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Remember the Copper Car Color Fad of the Mid-2000s?

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author photo by Doug DeMuro May 2017

If you lived through the mid-2000s, as I did, you might remember a rather interesting fad that swept through a few car companies at the time: the rise of the "copper" color. It seems a few companies did some market research, and someone told them copper was the next big thing, so they made a few cars in copper for the next few years.

The biggest participant in the "copper" color fad was probably Nissan. Nissan used the copper exterior color to launch three different models in 2003 -- the Nissan 350Z and Murano, plus the Infiniti FX luxury SUV -- plus the Maxima in 2004. In the case of the FX, they even offered an orange interior color to go with the copper exterior. The color was called "Autumn Copper" on the FX and "LeMans Sunset Metallic" in the 350Z, but the effect was the same: Nissan was starting a copper trend.

Or were they? On the other side of the globe, it appears General Motors had the same idea. When GM launched the Cadillac CTS for the 2003 model year, it, too, chose copper to be the launch color: The color was called Copper Sunburst, and it was almost laughably unpopular, as you might expect for a luxury sedan. GM only offered the color for the 2003 model year in the CTS -- but a similar copper color was also offered when the "C6" Chevy Corvette debuted for 2005, and also during the Pontiac GTO's 2004-2006 production run.

Interestingly, General Motors and Nissan weren't alone in the copper revolution. In an effort to make the Mazda6 stand out when it debuted in 2003, Mazda, too, offered a copper color. It was dubbed "Blazing Copper," and it was offered for a few years before it was finally shelved, presumably due to unpopularity.

Interestingly, the copper fad died as quickly as it started. While several 2003 and 2004 models across a few different brands all happened to use copper as the "it" color for their launches, I can't find any examples of any cars using copper by 2008 -- and the color is practically dead today, save for the occasional special order or unique model. Fortunately, those of us who miss the good old days can still look back and buy a copper car from 2003.

 Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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Used 2003 Nissan 350Z Touring
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Remember the Copper Car Color Fad of the Mid-2000s? - Autotrader