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Redusernab Asks: Do You Only Buy Cars Within a Narrow Color Spectrum?

Robert Emslie March 23, 2017 Redusernab Asks 51 Comments

I have an admission: I’ve never owned a black car. Now, before you label me racist please understand that I’ve only ever actually owned one white car. It seems however that, over the course of my auto-owning years, I’ve visited every rainbow hue in between. Right now my driveway contains a metallic grey car, a silver bullet, a deep blue crossover (don’t you judge me) a champagne van, a green wagon, an orange coupe, a primer’d convertible and the aforementioned white roadster.

That covers me and three other drivers, but with the exception of the blue Honda I’ve been the instigator for every purchase. That’s actually a somewhat empowering thought. For me color has always been a less import factor in a purchase decision, but for many, it’s a mantra. My in-laws for example love black cars and presently own five so painted, half their entire stable. What about you? Are you a proud member of the rainbow coalition, or have you limited your auto buying to just a certain section of the color spectrum? 

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  • 0A5599

    Purple, orange, red (color change from blue before I bought it), green (mint shade or BRG, I’ve had both), black (only way to get a Syclone without a trip to the Earl of Schieb), silver, tan, woodgrain, white. I think I still need a yellow to get into the Roy G. Biv club.

    • smalleyxb122

      (only way to get a Syclone without a trip to the Earl of Schieb)

      Or a Marlboro Syclone. While they were still technically black from the factory, they were repainted red while still new, so I consider that red their original color.

      • 0A5599

        Well, the only way from the dealer. Yeah, the Marlboros, the pace truck, the white Race the Snake truck (and another ’92), all had non-black paint.

        • smalleyxb122

          Valid point. One could not purchase a Marlboro Syclone (at least not new).

  • GTXcellent

    My last 3, and 4 out of the last 5 pickups have all been red – part of that is that MiSSus GTXcellent hates blue vehicles, and wouldn’t allow me to build the last truck in the Blue Flame that I was wanting.

    From what I can recall off-hand, here is the breakdown of colors for vehicles owned (includes pre-marriage pickups)

    Red/Maroon – 6
    White – 2
    Black – 2
    Green – 1
    Blue – 1
    Orange – 1
    Two-tone – 2 (maroon/silver and blue/silver)
    Gray primer – 1 (originally turquoise)

    Definitely trends towards red, but there is a pretty broad spectrum of colors.

  • Alcology

    Blue. Silver and Blue. Silver (with a bordello red interior). Red. Red. Red. Red.

    Red or dead.

    • Alcology

      Honda. Ford. Ford. AMC. Subaru. Ford. Ford.

      • Lokki

        So, silver?

        Edit – opps didn’t notice that the two posts were both from you, Alcology.

        • Alcology

          🙂

  • P161911

    There was a time, when we got together with my wife’s side of the family, there were 5 or 6 red/burgundy vehicles.
    Mine have been: brown/bronze, white, blue and white, white, red, tan and white, dark red, dark green, blue, black, black, red and black, light and dark brown, blue, grey, silver, silver, and red. Think that is about it.

  • smalleyxb122

    Yes, but not intentionally. When I bought my GTO, I wanted a black one. That was intentional. When I bought my 9-7x, I bought a black one, since the Aero was effectively only available in black (a few silver ’09s exist). Then I bought my Astra because it was cheap. It happened to also be black. So, of my 3 (running/driving) vehicles, they are all various shades of black (Phantom Black Metallic, Carbon Flash Metallic, and Black Sapphire Pearl).

  • engineerd

    A few years ago I realized that I was in a pattern for vehicle color:
    2000 Ranger: black
    2002 Explorer: blue
    2005 F150: black
    2008 Mustang: blue
    2010 Edge: black
    2010 328xi: blue

    The only vehicles I have owned which weren’t blue or black were my 1984 Topaz (red), 1987 Crown Vic (white), and 2001 Cherokee (red). The Topaz and Crown Vic were owned before the blue/black pattern. The Cherokee was bought used right around the time we got the Edge, so it is more of an aberration than any attempt at breaking the cycle.

    • Alff

      My ownership of Fords has left me black and blue as well.

      • engineerd

        Ha! I haven’t had too many problems with any of them. The Explorer had some switches go wonky, but that’s about it.

    • outback_ute

      Are you sure they were black and blue and not white and gold?

  • crank_case

    Was there a wide monochrome spectrum? It seems to have decent elbow room, and why would I want to buy cars from inside an old rebadge Isuzu? Have I misunderstood the question?

    • Lokki

      Yes. And you’ve gotten the name of the car wrong too. That thing is a Speculum. Similar in concept to a Ford Probe but even less fun. You are no doubt right about plenty of room inside though.

      • crank_case

        Googles “speculum”

        • dukeisduke

          Patrick!

