By on August 27, 2012

TTAC commentator econobiker writes:

Related to my comment here, the Japanese makers were early on this common car interior colors. But when did the US makers kill the goof-ball color combos? Like the white Cornithinan leather seats in a brown interior Cordoba posting the other day.

Regards,
econobiker

Sajeev answers:

Porno Red velour.  Deep Blue carpets.  Green dashboards.  I miss them all, son!

The Big Three rolled deep in funky colors well into the 1980s, but things changed in the 1990s.  The Chrysler LH cars, for better or worse, ushered a new era of Euro-centric interior colors for American machines: boring grey, black and tan interiors were the norm for these machines.  In fact, I only remember some goofy speckled seat fabric as the only splashes of color in 1990s Chrysler products.

GM was a different story: I remember a fair number of orangy-browns in Caddies, dark reds/blues in “bubble” Caprices and Fleetwoods…even the Corvette and certain Chevy trucks were seriously red inside…until their late 90s redesigns.

Ford was even better…or worse. 1990s Lincolns came in some seriously bizarre colors: powder blue, cream (i.e. 100% white), dark blue and even dark green (very rare, for a reason) were on the option list. The 1996 Taurus written about here was probably the last Detroit redesign to sport an odd color palette, including that bizarre dark green color.

Which leads to my answer: the 1997 Taurus’ Willow Green interior was the last insane interior option for a Detroit carmaker.** Crown Vics and Lincoln Town Cars also lost them in 1998, but they were lame ducks this year.  The Taurus was still a hot number, hence why I’m singling it out.

Best and Brightest, off to you.

**But wait, the 2002 Ford Thunderbird came in some seriously insane colors, and you can still get some interesting accent colors on Corvettes, but I chose the Taurus to focus on the color palettes of mainstream machines.  

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

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71 Comments on “Piston Slap: The Last Insane Interior Color?...”


  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Late model Impalas use brown and tan, dont they? I myself don’t care for the tan/black/grey trio myself.. Boring as hell. Looking thru an old Imperial brochure recently, there was something like 20 exterior color choices and near as many interior colors. Combine that with the many fabric/texture choices and the possibilities are near limitless.
    While that may have been extreme, a little more color would be nice nowadays (though I am sure is was a cost cutting thing to simplify the colors).

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, but…they aren’t as radical as something with a solid brown interior. Or red. The tu-tone colors save money by allowing an accent color on the cheap, what I’m looking for is a big $$$ expenditure for a lot of unique colored trim inside.

      Something insane like the 1997 Willow Green Taurus.

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        2004-2008 Crossfire had an oxblood interior– including the steering wheel.

      • 0 avatar
        86er

        I would gladly take a 96 or 97 Town Car with the green on green. The leather interiors were especially striking. Where are you gonna see a leather-wrapped green steering wheel anymore?

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        On Dante’s last level of Automotive hell 86er. And there please let it stay.

      • 0 avatar
        seth1065

        I had many a taurus in the day as the were company cars and loved the dark green 95 I had, I went thru them so fast I always ordered the new shade of the day, IIRC the willow green was very popular with the women in the company, at worst we had them for 3 years so really no big deal, oh the days of company cars… My first Taurus was baby blue with a ugly blue interior ( a 86 I think)

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        Seth1065– My very first car was an eggshell blue 1987 Taurus L with medium blue corduroy upholstery and deep carpeting. It had a dark grey below the beltline trims, black(non-powered mirrors didn’t get the body color pods) exterior mirrors and red-on-red tail lights.

        The car was anything but ugly. It broke down in nearly every neighborhood surrounding Birmingham in the 9 months I had it– but it sure looked handsome!

        I’ve always dreamed about an MT-5/wagon. Are there any left? Were there any originally?

  • avatar
    michal1980

    some 20xx sunfires/cavaliers had a crazy interior print fabric in a werid accent.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Our 1999 Dodge Stratus – the only time I have bought a new car and drove it off the showroom floor. It was white and had a very tasteful green-tinged gray interior – a very unusual color that I haven’t seen on any other Stratus. A friend bought a gray 2000 model and it had an ugly speckled dark gray interior that looked awful. Compared to his, our car’s interior looked really upscale and classy. Gave a whole different feeling to the car.

