Last Call: I miss crazy color paint jobs and the names that went with them

Plum Crazy Purple might be my favorite paint job name of all time and I’m glad it’s still around. But I still wish more funky colors were popular/normal for everyone to roll with. I get that a businessman would prefer his grey 3 series over a Sassy Grass Green Challenger but you know what I mean. At least Dodge has still kept some of these colors alive and we do have Nitrous Blue from Ford which I like, but I want more.

Maybe it will make a comeback but I kind of doubt it. Am I alone in this or would too much color make it less special?

Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, but it’s also encouraged.

My name is Colby Buchanan and I love all things car-related all the way from rusted 240sx's to McLaren Senna's and of course I have a soft spot for American Muscle. You can spot me in my bone stock '06 350z named MackenZ.


        1. Oh hell yes. “Root beer” metallics are awesome, and that’s a great example. And I don’t care for Plum Crazy, but purples that are almost black like that on the Aston look very classy.

        2. I do believe that that’s a Lagonda Rapide, not an Aston Marton old chap! (Although they were owned and built by Aston Martin).

          1. Oh, I always thought Lagondas were in fact Aston Martins. And I had no idea that one was so expensive. Learned my new car-fact for the day.

          2. The Touring bodied Lagonda is a one off for Sir David Brown – that makes it special and expensive. The cream interior is among my absolute favourites, too. Makes me happy every single time I look at it.

          3. My apologies, but I’m pretty blind to (and fairly ignorant of) pre-war cars. You can put the nicest Deuce Coupe or Bugatti Type-Whatever Atlantic in front of me and I’ll walk right past it without blinking an eye. In any year of much relevance to me, car-wise, the Lagonda was AM-owned.

      1. Years ago I had a chance to buy a 70 SST for a really low price. It wasn’t perfect, but it ran and drove. The timing wasn’t right- I really had no business buying it. But sometimes I still wish I would have. They’re great looking cars.

        1. Similarly, I myself passed on a ’70 AMX I saw on a random corner in Pittsburgh over 20 years ago. I was single and comfortably employed at the time, with no one telling me how to spend my money. The asking price was like $7k, but it was nearly perfect. It looked like the image below. Hindsight is 20/20… I’m still kicking myself for not jumping on that one.

          Of note, I really like this color, too.

    1. Swinger has to be one of the most ballsy names given to a car. I can only imagine the letters to the editor of proper women’s magazines of the time. I can’t think of any other name that would be so likely to draw ire from a large portion of the population.

      1. And then to replace it with the Demon after you lose the PR war over the name. They went a complete 180 with that.

        1. And the Demon was initially going to be called the Beaver, until the greyhairs in marketing learned that it was slang for “vagina”.

          1. I think I actually heard it first here on Hooniverse, but I can’t remember when.

      2. Studebaker Dictator? (although at the time that meant ‘powerful person’ more than ‘violent potentate’.

      1. They really could have. In person that purple really stands out. It bugged me so badly.

    1. My 318ti had no parking brake because of the rusted backing plate that the parking brake shoe retainers were supposed to anchor to. I actually bought all the parts to fix it and then when realizing how much work it was going to be I decided not to and returned everything.

      1. Exactly – the parking brake on the Camry is also anchored here. That’s why we failed tech inspection at first. Then we went to a shady shop nearby that got paid 700$ to fix that, and put the car through tech inspection. Not sure what they did, but the p-brake is pretty meh, and this wasn’t good either. In addition, when I changed my front brake pads a month later, last year, it turned out two of them were stuck. Needless to say, we’re done with that shop.

  1. I’ve heard that the lack of colors being offered today has to do with how we tend to buy our cars. People don’t generally want to wait for the exact car they want, they want to go home with one when they visit the dealership. So dealers order the cars that they can move. They understand that the person who prefers the black, gray or white is not likely to go home with a bright green or orange, but the person who prefers that green or orange will probably settle for the gray if they can take it home now. So the dealers buy more bland colors and the manufacturers see that and offer fewer bright color options.

    With the ability to move cars around the country and to advertise nationwide online, I would think that there’s an opportunity for a dealer to stock those colors and charge a premium for them to those who really want them.

