POLL. Car colours, what’s in a name?

We take a (colourful) trip down memory lane to scout some of the automotive industry’s best paint scheme names.

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Among the other choice examples on display at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed was the new McLaren 650S by MSO, news of which we brought you a few days ago. And after we’d scanned the usual suspects – horsepower, torque, 0-100kph, cupholders, etc – we cast our eyes over the available colours. And couldn’t quite believe what we were reading. The choices included Papaya Spark, Agrigan Black and Sarigan Quartz, because y’know Bright Orange, Black and Metallic Grey sound too mainstream. ‘How do we make our colours stand out from the boring hues that most saloons are painted these days?’ they ask.

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Make no mistake, the crankandpiston team is a big fan of colour: one step into the C&P office, and the shade of orange on the walls should support my point. However, when I look at car order lists these days, the hues on offer leave me shaking my head. They are, after all, nothing compared to same of the awesome colour names of times gone by. So, in order to prove the point to my esteemed colleague James, I did a little digging to find the most extreme names for regular colours. And in doing so, fell off my chair with laughter.

So, here for your pleasure – or distaste – are some of the best names for automotive paints finishes we could find. Most of them were found on the order form for General Motors, Ford and Dodge in the ’70s. Some of them are still found on tough workhorses, such as the Jeep Wrangler. All will make you marvel at their genius.

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