Hooniverse Asks: What Was The Most Aesthetically Unsuccessful Factory Paint Color on Any Car?

Mercedes-Benz-A-Class_2016
The color, texture and fabric choices that the automotive industry uses is derived from the fashion industry, and typically follows that category by about five years. That’s why we saw so many brown cars in the late Seventies, a short time after Earth tones had fallen from favor in the halls of haute couture.
We all love brown cars, don’t we? I don’t know why it is but that Gaia-grain looks pretty good on pretty much any car you can so swath. May be it is a race memory, recalling our original evolutionary march out of the dirt.
Whatever the reason, it’s usually a solid choice for a car, although over the years there have been many other hues that have attempted to usurp Brown’s position, and have failed fitfully in doing so. What we want to know today is, which of those do you think was the worst, most abject, failure in a factory color scheme? Hopefully someone won’t offer your choice before you, making you see red, and then be green with envy until you feel blue.
Image: CarsGuide.au

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  1. Maymar Avatar
    Maymar

    I refuse to engage in this monochromatic agenda. More cars need to be painted in weird colours!

    1. Sjalabais Avatar
      Sjalabais

      Agreed. I remember the Lancia Ypsilon in particular, as it was offered in 120 colours.
      http://www.italiaspeed.com/2005/motor_show/frankfurt/preview/lancia/advance/lancia_ypsilon_momo_edition_204.jpg

      1. jim Avatar
        jim

        Fun fact : the earlier Lancia Y, introduced in 1995, was the first small car available with an alcantara interior.
        https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b1/Lancia_Y_Interior106.jpg

    2. Citric Avatar
      1. Maymar Avatar
        Maymar

        Maybe, but then I don’t think of silver and such so much as a failure, as an unwillingness of the public to accept occasional failure.

      2. Conor Richards Avatar
        Conor Richards

        Ugh, silver

    3. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      And all at once.
      http://www.linternaute.com/auto/salons-mondial/retromobile/06/images/1.jpg
      The original Paul Smith Mini

  2. Citric Avatar
    Citric

    The Chevy Spark already looked kinda like a cat going through a hole slightly smaller than its head. Paint it pink and it looks like a weird hairless cat doing that.
    http://wardsauto.com/site-files/wardsauto.com/files/imagecache/galleryformatter_slide_penton/gallery_images/Chevy%20Spark%20pink.jpg?1345055354

  3. 0A5599 Avatar
    0A5599

    I think they are pretty cool, but they certainly are not an everyday sight.
    http://thumbnails101.imagebam.com/21046/516bba210454296.jpg

    1. Alff Avatar
      Alff

      My daughter is after me to harlequin the kids’ Cabrio. I’m actually tempted.

    2. jim Avatar
      jim

      I know that feeling bro. I can’t even remember the last ti… Oh wait, you mean the car ?

    1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
      dead_elvis, inc.

      The WORST. Looked like crap on anything.

    1. Conor Richards Avatar
      Conor Richards

      Good ol’ NYG! lol

  4. Alff Avatar
    Alff

    If you’re going to raise the issue, you should use a photo of a horrid color. That awesome green does not qualify.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar
      Batshitbox

      That awesome green looked best on 1980-ish Toyota Corollas, with the dual headlamps. On something as slick and lumpy as that Benz, it looks like someone 200 feet tall hocked a loogie onto the road, or a quadriplegic frog.

      1. Alff Avatar
        Alff

        I think that awesome green looked best on Chevrolets around 1970. “Citrus Green Poly”

        1. Batshitbox Avatar
          Batshitbox

          Yes, this is a case of, “My God! What is that car doing to that poor paint job?!?”

  5. P161911 Avatar
    P161911

    I’ve always found these to be particularly hideous. http://www.buyavette.net/New%20Pictures/247201.jpg

    1. JayP Avatar
      JayP

      These came with a toupee as a no-cost option.

      1. P161911 Avatar
        P161911

        Gold chains were extra though.
        I love Corvettes, but if someone gave me one of these to drive, I’d probably have to get out a few rattle cans and some seat covers before I would drive it. Maybe a plain white wrap.

        1. Citric Avatar
          Citric

          I think you could take the decals off. Like the purple isn’t that bad, though it’s definitely extremely late ’90s, but the yellow graphics are a bridge too far.

          1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
            dead_elvis, inc.

            The yellow wheels & seats aren’t things anyone should have to look at, either.

          2. P161911 Avatar
            P161911

            The seats match the wheels. http://www.usedcorvettesforsale.com/files/66413.jpg

    2. 0A5599 Avatar
      0A5599

      Ketchup Mustard Vipers, too. The color is god, but not in combination with yellow wheels.
      http://dodgeviperhistoricalsociety.com/vipergallery/data/562/11MC.jpg

      1. theskitter Avatar

        Don’t you even listen to them, saucy Viper.

