Jim’s Blog: Original Color or Bust!

Back in 2001, my dad found a 1968 Camaro behind a barn in Sherwood, Oregon and bought it for $900. I thought it was the deal of the century at that price, even though it was just a small-block base-level car with no engine, interior or trim. 


A couple of years ago, he retired from his day job, and he’s been in overdrive on restoring the Camaro ever since. Over the years, he and I built a 454 for it, installed a TH400 transmission, replaced both quarter panels and sourced pretty much every part he needs for final assembly. Then he hit a hard stop: What color should it be?


Red, white, black — those were the three choices on the table, and for a month or so he’d be set on one or another before waffling on the decision. First World problems, I know — but it’s a legitimate concern. Nothing drives value more than looks, and color can really make or break the entire car. So how do you decide?


Well, to me it’s simple: The market right now seems to love original paint colors — even, it seems, the browns, greens, and golds that were all over the place in the 1960s. So OE is what I pushed for. After all, does the world really need another red Camaro? Then again, not much about this car is stock.


According to the trim tag, this car was factory KK-code Tripoli Turquoise, which is a pretty teal blue with a lot of metal flake. It wasn’t common in 1968. That’s the color he finally ended on (after endless prodding from me), and now that the car’s back from paint, I think it was the right call. 


What do you think? Would you repaint a Corvette or a Camaro in its original color over something more modern, or would you pick your favorite color and not look back at what it was from the factory? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.


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