    My recently-daparted 2004 Impala had a “sport appearance package” that gave me the upscale pattern cloth seats – kind of paisley looking. I liked it…

    My 2012 Impala LTZ is Ebony. Period. But it has leather and everything else. I like it, too.

  • avatar
    redav

    The new Focus has a couple odd interior color options – Tuscany Red (more of a maroon) & Artic White.

  • avatar
    tced2

    The root of the boring color selections is located in the styling department in the cost accounting center. The “eyeshade” folks constantly want cheap cheap cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      econobiker

      tced2,

      I completely know and understand the styling, sourcing, and common parts issues for interior colors as I am in an automotive related job.

      My mother’s ’88 Cadillac Brougham 4dr had a red velour interior with a white exterior. Circa 1989, my sisters ’77 Plymouth Volare 4dr had a green vinyl interior for a white exterior. I had a base model’76 Dodge Charger 2dr (nee Cordoba style) with a blue vinyl interior and blue exterior. My grandparents bought new a 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham with green velour interior, green exteior with white half vinyl top.

      Opposed were my parents 1970s Volvo’s with grey interiors, late 1970s Civic with tan/brown interior and early 1980s Subaru GL 4×4 station wagon with a similar tan interior. My mother had an ’85 Chrysler 5th Ave 4dr (nee Diplomat)with grey velour interior and black -bad paint of course- exterior.

      I was polling Piston Slap as to when all of the crazy interior colors ended. By 1989 I couldn’t buy green floor mats for my sisters Volare so instead got black ones as clear mats were too expensive. But in 1987 I was still able to buy blue floor mats for the ’76 Dodge Charger…

      However, thanks you and all others for the responses!

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I recall sitting in a 1st gen dodge intrepid that came with zebra stripe seats. It was a brand new vehicle so I think it must have came that way from the factory.

    http://www.videovoom.com/VideosOfCars%20copy/1997DodgeIntrepid169.htm

    The stripes looked like the ones in this vehicle, except I remember there being more contrast between the two colors, more of a white/grey than grey/grey as shown.

  • avatar
    Oelmotor

    I miss the “nutria” (brown) interior color in my 1985 318i…sigh, I should have kept her.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Race red interior – Fiesta / Focus.

    Be ready for more on ST variants.

    • 0 avatar

      IIRC, those are just accents…we need to “focus” on vehicles with a color everywhere: dashs, carpets, door panels, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      fr88

      Those are just slivers of color in a sea of black. Black carpet, black dash, black door panels, black seat bolsters, etc. What happened to solid red interiors? Last one sold in the U.S. was the 1999 Buick Park Avenue. How about white interiors? Only someone living in Detroit would make a black (or black with beige accents) the default interior color choice of a Mustang convertible sold in Palm Springs or Phoenix.

      Still, slivers of color are better than none at all.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        Honestly have no idea how anyone could love a full color palette interior. Absolutely loathed the blue on blue; felt like Gramma’s bathroom replete with tissue box and little trash can. The full green looked like the Jolly Green Giant Ho-HO-HOed his lunch inside the car. But nothing was worse than that full red interior Ford had in the late ’80s, early ’90s. Nothing looked more hideous in the light of day than that eye popping red, which with a year’s worth of sun on the dash, would begin to change color to a lighter shade of hooker. Gawd awful and good riddance.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        “The full green looked like the Jolly Green Giant Ho-HO-HOed his lunch inside the car.”

        Line of the day! Ha ha ha!

        “Mulligan…I said THREE minutes!”

  • avatar
    fr88

    It is tragic what has become the norm in the auto business regarding color selection, both exterior and interior. Interior colors are “Shades of Dirt” for most mainstream cars – Light Dirt (beige) or Dark Dirt (grey or charcoal) being most common. Or as I usually refer to it: Depression Grey and Old Computer Beige (that non-color of old office equipment.) It’s truly grim. Exterior colors are little better – again shades of dirt: greys & beiges predominate, with a token black, white and red tossed in.

    If you want to see what has been lost in interior selections, go look at a 1956 Cadillac Color and Upholstery book. A friend has one – it is about 3” thick with endless exterior and interior color swatches. Interiors have about 6 different fabrics types (matelassés, broadcloths, tweeds, nylon cords, etc.) to choose from in a dizzying array of colors for each fabric.type. Leathers in 12 different colors offered either in leather and fabric combinations or all-leather in single color choices, or more commonly in two-tone. (And it is beautiful thick glossy leather, often with a pearlescent finish – not the dull, thin, sun-baked looking stuff in cars today.) There were four different trim levels with correspondingly different upholstery styles – Base Model 62, DeVille, Fleetwood, and Eldorado – so there were also completely different upholstery patterns in each model level. Combined with the 20+ exterior color choices also on offer, the possible choices of interior and exterior color selections must be in the thousands.

