A beautiful paint job really sparkles under the sun. Nowadays there are amazing mint rides on just about any car show lawn, and two colors that seem to dominate show-and-shine events are red and black. It’s easy to be blinded by gleaming crimson with matching door guard trim, or get lost in the thrice-buffed deepness of a black abyss. Which color just works on a JNC? Which color do you prefer?
Red or Black exterior?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “If you had a chance to buy your JNC again, what would you do differently?”
Lots of sage advice was bestowed upon us during last week’s QotW, or as some of you may think of it, “Why did I do that!?!”
Vince made the mistake of maxing a credit card to get his JNC up and running. If you ask me, it’s worth it to get a JNC back on the road! Still, it’s nice not running debt and having to stock up on 10-cent ramen.
Mike jumped in with both feet on a Z before getting advice from a friendly forum. People on forums can help you avoid buying a JNC plagued by gremlins; or even worse, needing expensive, hard-to-find stock parts. And sending a 510 to the crusher? Forums are made for people taking metal off your hands.
David Cotter teaches us all that when buying anything used, get a mechanic or someone mechanically inclined to assess the potential purchase before putting cash on the hood.
This week’s win goes to Khalid who needs a little cheering up after the repeat offenses below:
As a student I owned a 1977 260Z 2+2, a 1970 240Z with an L28 and triple Dellortos, and a 1974 260Z 2+2, in that order. By the time I bought the last one, I was married to my first wife who hated it and made me sell it after a year. I later bought a 1993 R33 Skyline GTS-T which she also made me sell after a year. What would I do differently? I’d sell the first wife and keep the cars.
Omedetou! Your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop.
I prefer red but not that horrible spray painted MK2 supra! You can even see the overspray on the front cali plate!
Both. Jet Black with neon-red pinstriping running just above the side skirt between the fenders. Or if you really wanted a retro-villain look, a neon-red skull painted on the bonnet on a finish of glossy, quartz-black.
Honda San Marino Red (Honda Prelude, 5th Generation, 1997 – 2001). More Italian than a Ferrari or Alfa. Unfortunately, it falls squarely in the bad spot of the spectrum for UV damage. But man, it’s the color for me.
Having said that, most of my cars wound up black. Oh well, shikatanai…
White. The correct answer is “none of the above”, because white is THE BEST color for a JNC show car. White is the semi-official racing color of Japan. White most clearly presents the subtle body contours that distinguish the styling of many JNCs,. And white actually allows you to drive your JNC occasionally without worrying about microscratches that must be buffed out before every show. White may lack the depth of a freshly buffed black, but a white A60 or 510 or R32 will pop in a field of JNCs dominated by black and red. A well detailed black JNC will probably win the most hardware, but the answer among discerning show-goers is still white.
No no no, the correct color is Honda Blade Silver Metallic.
Silver shows the lines of a car better than any color, including Arrest Me Red, or Dust It Again Black.
It really depends on where the car is geographically. Atmosphere affects how a color is perceived, and whereas a red car will pop like crazy in the SoCal sunshine, a black car will be absolutely gorgeous reflecting the cloudy skies of Japan. The blue tinted sunshine of Japan treats cars differently than the gold tinted light of SoCal. Gray scales that looked washed out in California will have depth and luster under the skies over Tokyo and Osaka. Whereas a red AE86 sitting on top of Mt. Wilson will scream at your retinas, the same car will look muddy and subdued sitting on Mt. Haruna.
I got to experience this first hand. I fell in love with the metallic black Toyota 86 I rented in Japan. The paint always looked incredible in the damp fall climate of Eastern Japan. However, when I bought my BRZ tS in the EXACT SAME COLOR, it always looks dusty and washed out (although more sparkly) in LA. Whereas my friends bright red 86 looked low key in Japan, a Firestorm FR-S in SoCal will leave after-images in your vision.
This is a true point. Classic European and English cars often had rather dull colors by American eyes (solid grays, light metallic greens and blues, pale yellows and creams and ivories, and so forth). But they look phenomenal under the cloudy skies of Northern Europe and next to their native cityscape.
Another point is that it very much depends on the car. Some wear some colors much better than others.
All that said, black is a worst color for most cars in most situations. Not only does it require significantly more work when washing and polishing to look minty and clean, but it sucks up the heat of the sun and hastens the demise of its own clearcoat (red has its own issues with weakness to sun). And most importantly, black conceals the lines and details of the car. As such, cars that have inherent ugliness can be improved by being black, but if the model is a good looking one, black is not doing it any favors.
Red has a major flaw in that most if not all formulations of it succumb to the effects of the sun that make it pinkish or orange. I really dislike when red is orangey or tomato paste colored. But in showroom condition, red is certainly superior. Preferably a darker non-metallic red as that will handle uv the best,
Black is nice, but my vote goes to red—which happens to be the color of my 1980 RX-7—because it shows off my chunky, federally mandated black bumpers beautifully.
And nothing screams JNC better than chunky bumpers.
The real answer is “whichever has less rust”, but all things being equal, I prefer basically any color to black.
Black where I live is actually yellow, because the instant you finish cleaning it, more pollen settles on it.
As an automotive painter i don’t find either to be terribly attractive…. But then again im boujie about it lol
It depends on the car (and the shade of red). Here are my choices:
Acura NSX – red
Datsun/Nissan Any Z car – black
Honda Prelude – red
Isuzu Impulse – black
Mazda RX7 – FC black – FD red
Mitsubishi 3000gt – red
Subaru SVX – early years red with black roof.
Toyota A70 Supra – either will do.
The rising sun is red. So is my answer.
Why not have both! That’s what I love about my Celica XX, two-tone red over black.
Because of my age, when I think JNC, I usually am thinking of late Showa-era bubble cars. But that’s just because it’s what I remember being on the road: S130s, Z31s, AE86’s, CRX’s, HiAce vans,2nd and 3rd generation preludes, Pulsars, FB and FC RX7’s. At the time, even mundane grocery-getter appliances were sporty in their feel and appearance, if not exactly in their performance. Because of that, I’ll almost always go with red- Red has a way of making a sporty car look like a sports car. Red cars often look fast just sitting still.
To this day, I can look at a red JNC, and say, “That looks sporty. I’d have that.”