_2010_800x600_wallpaper_03-633x450.jpg

http://media2.worldcarfans.com/2010/5/24/medium/83200523759159422.jpg

Michael Corvin
04-26-11, 11:16 AM
Post fail.

*edit - after seeing the broken pics fixed... :shrug: Not feeling a white Porsche either.

steebo777
04-26-11, 11:17 AM
I'm rocking a blue MINI Cooper S and a army green/brown Nissan Xterra. The wife has a white Saturn Aura, so she's boring.

Shazam
04-26-11, 03:30 PM
If you're picking from dealer stock then it's just whatever.

I don't care at all, except no yellow. Looks like a taxi cab.

islandclaws
04-26-11, 04:16 PM
First car was silver ('84 Volvo station wagon), second was black ('97 F-150), third was black ('98 Benz E300 TD), current one is monochromatic silver-y ('00 Tundra).

wabio
04-26-11, 05:41 PM
I like yellow on the right car, I have a yellow car that looks really nice I think.

Different cars seem to look better with a given color, so I'm not married to anything.

My favorite paint color I ever saw was on a TVR Tuscan. It changed shades and even color with the light direction. It was amazing to see IRL. These photos kind of reveal the way it is blue, and purple, and shades in between depending on the angle of view and light.


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_E5ELxVgPQd4/ShomxTrfZqI/AAAAAAAABl8/Q9TFCjXR028/s1600/tvr_tuscan_mk1_tvrblog_blogspot.com_1.jpg

That color is called MYSTICHROME. Ford used it on the '03-'04 Mustang Cobras. Really cool color......until it gets scratched. :eek:

wabio
04-26-11, 05:42 PM
I've always liked cars that were vibrant metallic blue. Like this.

http://www.dymee.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/2009-nissan-370z-blue.jpg

mrhan
04-26-11, 06:28 PM
Post fail.

*edit - after seeing the broken pics fixed... :shrug: Not feeling a white Porsche either.

Have fun in your Fiesta. That's cool but I'm sure it's more fun to drive a white GT3 RS. BTW, I have a black 911 Carrera but saying white is boring is such a blanket statement.

dvdjunkie32
04-27-11, 03:33 PM
It occured to me yesterday that there could be some psychology related in this. Silver, black, white, gray are the same color tones as human hair. Our brains are so used to these colors that other colors just don't feel natural and comfortable.

Same with hair. Anytime I see a girl with purple or pink hair, it never comes across natural. Too fakey. Same thing if I saw someone driving a bright green or pink car.

Michael Corvin
04-27-11, 03:53 PM
Have fun in your Fiesta. That's cool but I'm sure it's more fun to drive a white GT3 RS. BTW, I have a black 911 Carrera but saying white is boring is such a blanket statement.

:hscratch: I thought we were discussing car colors not car models.
I'm sure owning a GT3 RS or 911, or even the BMW above are fun as hell (maybe not practical for most, but yeah hopefully better than a fucking Fiesta rotfl), but that's not what the discussion was about.

Looks boring ≠ boring to own/drive

It occured to me yesterday that there could be some psychology related in this.

That's what I think and was trying to get at, maybe a little too aggressively. :lol:

RunBandoRun
04-27-11, 06:31 PM
I had to think about this. I've never owned a silver, black, grey, or white car. :lol:

First car was a beige '76 Chevy Vega.
Second was a dark green '76 Olds Cutlass Supreme.
Third was a two-tone blue '85 Buick Somerset Regal Limited.
Fourth was a maroon '94 Nissan Sentra.
Fifth was a dark green '00 Chevy Prizm.
Current car is a maroon '04 Ford Taurus.

I have never bought a brand new car so have never had a choice of colors, but I would choose blue or dark green over almost anything else. And a black car in Kansas in the summer? Not so much. :lol:

mrhan
04-28-11, 10:50 AM
Post fail.

*edit - after seeing the broken pics fixed... :shrug: Not feeling a white Porsche either.

:hscratch: I thought we were discussing car colors not car models.
I'm sure owning a GT3 RS or 911, or even the BMW above are fun as hell (maybe not practical for most, but yeah hopefully better than a fucking Fiesta rotfl), but that's not what the discussion was about.

Looks boring ≠ boring to own/drive



That's what I think and was trying to get at, maybe a little too aggressively. :lol:

You did say a white 911 doesn't do it for you. So, I assumed if you were given one you wouldn't even drive it. Seriously, if someone gave you one for free and stipulated you couldn't sell it or repaint it any other color you wouldn't take it and drive the shit out of it. You know you'd take it and wouldn't care if it was white or not. :)

CRM114
04-28-11, 11:19 AM
Same. I would assume they are lifeless, boring and un-creative people. I know 3 people at work where that is the case.

Here's my car(well, stock photo of my car):
http://autodigs.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/2011-Ford-Fiesta-SES-front-side-pictures.jpg

A person driving a modernized Pinto calling others boring? :lol: No offense.

CRM114
04-28-11, 11:23 AM
My car is a dark gray color. I wanted something that looks 'classy' or 'professional' or some bullshit. It's a nice color I guess. In hindsight though, I wish I had gone for a white or silver model with the tan/beige interior. Something a bit more light and fresh, less serious looking.

This is why the predominant colors are black, white, gray, and silver. They are classy colors that hold up well over time.

As for white, I never owned a white car but I think it looks good on certain vehicles. I used to like that pearl white that Audis came in. My car is silver.

Also, when I was looking at the Acura website recently, I noticed the new TL only comes in 6 colors. 4 mentioned here plus a dark red and a bronze. You rarely ever see those colors on the road.