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This image was made in late 1990, one of many from an extraordinary press trip launching the new 1991 Turbo. We were taken with the beauty of this particular car and used it in Panorama several times, although never the image you see here. But what color is it, really?
The Porsche factory has offered a staggering variety of hues over the years; even in 1964, when we bought the 356SC, I could have chosen a blue, a yellow, an ivory, a dark green, or one of two reds (I went with Slate Grey). Some colors have been strikingly imaginative, even controversial. I’d like to forget 1974’s Raspberry and the light lavender Moonstone of 1979; you can probably think of others.
Then there are the greens
Which brings us to the most general description of our Turbo. One source claims there have been at least 63 different Porsche greens over the years, so there is a lot of room for nuance. This is where the question gets sticky, because there is an inevitable difference between the way the car looked to my eye and the way the camera saw it. We were well before the digital era in 1990; I was shooting a lot of Fujichrome, which was known to produce vivid greens (it was said to be a favorite of landscape photographers for that reason). Look how intense the grass is in this early winter image.
Other potentially confusing factors include the lighting conditions that November day: the overcast sky would tend to move light toward the blue part of the spectrum, which often adds a blue tint to the final image color. Filters over the lens can modify the outcome, and even individual lenses can differ slightly. Perhaps most important are the differences in the various computer monitors we use to review pictures—you and I may see rather different shades of green.
But it’s even more complicated than that!
Our group of journalists arrived after all six of the new press department Turbos had famously been stolen from the host hotel garages. They had been hastily replaced with cars assigned to Weissach executives and such, and therefore did not necessarily represent production colors. This particular color may never have reached the market!
What Do You Think?
Maybe you have an old color chart, or have owned a car that looked to be this color. Maybe you have special expertise in painting cars and matching colors. Did this particular green ever see production, and if so, what was it called? There’s no prize—I don’t know! But I’d like to.
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