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Off in the distance
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May 2016

The Bellinghman
Date: 2009-07-20 18:18
Subject: IKICILJ
Security: Public
OK, so why are so many cars these days silver? A colleague was just looking round the car park and remarking on the fact that about 50% of all the cars in sight are that colour.

My hypothesis is that it's because a silver car can get very mucky indeed before it really needs washing (c.f white cars, which look mucky the moment you drive them off the dealer's forecourt), but I'd be interested to know if anyone has an insider's view. jemck, does Steve know?
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2009-07-20 17:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think it's the new red, to be honest with you -- the default 'cool' colour. I've been noticing this for a while, and the number of red cars has definitely got much lower as the number of silver ones has gone up.
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Sheep with a guitar
User: sbp
Date: 2009-07-20 17:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Dunno. I remember the Ford Puma being interesting because it was silver, but now everything is silver. It's even the reason police cars are now silver - because they fetch a higher second-hand price than white cars these days.

Whither silver-van man?
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Alex McLintock
User: alexmc
Date: 2009-07-20 20:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
i believe that a lot of police car fleets moved from white underlying colour to silver because that helped with their resale value. Silver is neutral, I think. Not offensive to anyone where other colours all have associations of some kind.
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Doing simply dreadful things too
User: clanwilliam
Date: 2009-07-20 21:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
G can tell you about my love of silver as a colour.

But the only way I'd buy a silver car is if it was a car that had everything I needed and just happened to be silver.

Ailbhe, Jan and Gideon can all tell you my experiences with silver cars - they're the most dangerous on the road in this country, since they're the cars that disappear quickest into the usual adverse weather conditions we get. I nearly crashed into a ditch on encountering a silver car going over the lane close to Durdle Door in very thick fog - fuckwit driver didn't bother turning on his lights, let alone his fog lights. I've come across equivalent drivers in rain, frost, hail and near snow-conditions.

As far as I'm concerned, silver means "the driver may well be an idiot who cannot understand that the function of lights is to be seen as well as see".
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2009-07-20 21:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Mine is silver ...

But I'd have preferred another colour. As for disappearing into the conditions, I've seen a car hit the broadside of a white van, and it's funny, but white is the most common colour for vans, too.
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Erik V. Olson
User: erikvolson
Date: 2009-07-20 21:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Almost no color is good in terms of visibility -- alone.

Historically, US Police cars were black and white, and US Fire equipment was red. Turns out the first is a pretty good combination, and the last is lousy, which is why many US Fire Departments have gone to a reflective yellow or lime green. Alas, many US police cars have gone to solid colors, which don't stand out at times.

The best is contrast -- the Battenberg markings on UK emergency vehicles are chosen to ensure that if one color is lost in the environment, the other will stand out brightly. Admittedly, they do look a bit silly at times, but they work -- those vehicles stand out.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2009-07-20 21:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My entirely personal observations, based on far too many years' long distance travel, is that green-yellow cars (the ones that are almost fluorescent) show up in everything, even nighttime with added pea-souper under sodium lights (which is as bad it ever got for me when driving: I have driven in everything the UK weather has to thow-- blizzards, wind-storms, freezing fog, floods, you name it). I've seen them through rain, heavy snow, all kinds of lighting, in mud, you name it, and they show up. Can't answer for sandstorms, mind you....
They are hideous, though.
Curiously, when I was a very small and lived in Coventry, the city repainted all its fire engines in precisely the same yellow, because it was so much more visible under sodium street-lights. I don't know if Coventry still has its yellow fire engines, but we were all very proud of them, and, as I say, my own driving experience has led me to believe they were right! (edited to add: they were re-painted red in 1974. Boo.)

Edited at 2009-07-20 09:34 pm (UTC)
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All Over The Map
User: jemck
Date: 2009-07-20 22:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, himself can tell you everything you ever want to know about how the doors are welded together and then welded on...

On colour, he tells me the inside word is this - 'silver' is the most popular second choice of colour when people order a new car - 'if I can't have a blue/red/green one, I'll have a silver one'- and thus that's what a lot of people then actually end up with.

So it is indeed a fact that there are more silver cars out there than anything else.

Despite them being harder to see at dusk/dawn/fog.

One of those unintended consequences kindathings.

The cumulative effect of this
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