    Only bespoke automobiles have any variety of color choices available today: Bentley, Rolls, Maserati, Ferrari and the like. The style-conscious Italians offer a comparatively wide range of colors in Fiat other than grey and beige. Most other manufacturers don’t bother.

    But there is some encouraging glimmers of color popping up here and there. Color charts for some manufacturers have at least one oddball color joining the standard shades of dirt – a copper, a turquoise, a deep plum, or Ginger Ale (a new Ford color). I was so delighted to see an interior in Cherokee Red (Frank Lloyd Wright’s favorite color) offered in new Chargers that I bought one. I’m also dismayed that I’ve not seen another – a clear signal to manufactures that most car buyers don’t care about color. So why should they bother?

    Why is there no variety of color choices in mainstream automobiles today? I think the main reason is that most people regard their cars as appliances. Cars no longer inspire admiration, passion, desire, and soul-satisfying pride of ownership the way they used to. Most buyers want a ConsumerReportsmobile – a safe conveyance that will protect them and start every time they put the key in. So they are purchased with a corresponding lack of emotion. Who wants a turquoise toaster?

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      “But there is some encouraging glimmers of color popping up here and there.”

      Yes, perhaps as the saying goes, it’s darkest before the dawn.

      The electric blues popping up at Ford are standouts, as well as the copper colours on offer. The Fiesta seems to come with a few cheerful shades as well.

      For me, colour is a strong determinent of final purchase. As a result, my two vehicles are retrogade in the modern context. One is a medium amethyst triple-coat exterior with a cream leather interior. The other, two-tone stellar blue and olympic white, and a dark blue cloth interior. As noted above, cars are quickly becoming an emotion-less purchase, and the dearth of colour is but one byproduct of that.

      I believe that vivid colour provokes a visceral response, and for that reason, as a car nut, colour will always play a major role in the vehicles I own.

    • 0 avatar
      Dynasty

      The last toaster I bought was bright red. It looks pretty good in my kitchen.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      This is the real tragedy, and the one which continues to prevent me from buying new among the vehicle choices I have tested and enjoyed. Nothing kills the joy for me quicker than having a standout shape, then cladding it in colors which stagedive and shout, “don’t look at me!” If the vehicle color pallette includes white and expensive white, it has already failed the selection test. Dump the fleet white and add a proper secondary color to the mix. The same goes for grey and silver, which are just different shades of grey: pick one and add yet another secondary color, this time from a different primary pair.

      And give your interior color selectors the boot; they’ll move on to the next activity, which will be recommending black or white furniture to go along with unlivable architectural layouts.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick

      The last truly offensive interior I can think off is the 93 Dodge Dynasty’s red interior option. Honestly, I can’t think of a suitable simile that adequately captures how eye searingly ugly it was. It makes me think of menstruation, trumpet cases, and 19th century bordellos.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    It may have just been accents on the seats themselves, but you could get red, blue, or yellow leather in the Cobalt SS Supercharged.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    When did the Lumina get replaced by the Impala? I’m going to bet the Lumina had a blue or red interior option.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    My first car (in 1995) was an 81 Buick Regal coupe with a green interior and two-tone light green/dark green exterior. The light green was so badly oxidized that I had an Earl Scheib respray done all dark green. My next car was an 84 Eldorado with a white exterior and a dark blue interior with matching 1/4 landau roof. I didn’t appreciate them then but I miss them now after reading this.

    Last car I had with any other than beige or charcoal interior was my 88 Acura Legend. Dark blue with a blue cloth interior and a 5 speed. I miss that car for many reasons.

    I worked for Enterprise during college and I remember the green interior Taurus and some Dodge products. Green is not a good rental car interior color. After it gets used and abused, it’s nauseating to look at.

