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Why did Saturn pick such ugly paint options?

  • Frugal/Cheap

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Efficiency with other Saturn models

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • GM made them do it

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Bob L. thought people like matte colours

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Marketing research was flawed

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • No one thought people cared

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Behind on the times

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • After R&D, couldn’t raise the sticker price any higher

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Someone else at Saturn made a bad decision

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • It’s just me who cares about paint aesthetics

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Because Miata didn’t have better paint options

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • The dealers told Saturn what to do

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The factory couldn’t support anything better

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • It was the last thing they thought about

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 1 100.0%

  • Total voters
    1
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1 - 8 of 8 Posts

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Discussion Starter #1


Hey y’all,
I spent too much time updating my presence here and I’m a little proud of that.

I’m shopping nation wide for my second RL. I need to get her back.

I need low mileage and it can’t be a matte colour.

Why? Why!? Snow matte white, onyx black = matte black, sunburst matte yellow, chili pepper red = matte red, forest green = matte green?, techno gray = matte gray, bluestone matte blue+gray. Ugly

Techno gray I can handle, hell the Scion tC has a matte gray it was ok but come on.

Ruby Red, silver pearl yes please! The midnight/evening blue has a metallic fleck right? Yes? Yes!

Why were they so cheap on the paint? Whoever made that decision I hope they retired after the bankruptcy. I would drive 1500 miles from ATX for 25k miles 08 RL ruby red, silver pearl, midnight blue UNDER $15k.

Hope y’all go for a joy ride this weekend
 

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997 Posts
I'm not sure why you think that the Sky colors have a matte finish, all colors offered were a two part finish. First a color coat followed by a gloss clear coat. A matte finish is devoid of gloss or shine. What hot rodders would refer to as a suede finish. It's also been a popular finish for car wrap enthusiasts.




As far as the colors that GM/Saturn offered they choose to offer what was currently available from current models and called it a day. Plus Sky colors were tied to Solstice colors, and the Solstice was engineered to hit a price point of under $20,000. So again, GM didn't want to reinvent the wheel and choose colors that were already in production. I don't consider that cheap as much as I consider that smart.

Also, it has to be remember that upon the introduction of the Kappa program GM was (and the car market in general) imploding and needed government assistance in order to survive (including Ford https://www.factcheck.org/2011/09/ford-motor-co-does-u-turn-on-bailouts/). So when I look back at that timeframe I'm not as concerned about the shortcomings of the Kappa as much as I'm glad that GM offered it at all.

While it may have been possible for the ultra wealthy to buy custom colors from ultra premium car companies for decades, it hasn't been that long for more mainstream car companies to begin offering optional colors for certain models at an additional cost. For the most part offering a few custom colors and marketing them as special editions is a way for a company to make extra profit at a minimum expense. It makes them (insert car company name here) look more exclusive, and makes the customer feel that their car is more special than the thousands of identical cars rolling off the assembly line.

For example, Volkswagen is suppose to start offering what is called Spectrum colors program in 2019 for the Golf R (for an an additional cost), but no one was offering this type of program for mainstream cars back in 2006.


Granted that it would have been cool if GM had offered a wider variety of colors, but the great thing about being a car enthusiasts is having the ability to modify your car to your hearts content. Don't like the color, have a custom paint job slapped on it, hate all the interior plastic, take it to a custom upholstery shop and have every piece covered in whatever hide or fabric you can think of. The sky's the limit (at a cost) when it comes to modifying your car to look like what you wished it would have looked like from the factory.
 

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Premium Member
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
@ChopTop Well said. I just can’t consider a gloss coat anything more than a protective layer from the elements. Is why I think most of the std paint options “matte”. If a even little metallic fleck in each of the color codes would completely change my mind. My first real set of wheels, the diamond white pearl, I’d wash/polish/wax religiously and developed a strong appreciation for tri-color paint jobs. You know the way the sun light refracts the metal fleck and the luster of the pearl highlighting the depth of the curves. But I digress...
 

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Premium Member
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1,292 Posts
Not really sure what your issue is. 10 yrs ago the colors of the sky and solstice and the paint quality and finish, where industry standard to arguably above average. Where they as good as paint technology today, no but no one was. Paint has changed and evolved over the last 15yrs.

But it also sounds like your looking for a high end multi layer paint job and no one was doing that at factory speed 15yrs ago, and it is still a major up charge today.

I believe the Yellow on the sky is a double layer as were a few others, but still nothing like a high end job today. But most cars produced today still have a simple cheap paint job with a decent clear coat. Its all most customers want.

