1958 Chevrolet Brookwood

American car shoppers are something of a dull lot. We like our cars with four doors, we prefer traditional sedans, and when it comes to color, well, it’s snooze time.

According to DuPont, one of the globe’s leading producers of automotive paints and coatings, the top four colors chosen by American new-car shoppers for their vehicles are variations on black and white. Here’s the 2012 list of most popular car colors, as provided by DuPont:

  1. White
  2. Black
  3. Silver
  4. Gray
  5. Red
  6. Blue
  7. Brown/Beige
  8.  Yellow
  9. Green
  10. 10.  Everything else

So, what gives? I blame our apparent collective penchant for blandness for the sudden reemergence of Michael Bolton (thanks, Honda).

Of the colors that made the list, it is yellow that interests me most. Here’s why: Though Americans do not seem especially fond of the color for things automotive, advertisers have been selling cars to us dressed in sunny hues now for decades.

It’s true. Do a Google search of vintage car ads and you’ll find that about a third of them–especially older ads–feature a yellow vehicle. Strange, no? Now most ads sport red cars, and that makes good sense. Red is sporty, and folks over the years have actually purchased red cars in reasonable numbers. But yellow? Yellow is a fringe color, an “outlier,” as marketing research folks like to say.

Here I have selected ten vintage car and truck ads sporting vehicles in the sunniest of hues. Let us know which is your favorite.

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Bugatti by Rene Vincent
1930 Bugatti captured by artist Rene Vincent.

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1948 “Low Slung” Studebaker.

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1951 Hudson Ad
1951 Hudson sedan.

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1955 Chevy Ad
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan.

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1958 DeSotoFiredome
1951 DeSoto Fire Dome Eight.

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1960 Volvo PV544
1960 Volvo PV544.

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1971 Ford Pinto Sportabout.

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1979 Ford F-150
1979 Ford F-150 pickup.

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1981 Datsun Ad
1981 Datsun 210.

Red Hot! Five Very Red Car Ads

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