The Truth About Car Colors

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Henry Ford certainly made things easy when he stipulated that customers for his rugged Model T could have any color they wanted, so long as it was black. Today’s car buyer faces a vastly more complicated decision-making process when choosing the paintjob for his or her new vehicle.

There’s no way of knowing whether Mr. Ford would have approved of the eight colors currently available with the 2011 Fiesta SE subcompact sedan. Our guess is “Tuxedo Black” might have won his approval—although “Lime Squeeze Metallic” would probably have cost someone his job.

Things only get more complex the higher up the automotive food chain you go. The $330,000 Bentley Mulsanne luxury sedan is available in more than 100 exterior shades. Customers can also order a customized color, should they so desire. During this year’s New York Auto Show, a Bentley representative described the company’s recent efforts to color-match everything from 1950s kitchenware to gowns worn by royalty.

We’re here to present today’s most popular car colors, some dos and don’ts when it comes to choosing a paintjob, and a peek at the hottest colors coming in the future. Along the way—aided by science and industry experts – we’ll attempt to debunk a few common myths related to car color.

Can you be charged higher insurance rates for a car with a bright paintjob? Do police really prefer ticketing red cars? Keep reading to find out…

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