  • avatar
    p4nya

    The pumpkin orange “atacama” leather and orange carpets in the 2004-2007 Volvo S60R was pretty bold. The most insane vehicle interior I’ve ever owned was in a 95 Ford Probe GT. Everything was bright blue. Everything. It looked like a 100 lbs of radioactive blueberries exploded inside the car. It was glorious.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      I had a ’98 Contour SVT that was all black with the ‘Blurple’ interior. It was exactly the color of crushed blueberries; not quite black, not quite blue, not quite purple. It ran from the dash, headboards, door inserts, leather seats, and carpet. And actually, hate to admit this again, it was pretty damn cool.

      Miss that car. Going to AutoTrader.

  • avatar
    mazder3

    It would be nice to have some choice in color, but we live in an age where every mainstream car has a choice white, silver, grey or black for the exterior with your choice of a grey, black/tan or black interior. Its easier to manufacture and easier to sell. Boring as all getout, but boring sells.

    Another non-mainstream insane color combo is the ’04 Pontiac GTO. Ones with purple exteriors could be had with interiors in PURPLE! The seats, dash, doors, carpet, gauge faces everything purple.

  • avatar
    DaveDFW

    Porsche had a neat Terracotta (pinkish orange) interior with matching carpet. The drawback is that it only really complimented a neutral exterior color…gray, silver, white, black.

    I’ve seen a few Terracotta interiors paired with black carpet. I don’t know if the two-tone was an option or if Porsche stopped offering the matching carpet.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    The almost all-blue interior in Suzuka S2000s is fairly infamous. Honda finally switched to a much nicer black-with-blue-highlights interior for ’06, then dropped the whole thing.

  • avatar
    bigev007

    My 2009 Civic has blue seats and a blue dash.
    All of the cars I’ve owned had blue interiors. ’88 Celebrity Wagon, ’00 Impala and the Civic.

  • avatar

    I first noticed super bright colored interiors in the BMW’s. Now, Hyundai, Chrysler and even Ford’s got em.

    Cars are starting to look like Behr Paint commercials on HGTV.

  • avatar
    Ltd783

    I think the winner for last crazy interior colors on an American(ish) car would have to be the 2004-2006 GTO. I’m pretty sure the dash was black still, but you could get it with Bright Blue, Purple or Red leather.

    A purple on purple GTO would be my choice. But I do have a V70R with Atacama (orange) interior and bright red paint.

  • avatar
    fintail jim

    Who else remembers the late ’70′s Pontiac full-size cars with Valencia velour interiors?

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      Happily known in some circles as ‘mouse-fur’? Yep, had the deep blue in my ’77 Pontiac Catalina, which as much as I hate to say it, went rather well with the fire engine red exterior and huge chrome waterfall front grille.

    • 0 avatar
      Tinker

      I bought a used 1977 full sized Pontiac a few years ago, for $1000, and the owner said, with great pride, “See that interior, it was a special order!” It was vertically striped, green, brown, tan, white, all across the back seat, with matching inserts of Mouse Puke in the front. Every time we see evidence of gratuitous ugliness, we look at one another, and say, “It was a special ORDER!”.

      Half inch strips of color, in an atrocious combination. The dash was typical tan plastic, though.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Oh, you mean the casket trim package? No thanks. Dad had one of those for a few years. It was SO depressing.

  • avatar
    threeer

    When I took my (then fiance, now wife) to Germany to meet the family, she was amazed at the deep, bright red interior of my father’s Opel Rekord. Somehow, I actually rather liked that. Anymore, it’s beige or black. I also recall that my Uncle had a late 70′s Buick that had a bright red leather interior…and that any movement of the vehicle immediately sent me flying across the ridiculously slick seat (better than a Disney ride!).

  • avatar
    MLS

    The second generation Chrysler Sebring convertible that debuted in 2001 offered the option of a royal blue interior with cream leather.

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    I think the Malibu still has the red/grey two-tone option, which really does a nice job of classing up the interior. I believe you can still get red leather seats in the Mustang too, which look great with darker paint colors.

    Of course, some of the foreign brands never really got away from creative interior color schemes – Fiat, MINI, BMW, Porsche, and Maserati all come to mind as ones with fairly expansive palettes.

  • avatar
    dts187

    I don’t miss weird interior colors. But I also spent too many years in a 95 Buick with burgundy velour interior.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      Didn’t EVERY GM sedan made late ’80s thru late 90′s come with burgundy velour seats? My theory is that someone in GM Purchasing got an amazing last-gasp price from some Carolina textile mill and filled a dozen warehouses with the stuff. I always wanted to put on my track suit and get out my ABA basketball when I saw those seats in a rental.

