By John Wiley / Hagerty.com
This is a followup to an earlier story where we attempted to quantify the value of different colors. You can read it here.
After observing how much color matters to some Porsche enthusiasts, I decided to investigate if it was possible to quantify how color affects a car’s value. Porsche was a good case study because its cars have been available in a countless variety of colors over the years. My report revealed, among other things, that warm colors were more valuable than cool colors. As with anything as subjective as the color of a car, the report was controversial, to the point that it was discussed on Spike Feresten’s podcast Spike’s Car Radio. Being a long-time listener of this podcast, I contacted Spike after hearing the discussion, and in a follow-up conversation, he suggested we run an online survey to determine which colors Porsche enthusiasts like best.
Our survey was conducted over one month and received nearly 3000 responses from all over the world. One limitation of the initial analysis was that it grouped colors, so the 50 or so shades of blue we had sales data on just became “blue”.
The ten most popular shades, according to our survey results are the following. Guards Red is well ahead of the second place Mexico-Blue, and GT Silver isn’t that far behind in third. Except in fourth place is Miami Blue, which is oh so similar to Mexico Blue. Combining those would have meant a light blue was in first place …
We also suspected, going into the survey, that preferences would vary depending on the type of Porsche we were asking about. Your favorite color on a newer 911 GT3 might not look so hot on a late ’70s 911 SC, let alone an old 356. Sure enough, we saw some differences in the survey. Oranges are more popular with air-cooled cars, while blue, silver, and yellow are more popular for the more modern cars. Guards Red, however, is timeless.
The age of the survey participants also mattered. Baby boomers like red, black, silver, and white. Gen-X appears to prefer a range of blues, while millennials are into greens. Gen-Z has perhaps the most diverse color palette.
We can also still see how taste in colors varies by country. The U.S. still tends to favor Guards Red, while the light blues are in the top 5. The red in Canada’s flag makes it less popular for a Porsche, with Guards Red at #5, while GT Silver, Miami Blue, and the dark Oak Green and Racing Green are more popular. The U.K. appreciates a similar set of colors, but Speed Yellow and Rubystone Red inch up the rankings. Australia is notable for liking the lighter Gulf Blue and the brighter RS Green. (We are well aware we’re missing major markets for Porsches, including Germany and China. Unfortunately, our English language-only survey meant a sufficient number of responses were only available from English-speaking countries.)
According to the different geographic regions of the U.S., out in the western states near the Pacific Ocean and Mexico, we see Mexico Blue taking the top spot. In the Northeast, after Guards Red, black and Speed Yellow are higher on the list than usual. In the South, the top spots are similar to the Northeast, but Alpine White, Midnight Blue, and Carmine Red creep into the top 10. The Mid-west shows black at number two, the light blues of Mexico and Miami, and GT Silver, but also Carrara White.
Finally, we asked how much more enthusiasts would be willing to pay, on a percentage basis, for Porsches in their preferred colors. It is apparent that enthusiasts in the western U.S. valued their favorite colors highest by being willing to pay an average of 27 percent more for a car in the right color. The Northeast region valued the perfect shade the least at a 20 percent premium, while the south and mid-west were in-between at 26 percent.
Does this mean that there are effectively only three colors for a Porsche: Guards Red, GT Silver, and Mexico/Miami Blue? Not at all. Practically every color on our survey, from Vesuvio to Linen metallic had at least one fan. If anything, we see that the appreciation for the variety of colors available is wide and diverse. Considering that Porsche will, for a price, happily paint its new cars practically any shade you can imagine, we don’t expect that to change.