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Cars
13/05/2016

Is green the new red?

It's a colour with a curious history, but green is becoming increasingly fashionable

Ferraris are always red, right? Wrong. As difficult as it is to tick a different box when you’re specifying your new Ferrari, the success of Tailor Made suggests that today’s clients are prepared to think more laterally.

The 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Ellena  Photo: DERDEHMEL

Indeed, many have been doing so for years. Green is a colour with a variety of meanings and symbolic resonances – it’s regarded as the colour of nature, renewal and immortality, for example – but still tends to raise eyebrows in an automotive context as a harbinger of bad luck.

The 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB  Photo: DK Engineering

The early days of the American NASCAR series, in particular, was riddled with superstition about the colour green, although this clearly didn’t extend to the UK where British Racing Green was a signature hue in the pre and post-war era. Nor, if our gallery of green Ferraris is anything to go by, does it prejudice Ferrari. It’s arguable that green suits the more aristocratic Ferraris – both contemporary and historic – better than the compact, mid-engined models, but there’s evidence here that refutes that.

The 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Ellena Coupé's matching interiors  Photo: DK Engineering

On the other hand, it could be that we respond to a green Ferrari simply because it’s so unusual: even with the artisans and specialists in the Tailor Made department doing their thing, barely one per cent of new Ferraris is specified in Verde Abetone. British comedic actor and legend Rowan Atkinson ordered his 456 GT new back in the mid-1990s in green; perhaps more of us should follow suit. 

The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO  Photo: Matt Howell