The many colors of the legendary Ford Mustang

October 25, 2013 12:00 AM

In the past 50 years auto trends have come and gone, and the Ford Mustang has been around to see it all. Celebrating the Mustang's upcoming 50th anniversary, Ford released a history of the Mustang, tracking the most popular exterior paint colors of the popular all-American car throughout the years. The most popular color is the classic red, accounting for 21 percent of all Mustangs sold. 

The move to red began in the 1960s, when the top-selling colors shifted from green and blue to the more modern black and red. 

"Your car is an extension of you and embraces your personality," said Steve Schattem, president and owner of "I think red has become more popular over the years since the Mustang became America's muscle car ... Color registries are a great way to bring people with a commonality together. It's another way to share a common bond."

In typical Mustang fashion, the car's exterior paint resists the common trend of motor vehicles. The best-selling vehicle color today is white, while only 10 percent of Mustang's have a white paint job. Black is the best-selling exterior paint color for the Mustang at this current juncture, but as Ford's dedication to the Mustang's past shows, the next big thing in the world of America's favorite muscle car could change on a dime. Between 1967 and 1973, only 1.5 percent of customers opted for a black Mustang. Black didn't even break into the top three until 1994. Even more drastically, brown was consistently in the top three selling exterior paint colors for the mustang in the 1970s. Brown hasn't been offered to Mustang buyers since 2000. 

Ford Mustang marketing manager Melanie Banker summed it up best. "Our Mustang owners are passionate about their cars," she said. "Mustang owners buy a vehicle in School Bus Yellow or Grabber Blue because it reflects what they want their Mustang to say to the world about them."

So, next time you're out at the car dealership or auto repair franchise, take a look around you at the cars' paint jobs. The ones that seem the most odd may just be the start of a new trend.  

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