Opinion: Do certain Porsche 911s suit certain colours?

Guards Red, Irish Green, Riviera Blue. Over the years, Porsche has created some truly iconic paint colours, hues that we all remember the exact names of. However, while we all have our favourites, certain shades suit certain Porsche 911s better than others.

For example, Rennsport 911s definitely lend themselves towards the more lairy tones. There’s something about a Light Yellow Carrera 2.7 RS or a Riviera Blue 993 Carrera RS that just works. Tangerine, Mexico Blue and Guards Red are also suitable choices for anything with the fabled ‘RS’ badge on the decklid.

By contrast, a Porsche 997 GT3 RS 3.8 in Carrara White or Basalt Black just doesn’t have the same visual clout that the car’s incredible performance deserves. If your Porsche 911 is designed to shout, it deserves a suitably shouty colour.

Speed Yellow doesn't work on base 911s whereas GT Silvers suits the Carrera's subtle character.
Speed Yellow doesn’t work on base 911s whereas GT Silvers suits the Carrera’s subtle character.

This colour optimisation works both ways though. Porsche 911 Carreras (especially from the 993 era onward) look plain weird when clothed in Mexico Blue or something similarly shocking.

There’s a reason why GT Silver is king on water-cooled Carreras. It’s the bread and butter of the Porsche 911 range and, as such, works best in colours that, while not exactly blending into the background, help the car to subtly slide through traffic.

Porsche 911 Turbos prove slightly more difficult to colour. They’ve got massive performance potential however, in recent years, the forced induction 911 has become more of a GT-style cruiser.

Porsche 911 Turbos and Turbo Ss are probably the most versatile when it comes to colours.
Porsche 911 Turbos and Turbo Ss are probably the most versatile when it comes to colours.

You could argue that Turbos actually suit any colour however, they work best in either dark metallics or something a little more eye-catching such as Speed Yellow or Guards Red. In fact, the latter hue is possibly one of the only paint colours that can truly work on any Porsche 911.

With their even greater performance, Turbo Ss fall into a similar camp to Rennsport 911s (though you don’t see many in the more eccentric shades of blue that are often sported by their RS cousins, maybe there’s a reason for that).

Meanwhile, classic Porsche 911s are better coloured according to their decade. Early cars from the Sixties suit solid reds, greens and whites while cars from the Seventies can be a bit more exuberant (think IROC RSRs).

Classic Porsche 911s can accept colour combinations that just wouldn't work on a water-cooled neunelfer.
Classic Porsche 911s can accept colour combinations that just wouldn’t work on a water-cooled neunelfer.

In fact, the ’72 Porsche 911S I drove in issue 120’s cover feature – finished in Metallic Green with tan interior – was possible the most perfect colour combination for that car. I couldn’t think of anything better suited for that particular Porsche.

Of course, this rough guide to colourways can be broken. It’s always nice to see intriguing combinations – such as a Porsche 996 Turbo in Riviera Blue – but, some things just shouldn’t be allowed to happen, like a Gold Porsche 997 Targa 4S…

What is your favourite Porsche 911 colour? Do you agree with Josh, do certain shades suit certain 911s? Join the debate in the comments below or head to our Facebook and Twitter pages now.

Sometimes it's great to see something a little more 'out there'.
Sometimes it’s great to see something a little more ‘out there’.

Comments (3)

  • William Guillouard

    I love this atlas grey

  • SPhilli911

    Yes, I feel the Rubystone Red (aka pink) is fitting on the 964 RS, but I don’t imagine it being as acceptable on other 911s. Same goes for Peppermint Green.

    However, Riviera, Mexico, or any of the light colored blues can work on almost any 911. Comes down to personal taste I suppose.

  • Juha U Kivekäs

    Light colors seem to work well with 911 as they tend to emphasize/contrast the elliptic window and roof line. Also the smiling face is more apparent in light colors. Dark colors tend to suppress these characteristics. But then dark colors are always good to own. My own 996 is (quite dark) Ocean blue and I love it. 911 is 911 is 911 regardless of color.

    Grand Prix white (Weissach weiss) is my favorite, but silvers, grays, blues are great too – and I could drive a Ferrari red Porsche without any guilt.