Ferraris are red, Jaguars are green, and everything else is somewhere in between. It’s true; it would seem that each manufacturer or country of origin seems to have its own color scheme. Combinations like “Dutch Racing Orange” and “French Racing Blue” are the mere beginnings of the unique colors spectrum that is applied on classic […]
Ferraris are red, Jaguars are green, and everything else is somewhere in between. It’s true; it would seem that each manufacturer or country of origin seems to have its own color scheme. Combinations like “Dutch Racing Orange” and “French Racing Blue” are the mere beginnings of the unique colors spectrum that is applied on classic cars, both when new and today. But how do they relate to value? The simple question/answer is usually: “is it the original color the factory put on the car?” But what if you think Old English White looks terrible on your MGA or you think the 300SL you’re looking at would have been much prettier if the owner would have spent the $60K on the color Graphite Grey instead of Fire Engine Red?
Lets step back a second and consider values, trends and how color is applicable in different situations:
Let’s start at the bottom, use some numbers, and get the full spectrum to understand the relationships. Take the MGA for instance, a perfect 1500 is worth (for arguments sake) $30,000. Most will probably say it looks best in a darker color, maybe Black, and we will throw in a red interior for a little contrast. Here you have a stunning car, contrasting and very sexy colors that gives it the look of a much more expensive car. Now, it’s for sale, and Joe Shmoe is walking up the drive way with a bag of cash. He loves it, thinks it’s gorgeous and decides it checks out and is well worth the $30K investment.
Same scenario, much larger bag of cash: a disc brake, alloy block 300SL. The prospective buyer likes it, the car checks out, the restoration is superb. Then the paperwork is pulled out, the data card, history, color codes and an overall understanding of the car, its history, and how it became the piece of jewelry it is today. The buyer discovers the original DB543 (Strawberry Red, a very rare and desirable color) that the car was delivered in was changed during the restoration to the more common and less interesting (in this writer’s opinion) DB608 (Ivory White). The deal doesn’t happen, and the investment is seemingly not worth it to the buyer as a color change 300SL.
When it comes down to it, colors matter, they have a direct impact on value. However the ultimate conclusion here is that it is up to the buyer and there savvy nature of understanding this as a factor while they consider writing a check on what is essentially an investment. On the MGA, for the purist it might have mattered, but for the majority of people, it’s just an MGA and it will probably always be worth the money regardless of the original color. When the dollar amount increases by nearly $1,000,000 it is safe to say a little more care and understanding comes into play. Yes, you’re getting a very cool 300SL, but if the buyer wants a concrete investment, the color should be the right one.
So while some might feel the 300SL they are looking at finished in Fire Engine Red isn’t the best color, and it’s just “kind of red”, it’s not there investment, and there is a very good reason behind the color. Our preference is always the factory colors when it comes to value, but we are always seeking interesting and rare combinations. Money aside, I’ll take anything with a red interior.
Rare and interesting color combinations to look for:
Black with Red – Black with Green – Triple Black – Green or Blue with Red – Green with Green – Yellow with Blue – Andy many more…