“Enthusiasts snapping up the latest supercars are increasingly imaginative with their specifications.”


A chart showing the most popular colours for brand-new cars around the world makes for pretty disappointing reading. Grey, black, white, and silver are typically the top contenders – albeit with blue occasionally making an appearance.

While this perhaps indicates a lack of bravery among most mainstream car buyers to be bold with their colour choices, enthusiasts snapping up the latest sports cars and supercars are often – and increasingly – more imaginative with their specifications. However, this has not always been the case.

The phrase ‘resale red’ is most commonly associated with Ferraris, stemming from the belief that sports cars in this colour were easiest to sell, as customers sought an Italian model in the quintessential ‘Rosso Corsa’. It is no surprise that many dealers found this to be true: by the early 1990s, around 85 per cent of all new Ferraris were painted in red.

No single reason accounts for its popularity, but it was no doubt spurred on by the iconic, limited-run 288 GTO and F40 models all leaving the factory in Rosso Corsa (although a few examples were repainted by third parties prior to delivery). The influence of popular culture such as Magnum, P.I. may have played a part too; surely some owners wanted to emulate the suave, moustached private eye?

From its peak around 30 years ago, the popularity of Rosso Corsa and similar hues has dwindled, so that today only around 40% of new Ferraris leave the factory in some variant of ‘Rosso’. This decline runs in parallel with the emergence of special-order ‘Extra Campionario’ options as well as the brand’s ‘Atelier’ and ‘Tailor Made’ programmes. It is now straightforward to create a completely unique Ferrari, should you have the means to do so.

Today, there are some fantastic specifications in the market, and Collecting Cars has sold numerous highly bespoke examples. In May 2022, a striking 488 Pista in Blu Elettrico received a winning bid of £310,000, while in 2020 a very high-specification F12 Berlinetta in French Racing Blue, built in homage to 250 GTO s/n 3445GT, sold for £185,500. For its 70th Anniversary, Ferrari issued an entire range of bespoke liveries, with only one model available in each specification. One such car, the 488 GTB in 'The Celebration Ferrari’ livery, sold for £171,000.

Ferrari isn’t the only brand expanding its customisation options of course. A few years ago, Porsche had capacity to produce around five ‘Paint to Sample’ (PTS) 911s per day in its Zuffenhausen factory. In 2021, it boosted capacity to 20 cars per day, and broadened the ‘off the shelf’ PTS range to more than 160 colours. For customers who want something even more bespoke, the ability to finish their car in a true one-off colour is available via ‘Paint to Sample Plus’ via Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur – and it costs around double that of a standard PTS option due to the development and testing required.

The popularity of these custom colour options is proven not only by the growing number of clients joining the queue to specify a bespoke finish, but by the enthusiasts who document the increasingly wide range of hues. On Instagram alone, there are numerous accounts dedicated to tracking ‘Tailor Made’ Ferraris around the world, and ‘Paint to Sample’ Porsches have their own community of fervent spotters. What’s more, Porsche even has an exhaustive online PTS configurator, where you could easily whittle away hours mulling your choices.

As with Ferrari, numerous special ‘Paint to Sample’ Porsches have found new homes on Collecting Cars, ranging from the likes of a 991.2 GT3 RS Weissach Pack in Mint Green to a 987 Cayman S in Lime Gold. Our Australian team also sold a striking 718 Spyder 4.0 in Arrow Blue for A$254,600 back in 2021. Vivid hues are not a prerequisite of custom finishes though, as reflected by the 997 Carrera in Maserati Grigio Nuvolari; almost certainly a unique car, in a subtle but truly elegant colour.

Unusual colours always get bidders excited about the prospect of owning a rare or possibly even ‘one of a kind’ vehicle, and they will typically command a premium when selling. If you have a car finished in a special colour to sell, then contact our Consignment Team today.