If anything positive has come out of the crazy, crazy rise in the popularity of classic Porsches, it’s probably the proliferation of marque-centric shows and events that have done nothing but bring the brand’s fans together. It’s also brought a lot of rare cars out of the woodwork, if only to display at public events or trade hands between moneyed collectors.
Often, the highest valued of the bunch wear rare or popular factory paint colors. Before the ever-popular Paint-to-Sample program came to be—whereby Porsche will paint your new car any color you like for an extra fee—special-order paint from the factory was a much larger commitment and was done rather infrequently. Of course, even among the regular-spec paint choices, there were hues and shades that were seldom ordered by either the dealer or customer themselves.
For those of us who enjoy hunting down pictures of factory Porsche colors, the Porsche Club of America just launched the cleverly named “Rennbow” database of historical Porsche paint codes. According to the release, the database contains almost every single Porsche color from 1950 through 2012, covering more than 500 individual color options. You aren’t stuck with just a small paint swatch for reference, either; more than 1,800 images of various Porsches in the corresponding colors are available. Beyond that, there’s a subjective one-to-five rarity scale for each color, calculated according to production run and scarcity.
It’s a tremendous—and tremendously worthwhile—time sink. Some of my personal favorites include Cognac Brown Metallic, Fern Green, and Dalmatian Blue. I’m also a fan of Wine Red Metallic, the color of my family’s 1981 Targa.
We can’t recommend highly enough that you check out Rennbow and pick out a few choice colors of your own.
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