The Wiley Report

We asked, you answered: These are the most popular Porsche colors

by John Wiley
7 April 2021 3 min read
Photo by Porsche

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 1,300 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 North East, after Guards Red, black and Speed Yellow are higher on the list than usual. In the South, the top spots are similar to the North East, 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.

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Comments

  • Greg Carter says:

    Ahhh, they’re all about the same. Thanks for the hard hitting piece.

  • Ken Sousa says:

    Another piece of investigative journalism.

  • Walter Strahota says:

    I guess I’m different. I don’t like red cars especially Porsche’s. Maybe a red Ferrari or Alfa Romeo but anything else I avoid red.

  • Nathan Simmons says:

    Yeah very weird that red is the victor in almost all categories as sales results of red 911s is often times a lower dollar amount than that of many other colors

  • A J says:

    In the mid-’80s, I was single with a beautiful 1968 912 Targa Soft-back in what I called “Powder Puff Blue”. It looked really good with a pretty blonde in the passenger seat. It also looked nice on the bed of a tow truck. You would think that a Porsche with a VW engine would be less costly to maintain. It wasn’t. When it was running, the balance of the vehicle with the lighter VW engine made handling amazingly wonderful. Regretfully, the combination of gasoline fumes and a battery spark caused a fire under the bonnet that could not be contained. Magnesium metal actually burns. The fire department could not extinguish the vehicle and it was a total loss. The vehicle’s glass even melted. That was a sad day.

  • Ray Ashenhurst says:

    Back in the 1950s and 1960s, car manufacturers were moving away from basic black and otherwise drab dull colors. They were trying to get their customers attention with pastels, combinations and some bold eye grabbing. It was a trial and error copy cat process. In other words, it didn’t always work, however, kudos to GM’s and Ford’s pastels. Studebaker flunked this one. A common comment was ” That color would only look good on a Porsche”. Porsche’s color pallet was as diverse as any and supported that comment. A Togo Brown Porsche 356 was just as beautiful as a Metallic Sliver 356. All color preferences on a nicely designed car boil down to an individuals overall preference due to their associated positive experiences, training and self image. No point is being made here other than all colors are beautiful on a beautiful car and individual preferences are due to life experiences and availability. I would expect Red to be on top of the list in a violent country.

  • Haig L Haleblian says:

    Stone grey on a 356

  • Timothy Horan says:

    👍

  • Ron Woodward says:

    This is a poor analysis. Guards Red is the winner because there is only one red. Rubystone Red is not really red. Arena Red is and it is not there. By splitting the blues, greens, yellows and oranges, they are underrated making the analysis biased against them. Blue is the clear winner. ronnie993tt.

    • John Wiley says:

      The initial report looked at colors in groups (reds, blues, greens) and how the market values those. This survey sought to answer which Porsche color is the most popular. If you were to order one in blue, they’ll probably ask you, which blue? Arena Red is the 36th most popular color, and we only listed the top 10 most popular colors for each group.

  • B Cleveland says:

    I have had so many different colored 911’s Red, Midnight blue, white, black but my favorite was a nautical blue with linen interior 88 carrera followed closely by a 92 Amazon green carrera 4

  • David Holzman says:

    It’s hard to judge without seeing the color on the car. I wouldn’t pick red, except that one of my friends has a red Boxster that looks gorgeous.

    There is, or was a slightly soft dark blue that another friend has on his 356. That car looks quite good in that color, though not as good as my first friend’s red Boxster.

    I can’t tell the difference between your Miami and Mexico blues.

  • M.R. Dove says:

    Like B. Cleveland, I have an 88 dark blue Targa — Porsche called it ‘Marine Blue’ — with a linen interior, one of Porche’s best color combinations, but I don’t even see Marine Blue on your list!

    • John Wiley says:

      Yes, Marine Blue didn’t make it into the top 10 for any of the groups. It is #76 on the list. Right next to Petrol Blue and Slate Blue in terms of popularity.

  • John Marchant says:

    What’s RS Green? The green introduced on the 2019 GT3 RS was Lizard Green. Is that the same color?

  • M.R. Dove says:

    Is Petrol Blue a real color, or is that a joke? I such a hard time getting online humor.

  • john kozen says:

    I disagree with the colors being the favorites of Porsche owners. When I ordered my 911T I specified conda-green. I did not settle for a color choice off the dealer’s lot. PCA says it is not a rare color: three paint cans out of five. They also say it is a very desirable color today for long hoods. So why not on the list? I say that red, black, white, and silver are up there because the dealers see them as safe colors. In my opinion, been in the business for 20 years, dealers are not willing to take a chance and get stuck with a brand new leaf (bush) green 911 in their inventory for three years. To me those dealers are boring. You see a lot of safe colors for sale because that is the inventory the boring dealers bought. I did not take the survey so maybe it was a survey of colors one likes and not a survey of colors of cars one owns. If so, I would then change my opinion, but only a little. BTW my color for a 2021 911 is Iris Blue Pearl or Carmona Red Metalic w/ gold wheels (my alma-matter colors).

  • Andrew peaston says:

    I have a beautiful 1984 gold Porsche not a mention of this

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