Auto Show 2: the world is a carousel of color! (well, maybe.)

This blog is called “No Silver Cars” for a reason. It’s not that silver is a bad color for cars.  Lots of them look all right that way.  And, of course, silver is the German racing color, and is therefore a highly appropriate paint scheme for your Porsches, your Audis, your BMWs, and so on.  That’s fine.   I’m not coming down hard on you for driving a silver car if that’s what you actually like, and I’ve got nothing but sympathy if you are driving a car in a color you’d never pick off a chart, because you got a good deal on it and beggars can’t be choosers. (Do you really think that I would have chosen “Sell Me Now Beige” for my own car if I’d had a plethora of choices??  No.  Red one for me, or maroon, or dark green, or white … ) 

What the Sharkipede is against is a whole fleet of cars, of every size, body style, price class and country of origin, all painted silver.  Look around– it came perilously close to happening, and we are still at risk.  There was a time within the last five years when almost 50% of all new cars were painted silver, and if you include all the shades of grey, it was more than half.  Add black and white, and it’s more than 3 out of 4.  This is, in my opinion, not good.  The Sharkipede  personally likes cars that are painted a color, and prefers that the fleet display a modicum of variety.

So every year at the Auto Show I look for signs that world of automotive color is coming back to life, and this year was on the promising side.  Chrysler, especially, was showing bright blues, and overall silver blues, powder blues and silver greens continued to lift their heads and look around. I was disappointed not to see more of the chocolate browns I so enjoyed last year (Honda?  Nissan?), except, of course, for Mini’s splendid new “Hot Chocolate”, a warm cocoa brown available only on the new Clubman, which will be mentioned again in these reports.

I was also quite interested in some new French greys and warm dark umber greys, like Cadillac’s gorgeous “Double Espresso” or Lexus’ “Truffle Mica”.

Most of the color growth this year seemed to be in the oranges and orangey reds, which seemed to be moving away from coppers to include some orange toned dark reds that recalled the GM “Firethorns” of the seventies.  Those were some pretty colors on a car, not that the cars themselves were that great.  Though I do have some fond memories of a ’75 Malibu Classic sedan, Firethorn red over matching velour …

Some of the oranges I liked were GM’s “Brazen”, a rich dark orange with only a slight metal flake (seen on a Pontiac Solstice roadster), and Mitsubishi’s “Sunset Pearlescent”.

The Firethorn type dark reds included Nissan’s “Sonoma Sunset”, and Honda’s “Habanero Red”, plus Mazda’s “Redfire”.

The winner for Best Color, however, was Honda for its “Blackberry Pearl”, shown on a Fit Sport.  This is a dark, metallic ultramarine blue with a purple cast to it, a very rich, expressive color. It is bold, but subtle–  lovely on the little car and potentially superb on a large, luxurious one.  Accord cries out for this, as does a hypothetical full sized Honda or Acura.  

Creative, poetic, or silly color names are always a favorite here, and this year there were a few good ones, especially treasured since it’s so hard to come up with a creative name for silver.  I’ve already mentioned “Truffle Mica”, but let’s add Lincoln’s “Dune Pearl” (a nondescript pale gold, but a pretty name), Lexus’ “Noble Spinel Metallic” (a dark wine red), and Mitsubishi’s “Optimist Green”, a light grey green.

This year’s best colors all have rather mundane names:  Hot Chocolate, Black Cherry, Blackberry Pearl, but they are strong, vivid car colors, and that can only be good. 

Now I wonder why I’m hungry all of a sudden …

Sharkipede

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Published in: on February 15, 2008 at 9:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Starting the year off right

It’s nice when your belongings, old and new, start the year off right by behaving themselves.

The weather has been ghastly here at Sharkipede World Headquarters, some of the worst winter we’ve seen in several years, with heavy snow earlier in the week followed by below zero temperatures over the last two days.  It’s certainly the coldest and snowiest it’s been since I learned to drive, and I’ve been doing a little dogsitting over the holiday.

So I’ve been doing some winter driving, and Junior has been coming up aces.

For those of you who may be newcomers to NSC, Junior is my 1997 Buick Century Limited,  just exactly like this,  Sandhurst beige over matching leather:

http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com/1997-to-2005-buick-century-5.htm?photo=2
Junior is possibly the most boring car in the known universe.  This model, in this color, is a favorite of local retirees and serves admirably as a “stealth car”.  Even I have trouble finding it in crowded parking lots.

But Junior is 100% reliable in all local weather (so far), with a nuclear powered heater and defroster, and plenty of room in the footwell for driving in snow boots.   Nothing like good old fashioned American iron.  Icontinue to be quite glad I made a conservative choice and did not indulge my taste for “interesting” cars that probably don’t start and run in single digit temps.

There are a lot of these nice cars around used at moderate prices, and they are well regarded by consumer organizations.  Smooth, comfortable, and quite peppy, but inclined to gasket problems (mine have all been replaced) and not exactly fuel economy champs.  But if you don’t drive a lot of miles,  you might want to consider one.  And no one will see you coming.

On the other hand, interesting computers are hard to resist, particularly when they too seem to work reliably.   I got a wonderful Christmas present this year– an Eee PC from ASUS, and it’s a terrific little item.

http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=24&l2=0&l3=0&l4=0&model=1907&modelmenu=1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASUS_Eee_PC

(Mine’s black and I think it looks way cooler than the white one shown in the official pictures.)

I’d been wanting one of these for a while, being amazed by its small size and light weight and intrigued by the idea of using a computer with open source software.  So far  it’s been more fun than I could have imagined.  The Open Office word processor seems to be 100% compatible with Word on my Home Base PC, and the included graphics programs are really powerful and lots of fun to use.  I can see myself making a whole comic on my Eee PC quite soon.

I’d be interested in hearing from anyone else out there who is messing around with an Eee, particularly anyone who is using the Linux graphics software to make comics.

And anyone else, of course.  Don’t be worried if your comments don’t show up right away.  The default here at WordPress seems to be that comments are moderated by the blogholder, and I’m going to leave it that way for now.  Don’t worry, though.  I won’t censor you, my loyal readers!

Sharkipede

Published in: on January 4, 2008 at 8:44 am  Comments (1)  
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