It’s hard to resist any gathering where Porsches might be present, with the anticipation of seeing row after row of magnificent machinery and the various stamps of

personalization each owner has carefully installed on his or her prized possession. Whether

the car is pristine or has rock chips, a dirty windshield, or rubber chunks in the fender

wells, chances are it is well loved. However, there are certain cars that stand out in these

rows of Porsches. Around them gather the usual cadre of PCA members, as well as the

young hipsters, cameras in hand. There seems to be a veritable buzz encapsulating these

Porsches. Later, those same cars are likely to be heavily posted on Instagram, Facebook,

and various forums. So what is it about these particular cars? 78 PANORAMA FEBRUARY 2018 I FEBRUARY 2018 PANORAMA 79 JASON TANG

Often, it has to do with their vi- When you log on to Porsche.com, up a distant fifth place at 10%, and In years past, brant paint color—Auratium , you will see that the promotional is trending upward at 8%. buyers spent Gulf Blue, Viper Green, , photos of the 718 and 911 series of Those six account for 91% of hours poring over Continental , Jade Green, Ar- cars are in Lava Orange, Miami Blue, all new cars sold. The , yel- these small paint row Blue, Leaf Green, Mint Green, and Racing . Check out a Pan- lows, oranges, and account samples making Rubystone, Signal Green, Signal amera or a Cayenne and you will find for an increasingly small sliver of tough color Yellow, Maritime Blue, Riviera Blue, more neutral shades of , Volca- the market. choices. For some Aubergine, . Like moths no Gray, and Blue Metallic. This trend holds true for Porsche reason, these old to a flame, we seem drawn to these as well. On Porsche’s online car con- sample cards over-the-top period colors, even if we IN TODAY’S AUTOMOTIVE CLIMATE, figurator, you will find that Porsche seem to hold might not be brave enough to have the neutral colors are dominant: offers a total of 25 unique colors great charm. picked one of them for ourselves. , black, gray, and . In fact, across all models, although each Marketers know that color has according to Axalta Coatings Sys- model has fewer choices than that. a tremendous impact on how we tems’ latest 2016 survey, those four Among the neutral colors are white, emotionally respond to a product, colors accounted for 73% of all cars White Metallic, black, - and marketing is all about creating sold in . comes lic, Volcano , Agate Grey, Meteor a passionate reaction. We know that blue connotes safety and security, red sex and daring, yellow happi- ness and joy, silver technological superiority and elegance. Is it sur- prising that cars in bright, primary colors are more apt to be featured in advertising? If that’s the case for sports cars, how do automakers market a vehi- cle like a minivan? The class leaders Toyota and Honda advertise their wares in safe shades of silver and gray. Chrysler is trying to get back in the game, and you will note it is featuring the new Chrysler Paci- fica in Red and promoting it as a van for cool families. Whether or not this approach is working, it goes to show the power of color in something as mundane as the much- maligned family minivan.

80 PANORAMA FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 PANORAMA 81 Grey, Rhodium Silver, GT Silver, and while still an enthusiast, projected a • Versatility: A neutral matches focused drivers, maybe a Continen- All-time Chalk. There are also various more buttoned-down image, which every season, every occasion, and tal Orange 911 SC is better than a and , such as Guards Red, Car- continues to this . There is also even every outfit. If butter yellow Silver Metallic one? mine Red, Red, a certain risk involved in picking a leisure come back in style Favorites Blue, Night Blue, Miami Blue, Biscay daring color. How will it fare in the (hopefully not!) how will you look WHAT ABOUT PAINT TO SAMPLE? Blue, and Moonlight Blue. Arguably, future? What will my co-workers climbing out of your Rubystone 964 One of the unique things about Here are author there are only three really daring and neighbors think? How many of in front of the discotheque? Porsche has been its commitment Nathan Merz’s colors offered: Lava Orange, Miami these bright early cars were later It also comes down to what’s since the beginning to really listen five favorite Blue, and Racing Yellow. changed to black, silver, or Guards available at your local dealer. If you to its customers. Nothing is better Porsche colors: When it comes to collectible Red in the 1980s? owned a Porsche store, would you evidence of that than the Paint to

❶ Jade Green/ Porsches, the color story is the feel safer with a lot full of neutral- Sample (PTS) program. Since the Hell Grun, polar opposite. Bright, fun, daring, THE VALUE OF A NEUTRAL colored new Porsches, or would 356 era, Porsche has allowed its cus- 227 and unique colors are all the rage, So, if collectors today want early you be willing to bet your fortune by tomers to specify a color that is not 1972-1975 911 and rarity is the Holy Grail. That’s cars in a bright “jellybean” shade, having a dozen new Miami Blue cars listed in the standard palette. This

