If you are a faithful reader of this column, you’ll know that I’m somewhat an unwillingly “car person” these days.
So when the weather was beautiful this past Saturday, my husband and I decided to take a drive in “our” Cobra to visit the 2018 St. Louis Auto Show at the America Center.
There were over 500 new vehicles displayed from 25 manufacturers all under one roof, which was kind of cool, if I’m being honest.
But since I wasn’t checking out engine sizes, horsepower, tire treads or whatever else people look at, I was finding the coolest, prettiest or most attractive colors that caught my eye. I noticed that they also had very unique names.
Toyota made a deep, almost black color with a hint of blue called “Galactic Aqua.”
Another one that caught my eye, and you’ll notice a theme here, also was made by Toyota. It was a Prius that in my mind is probably true to it’s name of “Tide Pool Pearl.” It was a bright, fun aqua that reminded me of cotton candy and, somehow, of fun summer days.
Maserati had a shiny, metallic black Granturismo convertible called “Nero Carbonio.” That’s probably just cool sounding because it’s Italian. Its base price was more than the cost of my house, which was only a little depressing.
And though I’m apparently attracted to blue cars, since I’ve bought more than one and I seemed to love everything even a little aqua — I’ve always wanted a white or silver/gray car. I did get a silver car once, but didn’t keep it very long. That’s beside the point.
The point is that one manufacturer, and I can’t remember which one, made a car called “White Silver” that I absolutely loved. It was like a cloud beginning to turn dark during a thunderstorm, white or gray depending on how you were looking at it.
There were all sorts of other bright and fun colors in various shades of oranges, golds, greens and all colors on the wheel.
So what’s in a car color name? Apparently a lot.
Toyota’s Canadian website says “A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but would you really want your car’s paint colour to be called ‘dark red’ when it could be ‘black cherry?’ ”
They’ve got a point.
I once had an eggshell-colored Volkswagen Beetle called “Harvest Moon Beige.” That’s much cooler, right?
The same website cited a study that found that names of colors significantly impact a person’s reaction to the color itself.
The article said that while names stimulate emotions, they also differentiate similar colored vehicles from one another.
“On first glance, two shades of grey might appear quite similar. However, once you learn that one’s named ‘Soft Heather’ and the other’s ‘Cold Steel,’ you’ll likely see them in a different light.”
The best names are distinctive, evocative and mysterious, it says, noting that even cultural backgrounds have an effect on a person’s reaction.
For instance, yellow is a cheery color to North Americans, yet in Germany it’s the color of jealousy and in Latin America it’s the color of mourning.
Even neutral colors can have names that “conjure up” feelings of relaxation, serenity, calmness, etc., like “Blizzard Pearl,” and “Black Sand Pearl.”
Analyzing the color trends and picking my favorite was a fun way to get excited about browsing vehicles. I daydreamed about what I would call the colors and looked to see what whoever has that lucky job came up with.
We also had a chance to see professional drifters Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Chelsea DeNofa perform, which was kind of insane.
If you don’t know what drifting is, I can explain it technically with a Google search as a technique where drivers force a car to lose traction and slide.
When both men were drifting at the same time on the blocked off city street crowded by spectators — they stayed together — almost like a choreographed dance, only really loud and smoky. And in cars.
So while I may have been a reluctant participant, I’ve found lately that sometimes the things you don’t want to do are the things you enjoy the most. And my husband was a happy camper, which is a win-win in my book.