There was once a time when car interiors could be ordered in just about any color under the rainbow. Peaking during the 1960s and 1970s, particularly with luxury cars, one often could choose from as many as 10, 12, 15, or more interior color combinations. Over the next three decades, the amount of choice greatly decreased as a combination of cost-cutting as well as changing consumer tastes for more neutral colored interiors, to a point in the late-1990s and early-to-mid-2000s where many automakers offered just the choice of black or beige.
Cars like this 1994 Mercury Sable were among the last that offered once highly popular burgundy interiors for almost 20 years. In fact, 1994 was the very last year for “Garnet”, as it was officially called, and by this point it was largely limited to neutral exterior colors such as white and black. Thankfully Mercury Sable buyers had one more year to choose from Evergreen and Royal Blue interiors, if they could find one, as its likely that dealers seldom ordered them. On an important note, however, 1996 Sable buyers could choose from the even more exciting Grey-Violet and Willow Green.
Thankfully, things have rebounded a bit in the past decade, albeit largely exclusive to leather interiors. The mid-to-late 2000s saw a reemergence of natural brown shades, and more recently several automakers have gone bolder with shades of bright red, sumptuous burgundy, cool blue, and striking white.
Although many still prefer the understated, often easier to care for neutral color interior, these more vibrant color palates make for a greater statement and a generally more special-feeling interior. After all, the interior is where you spend most of your time with your car, so wouldn’t you rather a special interior versus exterior? Maybe I’m alone in feeling this, so I’m curious to know, what’s your preferred interior color?
Photographed in Hanover, Massachusetts – October 2019