  • avatar
    patman

    You can still get a mostly red interior in a Mustang. Sadly, it’s way more tasteful than a red interior used to be.

    • 0 avatar

      And I think the new Mustang’s red interior is a travesty. The lower half of the dash and doors need to be red, not to mention the carpet.

      • 0 avatar
        patman

        Yeah, just those little accents in the door panels? They totally wussed out. And the red that is there is not nearly as bright and saturated as it could be either.

        Fox bodies had some proper red interiors and at least the 94-95 SN95s got one too – porno red is what they call it on the boards. I think some years of the S197 got a much bolder red than whats currently available but they suffer from the same lack of conviction when it came to the dash and door panels.

        I bet the 2014 will have a red interior available. It just seems so right on a ’65 and Ford seems to try it again with every generation to cash in on that heritage.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        The only good color scheme in the SN-95 line up was the Beige on Black or in common tongue, the ‘Peanut-Butter’ scheme. I happen to own a ’95 Cobra in Ford livery (black) and a covertible. It looks stunning, the exterior the deep shiny black matching the top of the dash running along the doors back to where the C pillars would be. The lower half of the dash, steering wheel, carpets, and seating are all the lustorious light brown which does rather look like a peanut-butter cup. It’s beautiful.

        Now, lets ruin the classy setup with gawd awful, “let’s give a WARM Puss-N-Boots welcome for”, bordello red EVERYTHING. Completely designed to Ronald McDonald standards of hideous red oozing from the dash down across the doors into the bloody floors, not to mention the Oxblood leather seats. Absolutely hideous.

      • 0 avatar
        patman

        @dolorean

        I like the peanut butter scheme too – it would look great in my deep forest metallic green GT. I think the black over grey that’s in there looks pretty good too though.

        The red is over the top but I thought that’s what this post was about. They weren’t afraid to make a statement which carmakers seem to be afraid to do with colors today, inside or out.

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    Porsche will let you order your car with just about any exterior paint to sample color and any interior color. I’ve seen some major weird combinations in 911s.

  • avatar
    ZekeToronto

    Absolutely the most insane interior colour I’ve ever owned (briefly) was in an early 70s red Corvette. It was silver. Yes, silver … not gray. And everything was silver–seats, dash, steering wheel, door panels and even the carpet. I have no idea how they made the vinyl and textiles shiny, but I’ll bet it involved toxins.

  • avatar
    eldo500

    I always thought that Audi’s baseball mitt interiors were pretty WTF.

    http://i.imgur.com/2p63N.png

  • avatar
    mburm201

    I also miss interior color variety. I learned to drive on a 1976 Chevy Impala. Exterior: Red (Firethorn Red I believe), Vinyl Roof: Red, Interior: Red with red cloth seats, red headliner, red carpeting, red dash. I’ve owned a red Mustang with red interior and white top. I had a light blue Riviera with navy blue interior. Unfortunately my current vehicles come from the standard palette.

  • avatar
    pinkrton

    I owned a 1998 Buick Regal GS with a nearly entirely red interior, there were only a few bits that were not red. There were a couple of small pieces of fake wood trim around the shifter and window switches, and the middle part of the dash was black, but if I remember correctly everything else was red. The headliner, carpets, and everything else were a deep red. The exterior was white with gray lower cladding.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Before WWII, it seems ALL cars, except for luxury models, had the same gray “original” mouse fur, not to be confused with ’70s velour. Car inrteriors have just returned to monotony.

    Well, my first car, a ’63 Rambler Classic 770, had a blue exterior with a white roof, and blue vinyl seats with blue and white plaid inserts. I remember my aunt’s ’56 pea green Ford with green and yellow plaid inserts on the seats. Ford must have been the leading user of plaid fabric in the ’50s, mostly woven nylon, and matching it with two, sometimes three exterior colors, like pink, yellow and black. Once you’ve seen triple color plaid, cathouse red doesn’t seem so bad.

  • avatar
    TL

    I respect the desire for choice but in no way understand this reverence for the godawful interior colors of my youth. Given a choice I will always choose basic black interiors.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    To the colorful interiors, I say good riddance. The porno red ones are one of the most disgusting sights created by man.

    The neutral colors are successful for a reason. They hide dirt. I think on some Ferraris, one can still get a porno red interior.

