Top Gear’s Top 9: cars only sold in one colour
Porsche 996 GT3 RS
The first ever 911 GT3 RS could only be specified in white. Generously, Porsche allowed buyers of the most hardcore 996 to choose between red or blue wheels, and then added matching ‘GT3 RS’ graphics down the cars’ flanks.
(Click HERE to read about our Porsche 911 RS retrospective with the 964 Carrera RS, 993 Carrera RS and 997.2 GT3 RS)
While later DeLoreans were sometimes sprayed by third-party outfits to try to boost the ailing oddball coupe’s appeal (particularly in the US), the world’s slowest gullwing car only ever left the factory in bare stainless steel.
Seeing one any other colour is just out of place and wrong, like spotting one of your teachers down the pub or in a supermarket. And besides, colouring it in red plays havoc with its safe passage through the space-time continuum.
(Click HERE to go Back to the Future with the DMC-12 and McLaren MP4-12C)
All 1,315 examples of the first 200mph (320km/h) Ferrari left the factory painted red. Yes, you’ve seen black ones, grey ones and blue ones since, as owners wrapped and resprayed their twin-turbo pride and joys, but they all started life the same thinly-sprayed shade of Rosso Corsa.
Subaru Impreza P1
The P1 was the brainchild of Prodrive, the race team supporting Subaru’s assault on the World Rally Championship, and aimed to bring UK buyers some of the fettled, motorsport-ish Impreza experience that would have otherwise required importing a Japanese-spec machine. Only 1,000 P1s were made, all daubed in Sonic Blue.
MINI Works GP
The supercharged MINI was doing the lightweight two-seater stripped hatchback thing long before the Renault Megane set tyres on the Nürburgring. Every generation of GP has had a variation on the grey/red/more grey livery, but the original wore it best. And look, not a Union Jack-motif’d roof in sight.
(Click HERE to read about MINI JCW GP.2 vs MINI JCW GP.3)
BMW M3 GTS
If you’re going to shell out almost S$700k for a tuned BMW 3 Series, you’d like your new toy to stand out a bit. The old M3 GTS was a bit more than a Halfords job: the V8 was bored out to 4.4 litres and the whole car shed 136kg in weight, but BMW still decided to paint all of its in-house mod jobs in Exclusive Fire Orange II, complete with black wheels and a curiously undersized rear wing.
(We're bigger fans of the E92 GTS's four-door counterpart, the even rarer E90 M3 CRT... Click HERE to read about it)
Ford Racing Puma
Ford only ever sold 500 examples of the Racing Puma, and even that was a struggle. While the car’s eye-watering price didn’t really match up to its on-paper performance, there’s no arguing it was a superb looking little coupe, with its widebody stance resplendent in Imperial Blue. Ford liked the look so much it pulled off the same trick with the first Focus RS, which was also only sold in this gorgeous colour.
Thankfully, the tasteless craze of a matte-wrapped (or even painted) car seems to have mostly died away now. Lamborghini’s stealth fighter-inspired version of the Murcielago was the only car that could ever credibly pull off a blackboard finish – it just doesn’t look quite so purposeful on a Y-reg Vauxhall/Opel Corsa.
Porsche 911 Sport Classic
‘Grey’ sure seems to be a popular choice when it comes to making a one-colour car. Mind you, grey is many people's favourite car colour these days, so the conservative approach makes sense.
Mind you, we’re not sure there are many paint schemes that would’ve better suited 2014’s retro love-letter to the 997-gen 911. And for Porsche to throw the stripes in for free, well, that’s just philanthropic.
STORY Ollie Kew