For those unfamiliar with the term, a Q-ship is a merchant vessel that possesses hidden armaments in order to lure subs to the surface and then to sink them. That nomenclature has been adopted by the car culture as the description of a car that is stealthily able to travel quickly without drawing attention to itself. And one way it does that is by not being painted a bright, loud color.
Traditionally the Italians know nothing of the concept of the Q-ship or stealth on the roads. Their cars come from the factory with exhaust notes the polizia can hear all the way back at the station. Not only that but they come in colors like fly yellow and arrest-me red. The British, who advanced the art of espionage in Victorian times, are masters of concealment and subterfuge. They paint their speed demons earthy shades of green and brown, the better to blend in with the hedgerows and loping moors of their island nation.
Germans care nothing for hiding their speed as they enjoy the playground that is the Autobahn (at least they do until traffic turns it into the 405 freeway at rush hour), and traditionally paint their blitzen bombers silver. The French, preferring comfort over speed, choose bright blue, while we Americans have chosen white as our color of choice for sporting wares.
That all speaks to tradition and stereotypes, but what about in the real world, what color of car would make you most appear innocuous? Is there one color that doesn’t stand out above the rest when the po-po are on the prowl and you need to get form point A to point B in the quickest possible fashion? What color would that be?
Image sources: [Chuck Goolsbee.org, BringATrailer]