    My pick goes to the F-Series King Ranch. It is vivid and tasteful at the same time. A work of art.

  • avatar
    Slowtege

    Ah, let us not forget the late Acura NSX. After the unfortunate front and rear styling change (pop-ups were much sharper, as was the undercut angle and shape of the lower bumper opening), they soldiered on until 2005. You could get one with a very YELLOW interior–seats and all paneling below the instrument cluster level. They did blue and I believe red as well (or was that just on the Type-R?). Needless to say I’d just like one in black, but yellow was a pretty bold color, especially since for the longest time from their debut, the only colors available were black and tan.

    I will say I am a fan of the “turn of the ’90s” interior color choices. A grey-interiored Supra? Positively boring! My ’88 Ramcharger’s marooooooooon interior was quite handsome, especially against the two-tones silver and medium grey (with red pin striping above the upper chrome strip–a ChryCo staple it seems) paint. I can understand the disgust. It’s not for everyone. For me, coupled with me consciously growing up and noticing things in the early 90s (born in ’84), the intensity and application (aka everywhere inside) of such blue and maroon interiors during those years is something I find hilarious. In a good way. So unashamed! My family’s had a handful of blue or red outfitted cars throughout the years. Never bothered me then, totally cool now. Heck, I even owned an ’88 325is with “Cardinal Red” leather. Pretty car. Long story for another time, but pretty car.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    As car interiors are now plainer, home interiors have all kinds of colors added to them. In the 90′s to about 2004, one had to have white walls and biege carpet to sell. Now, any house like that is ‘boring’.

  • avatar
    ctg

    The Hyundai Genesis Coupe R-Spec 3.8 only comes with bright red leather/black mesh seats. Its not as dramatic as if it had red carpet, dash, etc, but its pretty colorful:

    http://image.motortrend.com/f/37342544%2Bw786%2Bar1/2013-Hyundai-Genesis-Coupe-R-Spec-interior.jpg

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    Toyota used to offer blue and reds in their interiors all the time and I still wish they did. I know the Camry offered a Blue interior up until 1993 and a red one until 1991 (end of the Gen 2). The Hilux and 4Runner still had blue until 1995, which I think was the last year Toyota has offered a truly blue interior. I would buy a car today with a blue interior.

  • avatar
    mccall52

    Aside from the mechanicals being in very nice condition, the blue interior sold me on my 1994 Mercedes C280 four years ago.

    My 1996 Lincoln Town Car with willow green exterior has the ivory interior. I like the interior color a lot, but I’d love for it to have the matching green interior.

    1995 seems to be the last year I’ve noticed the town car to feature the green interior. The Cartier interior looks really nice in red.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    Didn’t Audi offer the TT with a baseball-glove orange (complete with stitching!) leather interior?

  • avatar
    fr88

    Okay, since the late 90′s you could have any color interior in American (and most import) cars as long as it was a non-color such as Mouse Beige or Mouse Grey (the greys varying only in intensity from Light Dust to Dark Dirt).

    What is wrong with color? If a broad spectrum of color choices are good enough for Rolls Royce, Bentley, Maserati, Jaguar, and the like, what is wrong with having a choice or three in a Taurus?

    I once bought the last of the Roadmaster wagons because it had a dark red leather interior. I imagine how a new Chrysler 300 with a navy blue paint job and a saddle color leather interior would take a big step up in perceived luxury and style. Such is the power of color. The original 300s only came with saddle color leather, seems a shame the new ones don’t.

    I recently bought a new Charger because it had the option of a red leather interior. The same car with a beige or black interior is a yawn.

    So what is wrong with any of the colors from the 1960′s automotive interior palette. A premium is paid for a first year Toronado with a plum color interior. A 67 Eldorado with a turquoise interior will shine brighter in a collector’s eye than a similar model with a black interior. Beige was available then, but it was thick glossy leather rather that the dull sun-baked looking stuff they call leather in modern cars. And it was accompanied by color options of dark green, dark brown, red, plum, turquoise, blue, white etc. so you weren’t stuck with a non-color as your only interior choice.

    Automakers are slowly dipping their toes into the paint pot for interior colors. GM is to be commended for adding color to trim in some of its Cadillacs and the new Impala. Hopefully, this trend will accelerate and flourish and we will no longer be greeted by a wave of depression when we open our car doors!


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