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The Best and Worst Special Edition Car Colors

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author photo by Eric Brandt July 2017

A car's paint job says a lot about the vehicle. It can display what the manufacturer wants the world to think of their creation. The right car paint job can make the car really come to life -- while the wrong one can send potential customers running to the competition. Let's take a look back at a handful of the best and worst special edition car colors over the years.

The Best

2008 Mazda Miata Special Edition: Icy Blue

2008 Mazda Miata Special Edition: Icy Blue

It's a pleasant surprise when you see two that you'd never think to put together combined to a pleasing result. This NC, probably the least beloved generation of the Miata, came with a paint job that reminds me of the Ice Blue color Nintendo used on the Game Boy Pocket in the 1990s (which makes sense, considering the Miata is the Game Boy Pocket of cars). The interior had available saddle brown leather upholstery -- a bold move when a nice neutral gray would have been a safer choice. The color combo shouldn't work, but it definitely does.

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Bullitt Ford Mustangs: Dark Highland Green

Image credit: Heep/Wikimedia Commons

Bullitt Ford Mustangs: Dark Highland Green

The SN-95 and S-197 generations of the Mustang both had Bullitt Editions available in Dark Highland Green. This color is obviously intended to commemorate the iconic Mustang GT of the same color that Steve McQueen drove in the 1968 film "Bullitt" -- and it works. Presumably, Ford was hoping this car would make its owners feel as cool as Steve McQueen. That's a coolness money can't buy, but these Bullitt Mustangs might get you close.

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1998 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car Replica: Radar Blue

Image credit: Doctorindy/Wikimedia Commons

1998 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car Replica: Radar Blue

This is the purplest car I've ever seen in my life, and the official name of the color is "Radar Blue." This thing could easily go in the "worst" portion of this list, but as I've written before, I just have too big of a soft spot for this hyperbolic testament to the '90s.

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Nissan Juke Special Edition: Midnight Purple IV

Nissan Juke Special Edition: Midnight Purple IV

If Midnight Purples I through III left you wanting, Nissan heard your cries and answered with another sequel, Midnight Purple IV. Available only in Japan and limited to 300 units, these Jukes has a dynamic, multicolor paint job that changed based on the lighting and viewing angle. This is commonly known as a "chameleon" paint job, and it's usually an expensive aftermarket modification. Given the Juke's unusual design and odd angles, it just ... works.

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The Worst

Volkswagen Beetle #PinkBeetle: Fresh Fuchsia Metallic

Volkswagen Beetle #PinkBeetle: Fresh Fuchsia Metallic

Yes, there is a real trim of the current Volkswagen Beetle called "#PinkBeetle". It's because the youths just love those hashtag things, and they want them in every aspect of their lives. Take it from me, I'm a Millennial! The car is undeniably cute, and the vibrant Fresh Fuschia Metallic paint itself, which changes with different lighting, isn't very offensive, but the idea of an entire trim based on the color is kind of tacky -- and it's the addition of the hashtag that puts it on this list.

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Mercury Villager Nautica Special Edition: Navy and White

Mercury Villager Nautica Special Edition: Navy and White

The Nautica Villager was dressed like an upper-middle-class dad at a Jimmy Buffet concert in the '90s. It was the top trim for the Villager, and it was "luxurious" in the J.C. Penney sense of the word. It's wearing a blue polo, white shorts with a gold belt, and even white shoes (painted white wheels) to ensure everyone who sees it knows that the driver is, in fact, a parent. On the inside, you were treated with either gray or two-tone blue-and-white leather seats. The cherry on top was complimentary custom Nautica carrying bags from the dealer. It's no wonder minivans have gotten such a negative stigma. The worst part is that the Villager, which was a rebadged Nissan Quest, was actually a good minivan. You just wouldn't know it by looking at this one.

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Ford F-Series Harley-Davidson Editions: Various Colors

Ford F-Series Harley-Davidson Editions: Various Colors

Nothing says going against the grain and playing by your own rules quite like the best-selling vehicle in America. The Ford F-Series is a great truck, but it just might be the single most ubiquitous vehicle on the road -- which I think makes it an odd choice for a rebellious Harley-Davidson Edition. These Harley trucks touched three different generations of the F-Series between 2000 and 2012. Some had subtle monochromatic paint schemes, while others had bold two-tone exteriors or graphics that would make sense on a motorcycle but not a pickup truck. The one pictured below -- a huge truck that was half painted in orange -- was the worst offender

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.

Volkswagen Golf Harlequin: Tornado Red, Ginster Yellow, Pistachio Green and Chagall Blue

Volkswagen Golf Harlequin: Tornado Red, Ginster Yellow, Pistachio Green and Chagall Blue

Instead of just having one boring old color, the 1996 Volkswagen Golf Harlequin looks like it's had its body panels swapped out with several cars that were different colors -- because that's exactly what it is. Available only in 1996, this hodgepodge was a mix of red, yellow, green and blue panels. Volkswagen took completed cars in their Puebla, Mexico, factory and switched the panels around according to a prescribed formula to ensure the same colors wouldn't be touching. The result looks ridiculous, which I suppose is what they were going for. Only 264 were built, and you can find a registry of them here.

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Which ones did I miss? What's your favorite or least favorite special edition car color?

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The Best and Worst Special Edition Car Colors - Autotrader