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You Don’t Get This From a Tanning Bed

You’ll find a lot of Greek statues, with some GMC trucks and Suburbans sprinkled in, when you search on the color GM Grecian Bronze from 1976. Coming up with names for paint shades is a complex multiple of all the names for the cars themselves. It’s no wonder manufacturers stick with letters and numbers for their car names. You don’t have to focus group test those each year. Porsche has had 89 different blue color names alone.

My favorite color that I recall reading about was Cigarette White. It was on a Cord from the 30’s. I can’t really explain why that color stuck with me all these years. I’ve never smoked — except for left handed cigarettes. Can’t stand the stink of them, although I will admit the smell of Marlbaro Lights reminds me of times in high school. Crap I didn’t even want to move back to Michigan from California until they banned smoking indoors. But when I saw Cigarette White on the car, I got it. It was a stained white, like an old man’s beard after smoking his entire life. It made sense for an era when plenty of people lit up while taking a drive. It was perfect.

In 1992 I bought an Isuzu Trooper. It was the first vehicle I ever purchased new. The color, Light Antelope Metallic. I struggled with that name for years. Laughed at it really. Antelope. Light Antelope. Bah. Who looks at this color and thinks Antelope? But then I got it. The Trooper was designed for off-roading. And what animal is fast and nimble across all types of terrain? Well it ain’t Buffalo Brown.

So what was GM thinking when they came up with Grecian Bronze? The strength of a Greek soldier? The beauty of a Greek woman? Maybe they saw a bronze statue during a museum visit and put the two together. Who knows. What we know, is it is a solid color from the 70’s era. It looks even better in person and works well with the lines of the K5. And good news confirmed. It wasn’t named after the tanning bed. That wasn’t invented until 1978.

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