    • engineerd

      Ha! I see what you did there…

  • Alff

    No. Our newer vehicles come from across the narrow spectrum of choices that automakers think we prefer – from metallic blue to metallic silver.

  • Fred Talmadge

    My first sport car was a Bugeye Sprite. I had the choice of a baby blue one which was nicer for $500 or a BRG one that was not so nice for $400. I chose the BRG which was a mistake, but at least I learned about Lucas electrics and SU carbs.

  • ptschett

    I didn’t really have a choice what color the Thunderbird was, when you’re buying a car after it went out of production you take what’s out there. The story was different after that though…



  • Maymar

    Most of my cars have been grey, or grey-adjacent (re. White or black), although absolutely not by choice.

    Hopefully for the next car (in several years) I’ll have a little more time to search around and get exactly what I want, and pick out something in an actual colour.

  • Papa Van Twee

    Colors I’ve owned over the years:

    Blue, powder blue, dark red, white, gold, dark blue, green, black, blue, red, black, and my current two cars: silver, white. I would prefer blue (my wife green) but we don’t buy new, so as long as it isn’t terrible looking, we’ll buy just about any color.

    • P161911

      Same here, if it isn’t horrible, I don’t really care. Even when we have bought new it has been more about finding the option combination we wanted instead of the color. When I bought my Silverado Work Truck, I did actually have a black one transferred in from another dealership. I wanted one where the black poverty spec trim wouldn’t stick out so much and actually look sort of like the pricey color match trim on the high end models, also white pickups look a little too much like company vehicles for a personal ride.

  • dukeisduke

    My last two trucks have been white, since it gets pretty hot here, and white helps with the a/c load. Also, they don’t show dirt all that much, which is pretty good as I’m kinda lazy about washing them.

    Complete rundown:

    ’75 Vega: Bright Yellow
    ’78 Audi Fox: Colibri Green (metallic)
    ’64 Grand Prix: Saddle Bronze (metallic) (painted over the original Alamo Beige)
    ’68 Bonneville: Aleutian Blue (metallic)
    ’76 Vega GT: Medium Saddle (metallic)
    ’66 Corvair: Lemonwood Yellow
    ’95 F-150: Oxford White
    ’13 Tacoma: Super White

  • I tallied up all the vehicles (2, 3 and 4 wheel) my wife and I have owned as a couple over our 20-year marriage.

    Burgundy/maroon: 5
    Navy/dark blue: 5
    Silver/gray: 4
    Black: 3

    I don’t know if that’s a narrow spectrum or not. With the exception of my wife’s admitted attraction to burgundy (4 of the 5 were hers), we’ve mostly sought out a particular model and lived with whatever color we happened to find a good deal on.

  • Victor

    Any color but yellow,never have cared for that color on a vehicle.

  • Kiefmo

    Chronologically:

    – primary red
    – metallic light blue
    – metallic Forest green
    – nearly-black metallic purple
    – slightly-less metallic forest green
    – silver
    – metallic navy blue
    – white with black pillars, roof, mirrors, and hood scoop (panda?)
    – metallic coppery-red
    – black (none more)
    – buff/buttercream/beige over silver (two-tone)
    – gunmetal

    So… no. But used-only buyers can’t be too choosy on color. The only new thing I’ve bought was the black motorcycle, and I didn’t have a choice there either because I was buying the previous-year’s model with a steep discount, and it came with the same paint colors as the original Model T.

  • Mister Sterling

    I like bright colors. Red, orange, yellow, purple. I’m sure this is why Jeep is a favorite brand even though I am yet own a Jeep. My parents color spectrum is an interesting one. At some point my mom went black for good. What I think is my parents complete car color history is a mainy conservative one, aside from that first radical car.

    Yellow 1972 Volvo DL
    Blue 1976 Dodge Aspen
    Brown 1984 Toyota Corolla
    Blue 1992 Toyota Camry
    Green 1998 Toyota Camry
    Blue 2002 Toyota Camry
    Black 2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca
    Black 2017 Subaru Forester

    When I look at the color choices for Volvo and Acura, I just see shades of black, gray and silver. Seriously.

  • Citric

    Silver, red, white, red. I think the next car purchased in my household will be white, but it won’t be for me, so I don’t think that counts.

  • Froggmann

    Yellow, white/black, blue, red, white, red, green, blue, white.

    I can say I’ve been varied but yes I do like a nice white vehicle.

  • Alan Cesar

    I prefer white (details become crisp, and it photographs way better than black or dark colors), but price talks louder. That’s why I now have a grey, blue, and green vehicles in my collection.

  • Harry Callahan

    My priority has always been PRACTICALITY–longevity, easy of maintenance, and discretion. As such, I choose cars that are white, silver, light blue or champagne. All of those colors tend to appear clean longest, fade least, and don’t scream “Look at ME!!!”.

