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All The Colours Of The Rainbow

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives

All The Colours Of The Rainbow

Geoff Maxted
DriveWrite
January 6, 2014


Multicolor McLaren
Since the dawn of time and down through the ages, colour has played an important and essential part of life. Joseph had his Technicolor Coat, Robin Hood his hose - a form of trousering, incidentally, and not something you wash the car with - of Lincoln Green and so on. OK, I know these aren’t actual proven facts but this is a car article not a history lesson and they make the point. Colour is rife in nature; red, for example, means danger: green means go.

These days we tend to categorise people and things by colour. Pink for girls and blue for boys is an obvious example, so it is no surprise that car manufacturers now offer their products in a riot of rainbow options for us to choose from. Henry Ford once wrote in his autobiography when referring to the Model T that "Any customer can have a car painted any color [sic] that he wants so long as it is black". Thankfully, we’ve moved on from there.

That’s the good news. Now for the bad. The colour of the new car you choose could say a lot about you as a person. A red car might say you are a daredevil, a bit of a rascal. It makes you want to go fast and, in men, appears to enhance virility - inside their heads. It also stands out like a beacon to the cops. There’s even been a suggestion that insurance companies frown upon red for the aforementioned reasons. How about Orange cars? You don’t see many of those about, do you? That’s because it is the choice of creative and individualistic people, or show-offs as they are known to the rest of us.

Now, a nice yellow car is driven by party loving fun and bubbly people, so probably not English then, who are the life and soul of the party; like a dandelion in a sea of green. And speaking of green; this is a colour that shows you to be an outdoorsy sort of cove, one who loves the countryside and the like. The green car driver likes to give eco-advice and generally calm and soothe the atmosphere. Note: some drivers may smell a bit of patchouli oil. Call them when you are going camping or trying to assemble a yurt.

Alternatively, black is authoritative, apparently. It says that you’ve arrived as a captain of industry - the boss. You are professional and sophisticated and your choice of new car is likely to be a BMW and your choice of wife is likely to be twenty years younger than you. It won’t last you know. Never does. People will think you are really awesome, like Lord Sugar. Then there are silver cars. These are generally bought by folk who want to maximise their car investment and are thinking of the bigger picture. Silver is a safe colour in the used car market.

So, the choice is yours. How do you want to be seen? What will people think about you when you turn up in your new purple automobile? The problem with colour choice is that it's personal. You may love a particular hue but will other people? Choosing an unpopular colour could well affect resale value. This is why, with the 'personalisation' choices we have today, buyers maybe shouldn't go overboard on the colour palette. I don’t really mean to make an already difficult task any harder but you have been warned.



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