Cars with Chromatic Flair: A Celebration of Colour

by James Kraus Porsche Color Combinations

1966 MG 1100 Saloon in Glen Green over Pale Primrose. A distinctive (and distinctly British) combination.

In response to my November article on the rich history of automotive colouration in comparison to the monotonous and uninspiring colour combinations most often seen today (centering almost exclusively on black, grey and beige), I received a number of photos from owners of quite distinctive vehicles that took a stand in the battle against chromatic mediocrity. I am sharing the best of them with followers of Auto Universum in the hopes that they will offer inspiration to others.

I had mentioned my fondness of blue with red, and I have two examples of those to show.

Porsche 993 C2S in Ocean Blue with Boxster Red leather

First off, a Porsche 993 C2S in Ocean Blue with Boxster Red leather owned by Dwight of Carsinpedia.

Porsche 993 C4 in Midnight Blue Metallic with Flamenco Red Leather

Next up, a Midnight Blue Metallic 993 C4 with special Porsche Exclusive Flamenco Red leather owned by Bob and Ann Linwood who reside in the south of France.

Note the red leather roof lining and sunvisors visible through the open sunroof

Detail of the leather instrument bezels. Note that both inner and outer bezels are covered.

This example has the full extended leather package, which involved swathing nearly the entire interior in soft leather including the steering wheel airbag and the instrument bezels

Maserati Ghibli Speciale in Rosso Corsa with Champagne and Black Leather

And here is the Linwood’s Maserati Ghibli Speciale. Please be so kind as to remove your shoes before entering.

Two-tone Black and Champagne interior features full quilted leather flooring throughout

Resplendent in Rosso Corsa with a Champagne and Black interior, what makes this car stand out is the fact that the interior contains not one square millimeter of carpet. Rubber mats, you are thinking? Not exactly. Like many fine yacht cabins, the floors are completely covered in leather. Diamond tufted.

First class luggage accommodations

Here we have a car that will bring a gleam to the eye of Martini aficionados, as it is visually a reverse-image of a pimento-stuffed olive.

930 in Kiln Red Metallic with Olive leather and Grey carpet

A Porsche 930 Turbo 3.3 litre, it was special-ordered in Kiln Red Metallic with match-to-sample Olive Leather. The gentleman doing the ordering was Swiss racing driver François Trisconi. If you are unfamiliar with François; he came in 1st in the 2.0 litre Sports category at Le Mans in 1976, and finished 3rd overall in 1979 at the wheel of a Porsche 935.

The grey carpet (in lieu of black) was a wise choice to better compliment the olive leather

In the 1960’s, most wealthy Americans drove Cadillacs. If these men happened to spend some spare change on a small German sports car, it had to be at least painted in real by-God Cadillac paint. Thus a 1967 911R was specially painted in Cadillac metallic gold for an American customer and the 911S shown below was painted in a Cadillac metallic brown.

Bruce Jennings was an eminent American sports car racer who won the SCCA C-Production Championship with a Porsche 356 Carrera in 1960 and 1964 and later in the decade became a works driver for Chaparral.

911S in Cadillac Autumn Rust Metallic with Green leatherette

In 1967, he ordered a new 911S in paint to match sample and leatherette to match sample. The colour he selected was Cadillac Code 46 Autumn Rust Metallic, a 1966-only colour. Cadillac offered green leather in 1966, so it is possible that Bruce saw this very combination on a neighbor’s Coupe de Ville before he dashed his special order off to Stuttgart.

If you are in the market for, or in the process of restoring a vintage classic, try and seek out or chose a distinctive, non-cliché colour scheme. The 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s each had their own uniquely distinctive colours and colour combinations that add extra period character to a vintage car. If you are buying new at the upper end of the market, avail yourself of programs such as Mercedes Designo, BMW Individual or Porsche Exclusive to create your own special vehicle.

Go forth and embrace colour. Be not afraid.

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4 thoughts on “Cars with Chromatic Flair: A Celebration of Colour

  1. I once ran across an 2.0 liter Fiat Dino Coupe in Nocciola Metallizzato (hazelnut metallic) with a Verde Scuro (dark green) interior – very similar to the Bruce Jennings Porsche. The Verde Scuro interior was fitted to green, beige and brown Dino Coupes.

  2. I once owned a 1980 Toyota Corolla in red with a blue interior (non-original, though).

    In the days of color inside and out, most American cars ordered to dealer stock were matching unless one or the other was black or white. So, reds with red or burgundy interior, beige/tan/brown with saddle interior and blue-on-blue were common, green-on-green as well, silver often took a red or blue gut, and *occasionally* you’d see reds with a beige/tan interior. But anything could be special ordered if you could talk the dealer into it (their reluctance to do so and get stuck with a tough to sell olive-and-pimiento special was the beginning of the Greige Empire…)

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