100 Years of Automotive Color

1970 Plymouth Color Chips

1970 Plymouth Color Chips

A look at 100 years of automotive color history can be seen at Auto Color Library. The website has over 125,000 original paint chips that can be browsed by the make and year of the car.

I took a look at the Plymouth library over the years to see how color palettes have changed with the times.

Reflecting the war years, colors had names like ‘Aviator Blue’, ‘Artillery Green’ and ‘Gunmetal’. With with the hiatus in automobile production during the war, Plymouth didn’t introduce a new colors until 1949 but car colors were still mostly dark greens, blues, browns, grays and burgundies. Yellow was the only lighter color to be had.

It wasn’t until the mid 50’s, when two-tone paint jobs became fashionable that palettes expanded. A look a the 1955 color chart reveals the softer pastel colors that are ubiquitous with the decade. Names included ‘Pompano Beach’, ‘Santa Rosa Coral’, and ‘Tampa Turquoise’

In 1970 at the height of the muscle car era, Cudas, GTX’s and Road Runners could be ordered with Hemi engines and outrageous bold colors that included ‘Lime Light’, ‘Vitamin C’, and ‘Tor-Red’.

1974 shows a green, gold and yellow palette. ‘Yellow Blaze’, ‘Golden Fawn’ and ‘Avocado Gold’ were popular colors for cars and kitchens alike.

If you need to order paint for your classic car project or just want to research color chips from the past Auto Color Library is a great resource.

One Response to “100 Years of Automotive Color”

  1. Interesting how colors of yesteryear are now being resurrected.

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