With all the colors that exist, you would think that every parking lot would contain all the rainbow colors. However, it turns out that Americans are boring when it comes to their automobile color choices. Silver, black, and white are among the most popular selections in the U.S. How has this changed over time, and why are we so dull? We have the answers for you.
The Late 1800s and Early 1900s
The first cars were essentially motorized carriages, following suit with their predecessors. These were covered with black oil-based paint applied by hand. The color was durable, cheap, and quick to dry. However, this method was time-consuming, and the color was susceptible to fade. Frequently, the color would need to be repainted, which would cost more money and time.
DuPont Company revolutionized this process by creating a new kind of automotive coating. This unique coating, Duco, prevented cracking, chipping, saltwater, soaps, and many other environmental factors that previously destroyed paint coatings. In addition to these utilitarian purposes, they also provided a wide array of hues. GM’s Oakland division adopted the varnish and displayed a blue car with an orange racing stripe at the 1923 New York Auto Show. The public loved the new colors, and by the mid-1920s, all GM divisions were using Duco. With the economic boom of the roaring 20s, the people invited a broad spectrum of automobile colors into the market.
World War II
As the Great Depression hit in the 1930s, automobiles transitioned to a less boxy look. Customers wanted a sheen to emphasize their curves, which brought in the popularity of metallic paints. During World War II, money was tight and affordable materials could make metallic paints more accessible. Consumption and style boomed after the war ended, and cars were no exception. Chrome was prominent along with every color of the rainbow. Two-tone arrangements with different shades on the body and roof were also popular.
Color trends continued through the years until the fuel shortage of the 1970s. Then, consumers were more concerned with fuel efficiency than car colors, so earthy tones like brown and tan. This trend paused for the Bicentennial in 1976. Red, white, and blue cars were the most popular that year.
German automaker Volkswagen stated, “If you drove down an American street and looked only at the new vehicles, you might be forgiven for thinking you’re in a black and white movie.” The data back up this claim. White has been the most popular car color for over a decade. Black follows, then gray, and finally silver. But why are we so committed to these dull colors? It has to do with our tech boom in the early 2000s. Most early devices were silver, and thus the color’s popularity began to grow as computers and smartphones became a more significant part of our daily lives. Just as silver reached the top of the list, Apple products with white colors began to rise in the market. This era is when white became the most popular color. Before this, white was associated with refrigerators or bathroom tiles. Popular technology took white to the top of the list, and there it has stayed.
Americans want to seem modern and up to date with the car colors that best reflect the times. Whether these cars were of the glossy black early models or the 1970’s earthy tones, car colors say a lot about the driver. Luckily, today there are some great ways to protect your coat. Ceramic Pro is a multi-layer-able, clear, liquid nano-ceramic coating that transforms itself onto your car like a flexible glass shield. This coating is three times as hard as a traditional clear coat and uses self-cleaning properties. With a Ceramic Pro coating, you can preserve the original factory paint better and longer. Read more here or contact us for more information. Our Gold-Class trained technicians are trained to take you through every step of the process to get your looking your best on the road. Make your appointment HERE!