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Coloring our (vehicle) world

Posted Thursday, January 5, 2012, at 11:31 AM

Whatever happened to brightly-colored vehicles?

The annual Dupont Automotive Popularity report lists white, silver, black and gray, in that order, as the only vehicle colors earning over 10 percent.

My last two vehicles over the past six years have been silver. I thought about buying black at my last trade but thought silver simply looked better. Yes, I'd consider a black vehicle in the future.

And we rarely see interiors now in colors other than black or taupe.

But go to a antique car show and you'll see brightly colored vehicles, especially from the 1950s and 1960s. I imagine many people automatically associate mid-1960s Mustangs with red. And if I had a '63 Corvette it would be ice blue.

In the 1970s it seemed like every other GM car passing by was a shade of green slightly lighter than grass, especially Impalas and some of the cheaper Buicks. Does anyone else remember the old pea green Southern Bell vehicles?

Trends come and go, and it'll be interesting to see what's next. I wouldn't mind seeing some brighter colors on the streets.

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Thanks for the info; stevemills. It is a lot more complicated than I imagined. I did like one new word I saw in the article: conspicuity. Two problems that slipped up on me as I aged was:

1. I was losing my depth perception, but did'nt know it, until I almost rear ended a stopped car. It turned out to be a cataract.

2. As we age our bones become smaller, so we gradually become shorter. One day I did'nt see a car across the intersection, because it was covered by my left rear view outside mirror. I found out that I was now 4 inches shorter, and had not measured my height in 20 years. So, I must sit on cushions to see everything.

-- Posted by Grits on Sat, Jan 7, 2012, at 10:25 AM

INteresting thought to see what color cars have Lower accident rates. Here is a paper written on the subject http://www.aaafoundation.org/pdf/CarColo...

I wonder if the bright yellow driving glasses would help in night-time driving in the rain? As I age my eyes have more trouble with glare that is reflected in lights during rain.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jan 7, 2012, at 7:35 AM

Speaking of Vehicles, I just wanted to add a couple safety tips.

When it is raining while you are driving, if you wear your sunglasses it will clear up your vision of the road somewhat.

Also, you should never use cruise control when it is raining or the roads may be icy. Cruise control would cause your wheels to speed up when it hits wet pavement or an icy spot. This could cause your car to start sliding out of control.

I was driving in a heavy rain on 231 north with my cruise control on and the car started going to the left. I couldn't move back to the right until I hit my brakes shutting off the cruise control.

I thought I had lost my steering or a wheel.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Fri, Jan 6, 2012, at 7:30 PM

I have a blue car, but as I have grown older,I believe a yellow car is the safest color car. It is more visible in all kinds of weather,or light. Maybe the insurance rate could be reduced for cars that are a more brighter color. I wonder what the wreck record is by car color.

-- Posted by Grits on Fri, Jan 6, 2012, at 7:08 PM

Right answer Mike

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Fri, Jan 6, 2012, at 6:17 PM

I may be reading too much into this, but maybe the colors reflect the mood of the country.

In the 50's and 60's the mood was generally upbeat and optimistic so people chose colors to go with that feeling.

Lately the mood (and colors) tends toward somber and pragmatic.

-- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Jan 5, 2012, at 8:48 PM

For many years now the cars looked so much alike I am surprised we did not seek more individuality with color.

Cars seem to be regaining character lately, so maybe personalized color will follow.

I wonder if this Dupont study took into account only personal cars or fleets and rental? Those cars would tend to be more primary with less concern for individuality.

Just thinkin'......

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jan 5, 2012, at 8:09 PM

David the black,white, silver,and gray are in that primary color scheme.It is the cheapest thing you can put on a car.There may be a day when they are all white so they can save a couple of bucks on pigment.How about cold war Russia with all black cars.May we be headed for the same fate?I just wish they could cut the price on the car without skimping on the color.

-- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Thu, Jan 5, 2012, at 2:43 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.