Monday, October 29, 2012

October Orange

It's late October and we're being swamped with images of Halloween including the standard black cats, witches cauldrons and, of course, pumpkins carved into grinning jack-o-lanterns. Along with fall leaves, jack-o-lanterns add a needed splash of orange to the occasional gray day that comes along in the autumn.

As car colors go, orange ebbs and flows in desirability. Today, you can find a fairly wide selection of oranges on dealer's lots. In the seventies earth tones were in vogue and orange was available in several shades on the cars we own and love. Let's take a look at a few of them.

Triumph's TR6 came in a few shades of orange, however some of them were called yellow in the brochures. 

This car is painted in Saffron. While not an eye-searing orange, it has been described as a "muddy" orange, not unlike the color called Bronze Yellow that was used on other BL products at the time.This color was offered on 1971 and 1972 TR6s.

The TR6 above is Topaz Yellow and at a glance it does not appear to be much difference between it and Saffron. Again, this is not a bright orange, but it fit the fashion of the 1970s quite well. Topaz Yellow was an option in 1975 and 1976.

Here is a shade that falls more on the red side of orange than on yellow. Called Pimento Red, it was offered on TR6s from 1972 on through the end of production in 1976. 

MG offered several shades of orange and they were also called by names other than orange, too. 

This is about as orange as MG colors got. Vermillion was an offering on late MGBs and it looks quite nice with black bumpers. Vermillion was offered on model years 1977 through end of production in 1980, however I do know of a late 1976 model painted in this color from the factory.

Again, from the Don't-Call-It-Orange Department, Blaze was the orange offered on MGBs from 1971 through 1975. Some authorities call it Blaze Red, further distancing the shade from what it really is.

This MGB is painted Bracken, a "muddy" orange offered on cars built from 1974 through 1976, the height of the earth tones fad. Some people have described this color as "butterscotch", but it was never officially called such. Compare this to Triumph's Topaz Yellow, above.

Offered on MGs from 1972 through 1975, Bronze Yellow qualifies as an orange in my opinion. One could even think of Bronze Yellow as Bracken with an extra dose of yellow in the mixing process.

While other British manufacturers certainly offered cars in various shades of orange, I've focused on the ones that sold in larger numbers here in America. the colors noted above were also available on MG Midgets and Triumph Spitfires and GT6s, too. 

If you have a few minutes to spare, you may want to browse the color chips that were scanned at the MG Experience web site. Bear in mind that a lot of subtle color alteration takes place during the scanning process and the colors will vary from monitor to monitor, but it is interesting to see.

Happy Halloween from Positive Earth!

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