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Color me Curious: What Color is Your Car?

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Car colors tell the world about you, but just what are they saying? Faber Birren (1900-1988), a leading authority on the effects of color on humans and author of 24 books about color, said, “It is possible to make fairly accurate judgments about the meaning of color preferences and their revelations of personality traits.” According to another color expert, Leatrice Eiseman, a car's color reveals about its owner's personality. The following car colors tend to be associated with the personality traits of earthlings: Red: Sexy, speedy, high energy and dynamic.

Black: Empowered, not easily manipulated, loves elegance, appreciates classics.

Silver: Elegant, loves futuristic looks, cool.

Gold: Intelligent, warm, loves comfort and will pay for it.

White: Fastidious.

Light blue: Cool, calm, faithful, quiet.

Dark blue: Credible, confident, dependable.

Gray: Sober, corporate, practical, pragmatic.

Yellow: Sunny disposition, joyful and young at heart.

Orange: Fun-loving, talkative, fickle and trendy.

Light green: Trendy, whimsical, lively.

Dark green: Traditional, trustworthy, well-balanced.

Taupe/light brown: Timeless, basic and simple tastes.

Dark brown: Down-to-earth, no nonsense.

Purple: Creative, individualistic, original. And what are the most popular colors on the road today? Silver accounted for 24.1 percent of sales in the fourth quarter of 2004, followed by black with 16.7 percent and blue with 12.7 percent.

Rounding out the top ten were white, gray, red, green, beige, gold and brown. If these colors sound rather boring, it's because automakers today see that people pick the same old shades instead of vibrant oranges or hot pinks, especially in family cars.

The same is true in many different parts of the world, with Germans being especially conservative. They prefer dark colors and even darker interiors.

However, there is an exception: In France, it's not unusual to see lime green automobiles on the roads.

There must be a lot of trend-setting, whimsical, lively drivers over there.

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