❷ Maritime Blue, because, whether we are talking why don’t people buy new Porsches on the lot? I would bet you might be could have been something as sim- Color Code 38B artwork, stamps, coins, or Porsches, in the more daring Miami Blue, Rac- more comfortable stocking them in ple as requesting a color only avail- 1991-1993 928 an item that is scarce is more desir- ing Yellow, or Lava Orange? Why do Agate Grey. able on the 928 for your 911, or pick- & 911 able than one that is plentiful. In so many of us pick a neutral color? ing a historic 356 color for your 996. the early days of Porsche, the color There are many great reasons: More unusual are the truly rare, one- ❸ Continental THE VALUE OF A NON-NEUTRAL Orange, Color palette was more daring than that • Conformity: Not everyone wants • Uniqueness: Whether it’s on a off colors specified for a Porsche Code 107 of today. That is likely a factor of to make a loud statement. You can’t club drive, the concours lawn, or family member, VIP client, or just 1976-1978 928 both the time period and the fact be shy if you’re going to drive a Lava your local Cars and , there a regular customer lucky enough & 911 that Porsche was a small sports car Orange Porsche. is nothing like the reaction you’ll to specify that his new 911 should

❹  Green, company that didn’t have to take • Compromise: Cars are usually get pulling up in a Chartreuse 1973 match his wife’s Ferrari Dino. Color Code 226 itself so seriously. Prior to the mid- purchased by a couple, and near- 911S. It’s no fun to go to an event The current Paint to Sample pro- 1972-1973 911 1970s, a Porsche owner was literal- ly everyone can compromise with and have your pride and joy join a gram, while still quite unusual in the ly yelling to the rest of the motoring their partner on silver, gray, white, line of otherwise indistinguishable automotive world, does not allow ❺ Talbot Yellow, public: “I’m an individual and my car or black. Nobody compromises on models just like yours. the truly unlimited choices it once Color Code 106 is a direct reflection of that.” Speed Yellow or Mint Green. • Nostalgia: When buying an old- did. Currently, Porsche maintains 1976-1980 911/912 With that mindset, an owner • Safe resale: A neutral never goes er car, we are reflecting on simpler an approved list of PTS choices, could pull off an outrageous color out of style. Whether it’s 1980, 1990, and more carefree times in our lives. which primarily consists of his- like Viper Green or Signal Yellow. 2000, or 2020, arriving in a black or Nothing says simple, youthful, and toric Porsche colors. In fact, the Fast forward to the mid-1980s, and white car will never offend. Its resale carefree like a decidedly bright pri- interesting thing is that on modern Porsche had fully arrived. Its owner, value will always be neutral as well. mary color. Nobody can accuse you Porsches, some of the PTS shades of being frumpy when you are driv- are more common than some of ing a Ravenna Green 914! the lesser-chosen standard palette • Memorable: In today’s fast-paced choices. The bright jellybean choic- world we are inundated with a ver- es have permeated the majority of itable landslide of information and the PTS GT cars, such as the GT3, images. Which car is more likely to GT3 RS, and GT4. be remembered by others, the black As a general rule, PTS Porsches 928 or the Arrow Blue 928? If you are will trade for a premium. So if you trying to wow the concours judges, get the chance to purchase a car in according to the rules, color should a one of these shades, you will gen- have no impact. In reality, having an erally be rewarded when it comes Auratium Green Speedster is a sure time to sell. Not to mention, you’ll trump card over a Signal Red one. have a great story to tell at the next • Safety: In the early 1970s, Porsche Cars and Coffee when you explain actually posited that its sports cars that your car was manufactured should only be sold in bright colors, in the of the original as it was believed the colors made owner’s alma mater. them safer due to increased visibil- ity. In fact, the legend is that they IF YOU’RE LUCKY enough to own a discontinued the colors Slate Grey Porsche in a unconventional shade and Sand for this very reason! or would like to purchase one, here In today’s world of smartphone- are some things to think about:

82 PANORAMA FEBRUARY 2018 FEBRUARY 2018 PANORAMA 83 color? When doing a broad-based search, can you find many cars in this particular shade, or does your search turn up little information? • Some special colors have histori- cal significance: the Porsche family cars in green, the Le Mans 917 in Gulf Blue, a Jagermeister Orange 934. Buying an old car is a nod to nostalgia and a look backward.