  • SlowJoeCrow

    I’ve bought mostly used cars so paint color was low on the list. At one point between myself and my parents all 3 cars were white, but 2 were used so it was a bit of a coincidence and the next 3 cars were shades of red. While I really like blue, circumstances, and taste have left me with a green truck and a red crossover as my last two new purchases.
    I do avoid black paint for practical reasons because it shows body damage more than other colors and can be harder to repair it gets hotter in the summer.

  • Sjalabais

    My first car was an orange 1977 Volvo 242. I wanted a classic Volvo, but fell for the colour first and foremost. I got to hear: “You think like a women” several times for that, a theme that intensified and found its katharsis when I became a scholar at the Center for Women’s and Gender research, sigh.

    Apart from that, I’ve had a burgundy 145, white 245 (never again a white car, blørg), a green Nissan and a silver Honda. Some intermezzos like a random Citroën Xsara that was sold within two weeks, silver that one, too.

    As a kid, I dreamt of a brown 965. Today, BRG with a cream interior is the absolute best colour combonI know on most cars I like.

    • Maymar

      Bricklin concurs with safety orange.

  • Tiller188

    Hmm, I’m rather on the boring end of the spectrum…the only car I actually own is a metallic dark grey (though in my defense, it’s a WRX, so while something like a bright blue would normally be considered unusual and exciting, in this case it’s kinda more like the default…)

    Counting family cars that I’ve driven, though (the color choice of a couple of which I had a hand in), the spectrum expands to a red/burgundy, silver (I know, I know…) and many shades of blue. I think the takeaway in my case is that there is insufficient data to draw a statistically-significant conclusion, so I need to go buy some more cars. For science.

  • Gianni Burrows

    Four wheels chronologically:
    Red
    Navy Blue
    Metallic blue
    Burgundy
    Black
    Metallic green
    Silver
    Dark metallic grey
    White
    French blue
    Soul red
    Soul red
    (Both Mazdas)

    Two wheels:
    Candy lime green
    Red
    Candy apple red

  • neight428

    Seems like everything is somewhere on the greyscale spectrum these days with a few blues and reds mixed in. I like black because it is the nicest when it is clean, and if its not clean, its probably because you have something to do other than wash your car and you won’t be worrying about it. Colors that don’t show dirt also don’t show clean.

  • As far as I can see my cars scatter and reflect light strictly within one octave (400-800nm).

  • JayP

    All 4 Audis I had were silver.
    As they should be.

  • Rover 1

    Two wheels
    Green, Green, Orange, Red, Green, Red, Red, Black
    Four wheels
    Green, Blue, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Yellow, Blue, Pale Blue, White, Red, White, Black, Silver, Red, Red, White, Light Gold, Silver, White, White, Silver, Dark Brown, Dark Green, Silver, Gold, Black, Silver, Red, Dark Blue, White, White, White, Silver, White.

    No real pattern there?

    • crank_case

      Maybe with a larger sample size a pattern will emerge.

      • Rover 1

        I’m working on that 🙂

  • Borkwagen

    Black, red, silver, black, black, yellow, purple, white….the car underneath the paint is more important than the color.

  • Fuhrman16

    Out of the 18 cars I’ve owned, six were red (with another that started out red before getting painted orange), 4 were blue (though one started out tan), two green, and one of each of yellow, black, white, silver, and brown.

  • outback_ute

    For the past 15 years I’ve been driving white cars/pickups because most have been company vehicles, and my main Imp is also white – just happened to be the colour of the car that came up.

    My father currently has 4 red cars, 2 classics that just happened to be red then the 2 moderns were ordered that way. Mind you there are 3 very different shades of red.

  • Grant Linderman

    I might win (lose) with the most colorless range so far.

    Black – 2
    Silver/Pewter – 3
    White – 6

    Never realized until now that I’ve never bought a car painted an actual color.

  • Luxury Lexus Land-yacht

    I’ve gravitated to shades of the white-grey spectrum over the past

    Chronologically:
    yellow Honda C70
    mostly-blue, some primer
    blue-green ’66 Rambler 660 wagon
    white
    brown
    black
    red
    black
    yellow
    white
    grey
    silver
    champagne – ’94 Grand Cherokee Ltd for Colorado high country move
    champagne
    silver – first and only new car ’99 Suzuki Grand Vitara
    yellow
    white
    white- 40′ ’99 Fleetwood diesel motorcoach, so gelcoat
    grey
    silver
    white
    silver

    You can see, I haven’t shied away from bright colors, two yellow cars, one red bike, but after the move to Colorado, I determined a ‘dirt-colored’ car is easiest to keep looking like it would, clean.

    Champagne, silver, light-to-medium grey, even white can be okay.

    However, no more black cars. Nope! Looks incredible, until 20 minutes later when it’s obviously dusty.

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