Posted at the Cohort by Henrik Sommer
I have never understood the German fondness for that non-metallic brown. I have seen it on MBs and Porsches, and as much as I tire of common colors, this shade of brown just doesn’t do it for me.
For whatever reason though, it seems to age remarkably well. I’ve never been fond of it either, but I’ve seen hundreds of Benz’s, Volvos and a few MG’s and Triumphs in this color and for the most part they seems to retain their sheen and depth of color more than one would expect for their age. Maybe they’re on to something.
I actually like brown cars. A few years ago, brown seems to have had a mini-resurgence in popularity, and there was a brown Buick LaCrosse in my neighborhood that was awfully similar to this Mercedes’ color. I thought it looked good.
Unfortunately for me, the reawakening of Brown seems to have faded back to gray. Ugh.
I have pretty much recovered from my brown car overdose in the 70s and 80s, and am cool with several of the browns that have been featured recently. However, all of them have been metallic paints with add some sparkle and personality to the brown. Those non-metallic milk chocolate finishes from Europe never really found a following among the US manufacturers.
There were a few good metallic browns for a while, weren’t there? I remember the one you’re talking about on Buicks, and at the time Honda also had a nice one available on the CR-V/Odyssey and Toyota on the Venza.
Loved the metallic brown on my old Mini. Went well with black roof and C pillars (on the Clubman, the roof color went down the c pillars and flowed into the rear bumper.) I believe the paint name was “Hot Chocolate.”
I have recently taken a shine to this shade that Studebaker featured in 1964.
*Want*. And that shade of brown is beautiful.
J P, perhaps Steve McQueen’s Ferrari Lusso might “do it for you”, as seen in this image. This is, in the estimation of many, a truly elegant, “non Rosso” Ferrari. See if you might agree, and possibly reconsider your thoughts about some shades of automotive brown.
On the other hand, I do however agree with you that some shades of brown should never be on cars, in short there is a particular 1970’s Porsche shade of brown that had gained the unfortunately, but justly deserved, humorous reputation of “baby s,,,t brown”. With that shade, I would be in full agreement with you.
I think it’s actually 280SEGD. It looks like the owner took the GD badging from a gelandewagen and attached it to the existing badging to correspond with the license plate. The period brown color is fine, but get rid of those chrome fender flare protectors…
Yeah, if you zoom in, you can see that the ‘GD’ is slightly smaller.
For some reason that reminded me about the time when the father of my East Asian friend spoke of the Pontiac GOOLE (pronounced “goolie”)….
Nice analogy. .
I traded a ’72 pumpkin orange Vega Panel Express for a ’72 Triumph Spitfire that was painted a similar shade of brown. It’s one of those colors I neither love nor hate…but it would NOT be near the top of my favorites list.
However clean and elegant the 280 appeared when introduced, I found those ‘corrugated’ taillight lenses cheesy. Like they belonged on a Mercury Monarch. They date the car more than the rest of the exterior.
Ah, but they served a purpose, according to an old Mercedes brochure. Supposedly the ridges helped shed mud and road gunk better. Not sure if that was true or not, but there was a method to Mercedes’ madness.
Haha, thank you. Being MB, I knew the effect had to have a practical purpose. At the same time, it doesn’t succeed so well in that timeliness design MB is so good at. It looks like a design element very specific to the 1970s.
My family and I did a factory tour at Sindelfingen site in 1980. I recalled a fifteen-minute film, showcasing the safety technologies implemented in their cars and extensive quality evaluation.
The film highlighted many safety features incorporated into their cars, including the ribbed taillamps. No matter how much the taillamps were covered in mud, the light would shine through.
In the film, the engineers also demonstrated the effectiveness of ‘dam’ built in the massive A-pillars as to prevent the water from flowing to the side windows. Additionally, they showed the small groove built in the rear windscreen frame that redirected the water away from the windscreen.
Not only that solid brown, but the olive green and the crimson red also fit perfectly to him. It was the first MB I’ve knew when I was a child, from many tourists from Argentina, almost all were in olive green and crimson red, but I’ve also seen it in almond beige and in this brown. For me, one of the most beautiful Mercedes ever made.
I stopped by the corporate showroom of a local high-end mountain bike manufacturer, which perhaps not coincidentally was recently bought by a European conglomerate with links to the auto industry. Anyway, many of the new bikes were in colors reminiscent of ’70’s European cars … non-metallic browns, tans, greens, reddish or yellowish orange, etc.
That European conglomerate would be Pon from the Netherlands? Buying Santa Cruz Bicycles?
Pon, our VAG and Caterpillar importer, among many other things. Of course we all know Ben Pon thanks to his 1947 VW bus drawing which he made after visiting the VW factory.
I like solid, non-metallic colors. My Mom had a ’70 Mercedes 250 in a similar color that I used to call tobacco-brown. I’ve become so tired of all the shades of silver and grey that are marketed here.
Happy Motoring, Mark
She’s got big thoughts, big dreams
And a big brown Mercedes sedan
No color screams “German” to me like the medium non-metallic blue that so many VW Type II and Mercedes diesels were painted.
Nice find! Not sure I’m too fond of the brown either. By the way, some random trivia: the old “DIN”-style licence plate means the car was registered to the current owner before the year 2000.
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