Oh and these cars were targeted to be a low cost fun car, not some high end show off piece. You and other here might not like it but that was the target audience.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Not really sure what your issue is. 10 yrs ago the colors of the sky and solstice and the paint quality
Fair enough, I’ve not seen clear coats peeling from sun damage on either kappas. My issue is the basic nature of the yellow,white,Black,red(pepper),blue(stone),gray doesn’t align with my appreciation for the performance and design. Both of which for me is not basic. The cars are not common. They were building a rival to the Miata! That wasn’t a common task in the roadster market. Look at the failing AE86. They gave it a unique design that doesn’t match a moderate-typical performance. But I digress...It was ultimately bad timing and water pumps.
 

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I've seen several pictures of Kappa's for sale on Craigslist where the clear coat has delaminated on the hood and decklid, more than likely they are in the southern states where owners don't have access to a garage. Then again, regardless of the quality of a paint job, if it's left out in sun day in and say out, sooner or later the paint will fail.

Having said that I don't think the Kappa colors are all that, I think the best way to describe the Kappa colors is jewel tone. The blue, green, burgundy, orange, and silver look best when the sun is highlighting the metallic in the paint (including black carbon flash). The white, red, yellow, gray and black are solid colors, with the red and yellow looking their best in sunlight. Hydro Blue kind of in a class by itself, I consider it a version of French Blue, and seems to be a love it or hate it color that continues to be popular even on supercars.

The last GM color that turned my head ever time I saw it was Snergy Green. Though there are several shades of GM blue that I liked. Kappa wise the 2010 blue was one of my favorite Kappa colors, and if it had been available in 2009 would have been the color I would have bought. But it wasn't and I went with red instead, it's not my favorite shade, but it is what it is.


I've often think that if I was to win the lottery what color would I paint my car (we have a red and black one), and it would be black, but not any black, the blackest black I could find, and I'd want the body panels gaps to be so tight that it would look more like the car was carved out of a solid piece of aluminum.

Most insane black paint job ever (one of five)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BV0PMYfc3o
 

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As to paint, I have been told the yellow was the only one with an up charge, due to the fact that the car was first painted white and then the yellow applied. Any truth to that Davhamm.

Choptop the Hydro Blue seems very close to the 67 Chevelle SS color. During that time frame, late 60's and mid 70's it seemed everyone was painting their cars that color. Tijuana Blue was what most people called it back then. It was not a term of respect by any means. I think that is the main reason I have never liked it. Had too many friends painting their chevelles and ChevyII that color. My best friend at the time painted his 64 Malibu a similar color. He had the lite lavender/rose colored original color, which was a neat color, but certainly not appreciated by a bunch of young Marines. lol

I will say that for the 1967 SS I loved the color. I had a 69 SS that was seveal shades darker. I never really liked it. But I hated Road Runners back than, and now I have grown to like a well restored one. We don't see them out here very often.

As to painting a car black, absolutely hell keeping them looking great. I had a 54 Chevrolet Convertible that was Black. My 55 Crown was Black and Yellow, painted with Imron paint. That stuff was indestructable, but still a mountain of work to keep the swirls out of and the dust off of. I am way too old for a black car. But at the National, Adam from Adam's polishes restored the paint on a black car and it turned out absolutely fantastic. As Davhamm said paints are different, but so is the technique of waxing and polishing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've seen several pictures of Kappa's for sale on Craigslist where the clear coat has delaminated on the hood and decklid, more than likely they are in the southern states where owners don't have access to a garage. Then again, regardless of the quality of a paint job, if it's left out in sun day in and say out, sooner or later the paint will fail.

Having said that I don't the Kappa colors are all that, I think the best way to describe the Kappa colors is jewel tone. The blue, green, burgundy, orange, and silver look best when the sun is highlighting the metallic in the paint (including black carbon flash). The white, red, yellow, gray and black are solid colors, with the red and yellow looking their best in sunlight.

The last GM color that turned my head ever time I saw it was Snergy Green. Though there are several shades of GM blue that I liked. Kappa wise the 2010 blue was one of my favorite Kappa colors, and if it had been available in 2009 would have been the color I would have bought. But it wasn't and I went with red instead, it's not my favorite shade, but it is what it is.


I've often think that if I was to win the lottery what color would I paint my car (we have a red and black one), and it would be black, but not any black, the blackest black I could find, and I'd want the body panels gaps to be so tight that it would look more like the car was carved out of a solid piece of aluminum.

Most insane black paint job ever (one of five)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BV0PMYfc3o
Wow that 2010 blue is just :kiss: awesome. That’s very snappy from the pic it looks more pearl. That luster haha.

And beluga black wow what a paint job, like an oil slick for sure. Great vid. If only custom paint could be cheaper. I bet that cost 4 months of my yearly pay. I’m interested in vinyl wraps. They seem like the best both $ and objectivity. But I don’t think it would capture the real deal. More like 3 year temp color change.
 
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