Friday, 23 October 2009

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Written for Practical Classics

Forgive me if this blog doesn't seem to talk about cars that much - I accept that it doesn't. I have however got a point to make, so if you're not doing much - washing the dog, taking the dishes for a walk etc - stick around.

There is - or seems to be - a stigma attached to the colour brown. Don't ask me why, there just is. Brown is a colour that most of the fashionista would dismiss as just being uncool.

Why? Lots of nice things are brown. Cask ales are by and large brown. My old, worn, and much loved pair of shoes are brown. Dogs are brown. Wood is brown. And yet when somebody chooses brown from a list of available colours somehow he becomes a social pariah, liked only by those whose guide dogs cannot tell the difference.

As somebody who wouldn't know if Ralph Saint Laurent were doing anything new or daring this year (or decade), it will come as scant surprise to you that I rather like brown. I do. From here I can see my brown curtains, brown bedsheets, brown quilt cover and pillow, brown wardrobes, brown door and brown noticeboard. The eagle eyed may also have spotted that the titles of blogs here are picked out in Leyland Mace brown - a particularly questionable shade.

Which brings me onto a more relevant topic. Brown seems to have fallen from most car manufacturers' colour charts now. I can think of but a few cars I know can be ordered in such a hue. Toyota's Avensis and the new Smart are the most prolific examples. And the number with brown interiors is fewer still - cream doesn't count. I'm having trouble thinking of any cars from the last 2 decades with brown seats and a brown dashboard.

And yet in the right shade and application it can look sublime. I once saw a metallic brown Maserati Quattroporte which looked like it had just come out of the pages of a fashionable motoring magazine. Which was exactly where I saw it. The brown Montego Mayfair at the top of this article manages to look fantastic, even though it's brown. And a Montego.

Brown is due a comeback, and the cars we have today are ideal to do this with. The new Jaguar range. the Aston Rapide. Hell, even the new Bentley Mulsanne would look stunning in metallic brown. So I've decided to form a society; the Brown Car Appreciation Guild. This will serve not only to unite those of us with such taste, but to convince car manufacturers that there is a market for scatologically shaded saloons and sportsters. Who's with me?


  1. I think brown looks good when highly polished on a mint example of a car. Not sure if it's a modern enough colour for a car, but interior decor seems to lean towards the brown and beige effect these days. I reckon this colour suits a car of the 80s and you probably couldn't get a better representation of that era.

  2. I know what else is brown!