Rainbow rides

There’s an individual in my town who drives a first-generation Range Rover Sport. It’s an early, pre-facelift model that’s almost always filthy. Its kerbed, brake dust-covered alloys speak of years of daily-driven neglect. It also happens to be painted black, with a hideous orange stripe and orange accents adorning the bodywork. Sports are not exactly the type of car driven by inconspicuous people, but the unique colour scheme screams out at you from the sea of white, grey and silver cars that clutter the streets of metropolitan Britain. This effect will probably make the Rangey worth about £9.40 when it comes to selling-up time.
Nevertheless, this example demonstrates the importance of colour choice when choosing a car. Buy a diesel Focus in blue and you’ll blend in seamlessly, but buy one in grey or silver and you’ll look like an undercover cop. Like music or politics, the ‘right’ colour is a personal consideration for a driver. Colour choice is as much an expression of the driver’s personality as the type of car that you drive. For every universal (a metallic black exterior and red leather interior looks great on pretty much any car) there are weird anomalies that look jaw-droppingly good only on certain models. Dakar Yellow E36 M3, anyone?
motormessenger | bmw | e36 | m3 | dakar yellow | bbs
A lovely, lemony slice of the 90s. Photo credit: nikocb
Part of the struggle in fantasising over my dream garage is contemplating not only which cars would make the cut, but also which colour they’d be finished in. For years I was a Rosso Corsa diehard, but after seeing supercar collector Paul Bailey’s LaFerrari finished in Rosso Fuoco, I am absolutely smitten. Metallic and shimmering in an almost lipstick-y red, it accentuates the crazy angles of the hypercar perfectly.

motormessenger | paul bailey | laferrari | ferrari | rosso fuoco | supercar
Rosso Fuoco; probably Italian for ‘stunning’. Photo credit: The Supercar Kids


There are, nevertheless, colours that have wandered in and out of fashion over the years. Take white, for example. Once the preserve of sporty hot hatches and saloons in the 1980s, white announced that you were a trendy yuppie, whether you drove a 205 GTI or had stolen a Sierra Sapphire Cosworth. Then, almost overnight, it was relegated to vans and police cars. 2005 saw white suddenly become cool again with the arrival of the mk5 Golf GTI. Sadly though, white has lost a bit of its appeal now as like house music and tennis, it has become a bit too popular. For every Type-R finished in Championship White (with even the matching wheels looking good), there are countless fleet-owned Vauxhalls finished in the shade.

Whilst we were busy watching white be done to death, metallic brown made one hell of a comeback. Porsche seem to have managed this better than others. Look at the volume in this colour; it looks so deep that you could almost dip a finger into it. Looks like a headache to colour match with a touch-up pen, though.

motormessenger | porsche | turbo | 991 | 911 | metallic | brown
Probably not marketed as ‘shiny poo brown’. Photo credit: Future Photography

If I’m ever in a position to purchase a brand-new supercar, it would be finished in a colour that may not necessarily be resale-friendly. Silver or grey is perfectly understandable on a 911 Turbo, but to specify your new Lamborghini Aventador in any shade of Argento (silver) is like having Spam for your final meal. A loud, juvenile car should be in a loud, juvenile colour. A Velvet Purple R8 coupe with carbon sideblades and a cream leather interior would stay in my garage forevermore. It’s a gorgeous metallic shade that I’ve only ever seen in person once.

motormessenger | Audi | R8 | Velvet Purple | purple
You’d look like a Dairy Milk bar but who’d care? Photo credit: Brian McCauley

Of course, if you’re indecisive and mega-rich, you might not want to paint your car at all. Lacquered carbon fibre gives you the race-car-for-the-road aura, but you’d better pray you don’t suffer a stone chip as the whole clamshell has to be replaced if it suffers any damage. If Batman needed a supercar, I’m fairly certain he’d choose the Zonda 760 RS:

motormessenger | Zonda | Pagani | Carbonfibre | 760 RS
Brooding. Photo credit: Autoinjected



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