Have you ever wondered how automobile manufacturers choose which colors to offer for their cars every year? Usually, this decision depends on data analysis, consumer preferences, and a bit of guesswork. Automobile designers will conduct market research and hold focus groups to forecast which colors are rising in popularity. They also work with paint experts to determine what materials are available for producing colors that best complement their vehicles. The most common colors tend to be white, black, and gray, inoffensive shades that have broad appeal for ordinary cars. However, the Corvette is no ordinary car.
As General Motors planned Corvette’s colors for model year 2000, designers may have used this color sample wheel to see each possibility for themselves. This wheel is about two feet in diameter and shows samples of all 10 colors offered for 2000. The badges identifying each color include both the name and the paint code. At the center of the wheel is the Corvette crossed flags emblem as it appeared during the C5 era from 1997-2004.
The colors featured on this wheel include some time-tested fan favorites. Arctic White first became a Corvette color in the 1990s, but earlier versions of white were the most popular color in both the C1 and C3 eras. During the C2 run, Nassau Blue was number one among Corvette buyers. However, only 851 Nassau Blue Corvettes were produced in 2000, and the color has not been offered since.
The two new colors for 2000 were Millennium Yellow and Dark Bowling Green. Both Millenium Yellow and Magnetic Red were more expensive options, costing Corvette buyers an additional $500. These two colors required an extra tinted clear coat to enhance the visual depth of the paint, a coat that required special equipment to apply.
Of all the available colors, the most popular was Torch Red, which adorned 6,700 Corvettes. This number reflects the customer preference for bright reds that began in the C4 era. Black was the second most common color with 5,807 cars. Third was Light Pewter with 5,125 Corvettes. Metallic grays first became a popular choice among Corvette buyers in the C5 years, a trend that continues today. In 2022, Hypersonic Gray Metallic was the third most popular Corvette color, trailing only the classics Torch Red and Artic White.