      2. Tanshanomi Avatar

        Speaking of bad color combinations, Can-Am really got out the ugly stick for the 2015 RS-S. The rumor was that they had so many ’13s and ’14s in the warehouse, that they decided to drastically differentiate the ’15s. Drastic would be the correct term.
        http://cdnmedia.endeavorsuite.com/images/organizations/c491e64d-9331-4aea-99a7-cbd41a0d4ca5/inventory/764523/RSS%20Special%20%283%29.JPG

        1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
          dead_elvis, inc.

          Damn! That’s a hideous color combo. Guess that’s what happens when you buy paints from the mis-mixed bin at Home Despot.

    3. salguod Avatar

      I love these in all their tacky glory.

      1. Rover 1 Avatar
        Rover 1

        I know a guy who put Massey Ferguson decals on his. When we were out on a ride once a farmer said at a coffee stop that he didn’t know they did bikes. So we told him about Triumph TR2s and TR3s and he didn’t believe us.

        1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
          dead_elvis, inc.

          Speaking of tractors:

  6. Alff Avatar
    Alff

    Thankfully the grape jam and teal colors that Ford was so fond of in the 90s are largely forgotten.

  7. tonyola Avatar
    tonyola

    I can’t find a satisfactory picture, but in the early 2000s Mercedes offered a weird and ugly greenish silver, seemingly particularly common on SLs.

  8. dukeisduke Avatar
    dukeisduke

    What on earth is this supposed to be?
    http://o.aolcdn.com/dims-global/dims3/GLOB/legacy_thumbnail/750×422/quality/95/http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2012/02/02-2012-toyota-prius-c-fd.jpg
    I’ve only seen it on the Prius C, but I’ve seen it on a lot of them.

    1. Krautwursten Avatar
      Krautwursten

      When I grow up, I want to be a traffic cone!

    2. Conor Richards Avatar
      Conor Richards

      “Habanero”

    3. Citric Avatar
      Citric

      Prius Vitamin C. Great if you’re a Sunkist sales rep.

    4. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
      dead_elvis, inc.

      Emetic Orange.

    5. Vairship Avatar
      Vairship

      I refer to it as Tomato bisque!

  9. stigshift Avatar
    stigshift

    Nissan had a color most often seen on older Xterras that had an uncanny resemblance to the inside of a loaded diaper. Worst color ever. https://www.google.com/search?q=nissan+xterra+2002+beige&biw=1366&bih=651&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjaqv_16sDMAhUESCYKHRnwCwcQ_AUIBigB#tbm=isch&q=beige+nissan+xterra&imgrc=5GoINrs1ZlAwOM%3A

  10. engineerd Avatar
    engineerd

    Zinc Yellow was an OK color on the Focus or even the Escape. However, when applied to the expansive sheetmetal of the Explorer it was too much. Plus, I always wanted to try hailing one down and then ask the driver to get me to the airport…and step on it!
    http://images.gtcarlot.com/pictures/64296260.jpg

  11. Valerio Avatar
    Valerio

    The Citroen SM came in Cockroach Brown…….

      1. Texlenin Avatar
        Texlenin

        That’s AC 427, Brun Scarabee, thank you very much.
        Scarab. Not cockroach. 🙂

  12. mzszsm Avatar
    mzszsm

    What I call Safety Orange which I believe was offically called Walnut: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a8/FSM_Polski_Fiat_126p_GOH-s%C5%82.jpg

  13. Krautwursten Avatar
    Krautwursten

    Not sure if taxicab or extremely faded actual yellow. Worse yet, it seems to have somewhat of an actual following among Volvo fans.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar
      Sjalabais

      The 850T5-R was the first to carry the turbo-torch after a tough period for Volvo. It was a good success and unprecedentedly Un-Scandinavian in its choice of colour. So it’s at least special.

    2. Citric Avatar
      Citric

      I believe it has a following because it’s amazing and I agree with them.

      1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
        dead_elvis, inc.

        Is that a real ad? Almost looks like an uncanny valley of ’90+ Volvo dash font.

        1. Maymar Avatar
          Maymar

          Yup, I first thought of it because I have an old issue of Car & Driver with this ad in it (well, the first half, because it’s missing the back cover).

  14. salguod Avatar

    I see nothing wrong with anything posted here.

    1. LEROOOY Avatar
      LEROOOY

      Yeah, when I look out the window, all I see is: Gray, White, Black, Gray, Gray, Gray, White, Beige, Beige, White, Gray, White, Black, Gray…
      I’m kinda looking at funky fluorescent green Scion iMs these days…

  15. RHParish Avatar
    RHParish

    My opinion is that, if you’re going to paint a car a color, don’t half-ass it. The worst offenders for me are that weird “champagne” color that ruins a German luxury car, or a general sort of ice blue. They just kind of anger me a little.
    http://images.gtcarlot.com/pictures/50659597.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v359/mjcarrer/bmw2/cashmerebeige.jpg

    1. Vairship Avatar
      Vairship

      I had a Hyundai Excel in that champagne color. It was great because, as long as you washed the windows, the car looked clean because it was the same color as the typical Southern California dust!

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