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Hooniverse Asks- What Automotive Era Had the Coolest Colors?

Robert Emslie January 11, 2013 Hooniverse Asks 51 Comments


One of the urban legends that even non-car people usually know is that Henry Ford offered the Model T in any color the customer wanted, as long as it was black. Truth be told, the Model T had been in production for six years – and available in a number of colors – before the company instituted the black tie only edict. That was done to lower cost and speed the assembly lines, which by 1925 were cranking out almost 10,000 of the cars a day.

The monotone color option was just one way the T failed to keep up with competing products in its later years, but the succeeding A carried no such burden. Instead, it carried a slew of new color options, including a beige that must have been the most popular owing to how many of the survivors seem to be painted that way. Paint technology kept apace of the rest of the automotive industry’s advancements, and by the fifties maker began introducing vibrant colors on even the most plebeian of production cars. The sixties brought a profusion of metal flake, and the seventies got us to love brown, all over again. The eighties saw metal flake taken to the next level with the advent of almost impossible to match pearlescent hues, while the nineties. . .  well, I don’t know really what has happened since then, but I’m sure something amazing has.

Each era can almost be defined by the color palette and technologies of automotive paints therein. The neons of the seventies certainly are emblematic of those turbulent times, do you think they were the coolest? Or, do the two-tones of the fifties represent car color’s golden age? Whether you like the flame look of modern paint, or like Henry, feel that being back in black is the best, we want to know which era you think had the coolest colors. 

Image: [CarGurus]