    1. It sounds reasonable until you realize the trend is just the same in Europe, where most people custom order cars. Dealers do argue that it is easier to resell the car later if it is painted in a non-offensive colour, but they also want you to add more equipment for resale values alone. Same goes for houses. When we moved here, the houses on the other side of the fjord were all sorts of colours. Ten years later, there are two red houses left, the rest is on the white-beige-grey-spectrum.

      I tried to find a specific factory image from the 70s, showing a colourful field of newly made cars, but my Google-fu failed. Yet, even in my youth in the 90s, red was the most sold colour – which is almost gone now.×710.jpg

      1. It reminded me of the housing market, too. Realtors always tell you to “neutralize” the interior before trying to sell, because it gives the prospective buyer a blank canvas on which to envision their personal preferences. I think lease purchases make up about 1/3 of new car sales in the U.S., and neutral-colored cars are better for turnover than ones that only suit specific tastes.

        Personally, I don’t miss the reds so much as the greens. Toyota had a color a few years ago (maybe it’s still available) that I saw on a Camry and a Tundra. I think it was called Spruce Green Mica, and in person it was gorgeous.

        1. Agreed on the colour, again. We have different shades of green across the entire house, too, even though we went for a joyful yellow outside.

          Friends of mine in Oslo were to sell their apartment when I visited them last fall. They had turned all their books around, showing the paper pages rather than the descriptive back. My friends had to spend the better part of the next five minutes fending off my laughter-drowned insults, as the ambition was to not “impose their views” on prospective buyers visiting the apartment.

          This seems to be common advice among realtors now. To me, this is just another symptom of giving in to human stupidity. If people won’t buy an apartment because they don’t agree with the former owner’s taste in books…there’s room for some righteous slapping.

      2. Red probably fell out of favour because endless fluff-psychology “what does your car color say about you” articles on slow news days about how red meant you were passionate and impulsive but also more likely to be involved in an accident and they’d be more expensive to insure..which like Horoscopes and Myers Briggs personality tests, people are happy to buy into, even though if you think about if for more then five minutes, you know is total nonsense.

        Brown on the other hand probably just reflects changes in tastes as to what’s conservative, brown may be fetishised now by hoons, but at the time, in the UK/Ireland at least, it was the epitome of the solid, staid, masculine, real ale / porter drinking man in a time when the Germans apart from Mercedes hadn’t got a foothold (it’s easy to forget how niche Audi and BMW were in the 70s) and the aspirational manager company car was a Granada in “Roman Bronze”. It was the Audi Srsbiznezz Grey of it’s time.

          1. Sadly the hottest engine it got (apart from South African Perana versions) was an Essex V6, if ever there was a car begging for a 302 V8, this is it, but yeah it looked “the business” as they’d say and a similar spec/color car was the hero car of a popular 70s UK cop show called The Sweeney (technically badged Consul at this point, ironically due to a dispute with the regional TV station Granada who were part of the same ITV network broadcasting the show).

            I don’t remember much about it, even though UK TV was available in Ireland, I was too young, but it mainly seemed to involve people getting punched, the odd car chase and a grumpy man telling people to SHUT IT for reasons that weren’t entirely clear.

        1. That was a huge improvement, beautiful! Once we’re sharing…the yellow is a tad more orange, warmer, than this photo suggests. It totally changed the place’s character from the blueish grey the house had before:

          photo quarantined

  2. I don’t know if it’s a stock color but there is a second generation Mitsubishi Eclipse in my neighborhood that’s painted pistachio green, about a half shade off of Forest Service green. BTW I see quite few pickups and SUVs in FS green, mostly surplus but occasionally just painted that color, like the occasional orange or yellow truck

  3. Probably Chrysler in 1970 had the best colour names here: Little Hood Riding Red, Bondi Bleach and Thar She Blue, I think all one year only. Holden’s best efforts were probably The Lone O’Ranger and Strike Me Pink. Ford didn’t go for outlandish names but BMC did… Peel Me A Grape, Bold As Brass, Home On Th’orange, Plum Loco, Am Eye Blue, Hairy Lime but especially Oh Fudge.

    Until the end of local production Holden dealerships could do a good Skittles impersonation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here