How color shades the collector car market

1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Coupe

Most of us have heard of “Resale Red,” right? Surely, there’s some truth to it. While red is the most common color among collector cars bought and sold—often associated with fast and expensive sports cars—other colors perform better in some respects when it comes to actually buying or selling a collectible. By looking at collector cars and trucks offered for sale by color, we uncovered the characteristics of the market for each.

Among cars offered for sale, red is the most popular with 25 percent of the transactions, black is second at 21 percent, and white is third at 13 percent. They are followed by blue (12 percent), silver (eight), green (six), and yellow (five). Among the least popular colors are pink, at just 0.3 percent; teal, with a slightly larger share; and purple, at 0.6 percent.

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Most of these transactions are from auctions, and just because red is the most popular color doesn’t mean it is the most likely to sell. Among the more common colors, silver has the highest sell-through rate at 77.3 percent, followed closely by red and black at 76.3 and 76.2 percent, respectively. Among the more common colors, white has one of the lowest sell-through rates at just 74.8 percent. For the less common colors, brown has an 80-percent sell-through rate, followed by beige at 79.2. Purple cars seem to be a pretty hard sell, as it has the lowest sell-through rate of all the major colors at just 67.6 percent.

Which colors are the most expensive? A few multi-million dollar auction cars pull up the average sale prices, but it’s interesting to note that with an average sale price of $198,215, red is second behind silver, at $223,291. Black and blue are a ways back at $135,967 and $131,122, respectively. White and green are just above six figures at $109,701 and $104,415. The less common but still expensive colors are grey and beige, with average sale prices of $145,973 and $119,908, respectively. Cars that are pink or teal are among the least expensive, with an average sale price of $49,360 and $36,618.

What is the most expensive color? Gulf Blue. Cars painted this color have an average sale price of $2,200,767, mostly because there is typically pretty serious racing pedigree under that color scheme. Another famous but more common racing color is British Racing Green, which has an average sale price of $459,955.