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Six of the most polarizing Porsche colors of all time

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Porsche has a long history of making bold choices with its color palette. For every solid hit, there were several misses, a few cult classics, and some colors that were truly polarizing “love it or hate it” propositions. We went to to find six of the most polarizing colors that Porsche offered going back to the 356 era.

Cassis Red

Cassis Red is one of those colors that defies an easy description. It changes radically depending on the lighting: In low light situations, it’s a warm, reddish bronze; in brighter light, it takes on a pronounced pinkish tone. If you give it a chance, it’s really a handsome color, either on a 928 or a 911 Carrera Cabriolet (particularly with a maroon interior and soft top).

Raspberry Red Metallic

We’ve said this repeatedly: Porsche color names are either hopelessly esoteric or literally descriptive. This one falls into the latter category. It’s a pinkish red metallic that is brighter and pinker than Cassis Red and very similar to a rare early 1960s Mercedes-Benz color that enjoyed brief popularity in the 300SL and 190SL lines. We think it’s pretty striking on a 968 or a 928.

Rubystone Red

Of all the colors on this list, Rubystone comes the closest to general acceptance. Kind of a bright reddish magenta, it looks stunning on a 964, particularly a Carrera RS. It’s also shown up with some frequency as a Paint-to-Sample choice among new Porsche buyers. We’d do it in a heartbeat.

Mint Green

Mint Green was part of the brief pastel revival of the early 1990s that saw BMW and Porsche offer a few light primary and secondary colors to sports car buyers. Over at BMW, they called this Fiji Green. Same general idea. It’s unusual and the very definition of a love-it-or-hate-it color.

Sepia Brown

No list of controversial colors would be complete without at least one brown. For whatever reason, a lot of people seem predisposed to dislike brown cars. We won’t go into the psychological reasons behind it, and suffice to say, Porsche has done some undeniably handsome browns from Tobacco Metallic to Macadamia. Sepia, however, is more of an acquired taste. The later color Bitter Chocolate was more of a traditional russet brown, and Sepia looks to some like a dark yellowish beige. It was actually quite popular in the 1970s, but quickly fell out of favor. We don’t have statistics to back this up, but we’d be willing to bet that the vast majority of color-changed long-hood 911s out there were born Sepia.

Terra Cotta

Terra Cotta was kind of the Sepia Brown of the 356-era. It’s a light, reddish brown that seems to vary quite a bit from car-to-car, probably due to some disagreement as to the precise formula, and the fact that it was rarely seen or photographed in period when color photography was less common in any event.

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