The last time you showed your collector car while attending the auction at Manheim, a few people suggested that it could stand a new paint job. Great! But what colour belongs on your vintage ride?

Favourite Classic Car Colours that Stand Out in a Crowd 

Almost every conversation that centers around a vintage or antique sports car will bring up the colour red or black. However, not all reds are created equal. Some of the most popular tints are the Ford Vermillion Red that was used between 1935 and 1969. That Corvette Rally Red belongs to the distinctive years between ’65 and ’68. But you don’t need a cherry red colour to steal the show. Other notable shades that get our jaws dropping include British Racing Green, Plymouth Plum Crazy Purple, and Corvette Bright Yellow.

Bold is Not Always Better at the Auction

Despite the fact that red remains the most popular shade for antique and collector cars, it does not translate into the colour that will sell the fastest on the block. A silver car is actually more likely to be bought than the same model shown in black or red. This buying trend also applies to new cars sold off the dealer lot where more than 50% of the rides are finished in some shade of gray. Now, that is not to say that if you have a 1987 Buick Grand National, you should go changing its black paint job. The colour will remain part of the vehicle’s history and should properly reflect its heritage.

Surprising Highest Selling Colour Choices

So, if you based your classic colour choice off the highest auction price for any collector car, you would be going with that Ferrari Rosso Corsa as a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for over $48 million in 2018. However, the highest average auction price for vintage rides based on colour is $223,291 for silver, more than $20,000 over the second-place red. That means that silver cars consistently earn extra dollars on the bottom line when the gavel sounds.

Factory Finish or Give it a Modern Twist

Not everybody buys an older car because they want to make a profit after it is restored. Maybe you simply love the long lines of a 1961 Lincoln Continental Convertible. However, its old rust spots and scratched hood paint do it no favours when you take it out for a cruise. A dedicated restoration shop will provide you with the paint codes needed to bring it back to its like-new shine, but paint technology has come a long way in the past 50 years. New finishes do not require constant waxing like paints crafted in the 70s. If you are never going to take your ride to a car show, you might want to opt for a clear tint or metallic coat that eliminates the need for a weekly wash and wax while giving you the classic colour that you love.

However, when you are submitting your coupe to the judges, it is wise to opt for a paint that uses the correct colour codes and compounds to deliver that true vintage shine under the sun.

When to Leave Your Vintage Ride Alone

You bought a 1968 Ford Mustang in Highland Green and it is truly a thing of beauty. But you don’t like green. You want red. Is it okay to dress up your fastback with a new paint job? When competing on the collector car market and you have a ride with original paint, a matching engine code, and original upholstery all in mint condition–you don’t touch a thing. The value of that ride will garner special attention on the auction block. Now, if the car has no significant history, is showing rust spots on the body, and has been restored over the decades, a fresh coat of paint could actually improve its performance in front of the judges and at the sale.

Dressing Up Your Classic Car for Your Enjoyment

So, you really do want red. You don’t intend to take it back to the auction this year or even in five years. You want to drive it often and show off your baby to your friends. By all means, locate a reputable paint shop and have it done up in a shade that makes you smile. You can even opt for something out of this century like Go Mango or Electric Blue. There is no judgment found on the wide-open highways across Canada.

Did you just complete a full restoration on your collector car? Don’t forget to speak with your broker to make sure you’re covered for the new value of your restored classic.

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