Brown and beige cars making a seventies revival

carThey say everything in fashion goes around in circles, and those of us who lived through Eighties’ fashion the first time are watching it again in stunned admiration. But it isn’t just clothes fashions of yesteryear that make a comeback, it seems. Car valuation firm CAP Automotive reckons that, platforms and bell bottoms aside, it is car colour fashion from the seventies that is hot right now.

Every month CAP tracks the tastes of motorists and the data helps advise dealers on the best choices for used car stock – from brands, models and body styles to engine type and colour. By analysing the results, CAP has identified a resurgence of interest in shades that have been (understandably) rarely seen in the mainstream car market for decades, with green, beige, gold, bronze, brown, yellow and even orange all rising in popularity on fashion-conscious car buyers’ agenda.

Of course, colour charts are normally dominated by the usual boring suspects that include silver, black, blue, and red, but five classic 1970s colours – green, beige, yellow, brown and gold - have made it into the top 10 choices for the first time since CAP began charting consumer tastes.

CAP suggests that the comeback of 1970s colours among consumers valuing their next car purchase may simply be a natural extension of motorists’ desire to ‘personalise’ their driving experience, and that it is in keeping with the current fancy for retro everything.

Philip Nothard, retail and consumer specialist at CAP, said: “Just as new cars are increasingly configurable to the driver’s personal preference, it makes sense that there is now a more diverse array of colours on the radar of today’s motorists."

“You can’t underestimate the power of ‘retro chic’ either in the world of consumer taste – and what could be more retro than having an orange or a bronze car." Indeed, or more trendy, groovy and right-on.

CAP also pointed out that car colour choice is traditionally down to the manufacturer, rather than the consumer, as manufacturers decide which colours to offer and to use on models, and that “people therefore tend to buy what they’re offered.”

And he describes the phenomenon most appropriately when saying that "evidence that a significant number of people are trying to find brown cars to buy would have seemed crazy just a few years ago, but we can confirm that they are.”

So can we look forward to seeing 50 shades of brown and beige on the roads this summer or is this a retro step too far. Would you buy a brown car with your own money?


  • Euan
    I've always wondered who goes into a car dealer, eyes up the new car, and then asks the salesman "I'd like one of these... do you do it in a nice shade of diarrhea?"
  • Mark W.
    I've owned two brown cars. The first was described by the dealer as 'metallic bronze' but it was brown. I'm just waiting for carbon fibre vinyl wrap to become available in brown.

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