SO, IF YOUR PORSCHE is a common color, is it doomed? No. If we think of the stereo- typical Porsche color, Guards Red comes to mind. In the 1980s, if your 911 was anything other than Guards Red you were somehow missing the Wild Colors of Each Decade boat. As a result, there are a tremen- Within each decade you can see some basic trends emerge. dous number of Porsches from the While these color lists are not exhaustive, they are a sampling of the more daring colors of each era. 1980s and 1990s in this iconic shade. the more common shades. A color In fact, I personally own two Guards doesn’t sell well if it doesn’t look Red Porsches and showed them good on a particular car. A Silver 1950s Pastels are the flavor of the day. in Preservation class at the 2017 Metallic Boxster will always be an Auratium Green, Lago Green Metallic, Radium Green, Adria Blue, Orange Porsche Parade. I cringed when I elegant car, and black will always pulled up in my 1993 RS America be in style. and in my class of nine cars, four So the real question is, are you 1960s Greens are still popular, but a few more daring colors. were Guards Red. content to be the person who is Leaf Green, Green, , Sea Green, Crystal Blue, Blue, Yellow, Blood Orange Here’s the good news: drawn to a wild-colored Porsche • The color was popular because it but motors away in your black 911 was highly desired. People loved SC knowing your car looks snappy, 1970s The floodgates open—this is the golden era of wild paint schemes! that color, so in the long run peo- elegant, mature, and timeless? Or do Red, , Conda Green, Daphne Green, Lime Green, Jade Green, Ravenna Green, Signal Green, ple will continue to love that color. you daydream of replacing it with Viper Green, Acid Blue, Arrow Blue, Gulf Blue, Aubergine, Royal , Yellow, Signal Yellow, It clearly showed the car in a great an early SC Targa finished in Tal- Talbot Yellow, Tangerine, Continental Orange light and captured the essence of bot Yellow with brightwork trim? If that car. that’s your choice, be prepared to be • Because there are so many of a the center of attention at your next 1980s Conservatism returns. A few colors mix it up, but by far Porsche’s most buttoned-up color era. particular model running around in Porsche event. Granite Green Metallic, Glacier Blue, Minerva Blue, Lime Yellow, Bamboo Beige, Caramel , a given shade, people everywhere— Nougat Brown Metallic including collectors of the future— are developing a connection to that www car. Case in point: When I was 12 Interested in more on Porsche colors? Get a preview of PCA’s Color Wiki, 1990s The colors come back! None of them sold in large volume, but Porsche put them on the palette. years old I was a newspaper carrier, where you’ll be able to look at a Raspberry Red, Red Metallic, Rubystone, Mint Green, Murano Green, Signal Green, and each morning while doing my huge collection of factory color charts and upload photos of cars in the Blue, Riviera Blue, Horizon Blue Metallic, Iris Blue Metallic, Tahoe Blue Metallic, route, I would see a Bamboo Beige appropriate colors, as well as paint , Amethyst Metallic, Viola Metallic, Speed Yellow, Pastel Yellow 911 SC in a customer’s driveway. code/formula information. Now, 30 years later, I want a Bam- Go to: pca.org/colors Which one speaks • Certain rare colors are currently vogue colors are single-stage, prima- boo Beige 911 SC! 2000s A retreat from the wild options of the ’90s. A few flamboyant colors, but fairly conservative. to you? A colorful in vogue; those colors will trade at ry colors (think M&Ms and Skittles). • For the same reasons people pick Orient Red Metallic, Malachite Green, Wimbledon Green, Blue Metallic, Violet Chromoflair, array of various a significant premium versus more • One of the best metrics for under- neutral colors for their new car, Fayence Yellow, Speed Yellow, Nordic Gold, Orange, Orange Metallic, Orangerot, Signal Green Porsche over standard colors on that model. The standing how much of a premium most people pick them for their the generations. premium will depend on the relative the market might support for a given used car, too, because the color rarity of the given color. color has to do with its rarity. Is it a won’t go in or out of style. You will 2010-Current There are a few slow-selling wild shades, but the industrial shades rule. • Certain rare colors are still not one-year-only color? Was the color note that none of the wild colors Blue Metallic, Racing Yellow, Miami Blue, Lava Orange, Sand Yellow, Malachite Green, currently in vogue. As a general a significant extra cost when new? has ever been a large sales suc- Ipanema Blue Metallic, rule, the majority of the currently in Is it a truly unique Paint to Sample cess. Most people are happy with