Coral: 2019 Color Of The Year.

James Kraus

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1964 Mercury Montclair Marauder in Bittersweet with White vinyl top at Duffield Lincoln-Mercury, Long Beach, CA.

The Pantone Color Institute has just announced that Living Coral is the 2019 Color Of The Year. In honor of this vibrant hue, I though it appropriate to look back to the era when coral roamed the streets.

Coral gained popularity in the mid-fifties just when automotive designers were starting to explore the limits of extravagance in pigments, colour combinations, tail fins and wholesale chrome trim application.

1957 Ford Thunderbird in Coral Sand.

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1957 Volkswagen in Coral Red.

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1957 Imperial Crown in Sunset Rose.

While people think wistfully back at the fifties and imagine pink cars driving to and fro, coral cars were in fact far more common.

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1958 Chevrolet Bel Air in Cay Coral.

1958 Cadillac Eldorado Seville in Tahitian Coral.

Many individuals have trouble discerning coral from pink. Technically, pink is pale red; while coral is pale orange:

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Vive le différence.

The availability of coral in automobile showrooms far exceeded that of pink, yet people persist in envisioning (and incorrectly “restoring”) 1950s cars in vibrant shades of Pepto-Bismol pink.

In reality, factory-original pink shades were generally far more pale and subtle, like the Cadillac and Edsel below.

1957 Cadillac Sedan de Ville in Mountain Laurel.

1959 Edsel Ranger in Snow White over Talisman Red.

Coral pretty much disappeared after 1959, but made a brief but colourful comeback in the mid-sixties at Ford and Lancia.

1964 Ford Galaxie 500/XL in Samoan Coral with Black vinyl top.

1965 Lancia Fulvia Sport Zagato 1.3 S in Rosso Salmone.

Coral is rather difficult to find today, but if you want to celebrate the Color Of The Year in style you can come somewhat close with Porsche’s Lava Orange, available on 718 and 911 models.

Porsche 911 Carrera in Lava Orange.

5 thoughts on “Coral: 2019 Color Of The Year.

  1. Nice ! .

    I love Coral and other pastels .

    My first Metropolitan Nash FHC was Coral, a 1959 .


  2. Some could say that the Renault Twingo 1 offered a choice of coral, but it was pink rather. I can think of some Mercs in the late Seventies, but could be mistaken. Some Fiats maybe like the 850 Sport, or was it Orange

  3. I have a ’59 Chevy Biscayne in “Cameo Coral” (original paint). 1959 was the only year for this color:

    "Big Red"

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