Automotive Color Trends: 5 Ways Car Colors Changed Over Time

Automotive Color Trends

Negosentro | Automotive Color Trends: 5 Ways Car Colors Changed Over Time | Humans are visual creatures, and as such, we can’t be blamed for wanting to surround ourselves with pretty things. And as we all know, it’s the color that makes all the difference when you’re buying a car. Choosing the right color for any new purchase is a difficult task, but choosing the ideal color for your car can seem impossible. With so many choices and types, you might find yourself struggling to decide on the perfect fit, but don’t worry, this has been a pervasive problem throughout history.

Since the first cars were produced all the way to modern times, the color trends have changed considerably, driven by industry trends, popular demand, and new technologies. Now, there is no denying that choosing the right color is one of the best ways to make a car look luxurious on a budget, but that’s not all that’s interesting about choosing the right hue. Let’s take a look at how car colors changed over time, what some of the modern trends are, and what we can expect in the near future.

Black used to be all the rage

Traveling back in time to the very beginning of mass car manufacturing in the 1900s, we find that the early car models had a tendency to follow the same color trends. As you might have seen in movies depicting the era, cars were mostly painted pure black, but other colors were available at the time as well, though not often used in mass production. In fact, you could find cars in red, green, blue, and brown, but the sophisticated black color seemed to prevail all the way up to the 1930s. Why? There are many theories.

For one, the ever-increasing demand for mass-produced cars prompted industry giants like Henry Ford to manufacture cars only in black for several years in order to streamline efficiency and meet customer demand. That said, there’s also the factor of luxury and that distinct up-scale vibe that black brought to the car’s visual appeal. There’s no denying that black goes well with everything, which meant that it fit perfectly with the extravagant fashion of the roaring twenties, for example. Of course, this was a trend that would soon give way to more vivacious color schemes.

Transitioning to bright and vivid colors

As we moved into the 1930s and beyond, the trends were evolving more towards bright and vivid car colors that were pure eye candy. Starting in the 1920s and gaining popularity every year, vivacious colors aimed to complement the vibrant fashion of the time in a different way, and make the car stand out in every situation. By the early 1930s, you would have been able to find cars in every color imaginable, from blue and green to pink and purple, all the way to gold yellow and blistering white.

Particularly popular at the time was the double-color design, where the car would be painted in different colors on its top and bottom halves. This is a trend that is still extremely popular among classic car aficionados around the world. As we moved towards the turn of the 20th century, the prices of these extravagant paints skyrocketed, leading to new developments in the industry.  

Paint protection elevating the look of the car

With car paint becoming more expensive, particularly high-quality paint and vivid color schemes, manufacturers and consumers needed a way to elevate the look of the cars without breaking the bank. Nowadays, this is done with the use of advanced nano ceramic coating that you can apply yourself with ease, but back in the day, mechanics needed to use different types of paint protection and visual enhancements. 

Nano technology in car care that protects the paint job from the elements wouldn’t become available until the late nineties, so leaders in the industry stuck with all-black designs, acrylic lacquers, and later electrodeposition primers to achieve some form of protection. All of these solutions aimed to make the finish more appealing while safeguarding the paintjob against dust, debris, dirt, and other elements. Most importantly, even today’s nano coating is one of the most affordable ways to maximize the look of the exterior.

The 21st century color trend is a mixed bag

In modern times, things seem to have gone to two different extremes. On the one hand, you can say that automotive colors have become dull and boring, composed mostly of silver and its iterations like various shades of gray. On the other hand, you have the extreme colors and various modern combinations of color schemes that aim to fuse different designs.

This is clearly a battle between manufacturing efficiency and the need of modern car owners to make their vehicles truly unique. It’s not only the new car technologies that modern buyers are excited about – they are also eager to personalize the look of their vehicles. To that end, we can nowadays also see extravagant accents and innovative solutions like paint wrapping.

Dramatic modern accents and painted wraps

In 2021 and beyond, we can expect car personalization to reach unprecedented heights, driven by the dullness of color options provided by modern manufacturers. Auto body shops around the world are increasingly offering car wrapping as a safe and efficient way to quickly change the color of your car, accentuate certain features, and personalize the exterior. 

Car wrapping allows you to change colors fast because you just need to peel it off and apply a new wrap. Paint wraps come in all kinds of designs, ranging from matte to gloss and beyond. Personalization will continue to thrive in the near future, and it’s important to note it will become increasingly affordable over time.

Over to you

The automotive industry has a rich history, and color trends are definitely one of its most interesting parts. Some of these trends might come back, others will remain in the history books, but we are yet to see what the future truly has in store.