You've successfully subscribed to The Apex by Custodian
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to The Apex by Custodian
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.

Make Brown Great Again

Of all the colours one might option for their car, brown appears rather low down on that list. Perhaps that is because the last time brown cars were in fashion was the 1970’s; a time of political unrest, rampant inflation, strikes, and the sinking ship that was British Leyland. Ironically, the colour brown is supposed to symbolise resilience, dependability, safety and security...

Source: Mercedes-Benz

Brown cars are not for everyone, but with the success of the 'Make Green Great Again' movement, there is a strong argument to be made that brown should be its successor, and it appears the movement is already well underway. We have rounded up a few of our top picks, which include Steve McQueen's fabulous Marrone brown 250 GT Lusso, and a beautiful Iso Grifo signed by Bizzarrini himself. 

Iso Grifo 

Introduced in 1965, the Iso Grifo featured input from some of the most famous names in motoring. The stylish bodywork was penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Bertone, while the engineering was entrusted to Giotto Bizzarrini – the man who had done much of the work developing the 250 GTO while he was at Ferrari. The basic recipe was to blend Italian styling and engineering with a small-block Chevrolet V8 engine, ultimately making the Grifo a rival to the refined GTs being produced by Ferrari and Maserati. This particular example is one of only five RHD Series II cars built, and won its class at the 2019 Chantilly Arts et Elegance. The car is finished in a very attractive ‘Varedo Bronze’ – a colour that perfectly shows off the Grifo’s elegant, muscular lines, and is currently for sale on the Showroom with the Classic Motor Hub.

Steve McQueen’s Ferrari 250 GT Lusso

For anyone vehemently opposed to the idea that brown could possibly be a cool colour for a car, then look no further than the King of Cool himself. McQueen's Marrone Brown 250 GT Lusso was a gift for his 34th birthday, from his wife Neile Adams, and Steve used the car as his daily driver. The car also had a beige interior, and sold at a Christie's auction back in 2007 for $2.31 million.

Mercedes-Benz SLS

Modern cars can look great in brown too, as demonstrated by this flawless Mercedes-Benz SLS finished in a unique Sepang Brown colour, a choice that noticeably sets it apart from the usual crowd and adds an air of sophistication and individuality. Complementing the striking exterior is an equally impressive Designo Beige and Espresso leather interior.

Porsche 911

While Porsche has consistently offered shades of brown over the years, the modern choice of brown tends to be the Macademia Metallic, which was first offered on the 997 generation 911 and 987 generation of the Boxster and Cayman. It is now part of Porsche's Paint-to-Sample (PTS) range, available on the 718, 992, Taycan, Macan and Panamera. @andy74b's 992 GT3 Touring is one of the most notable examples.


Resilience, dependability, safety and security - if I were to ask you to think of a car manufacturer that embraced such qualities, you'd say Volvo. And rightly so. A brown Volvo then, is a lethal combination. Traditionally associated with Geography teachers, yuppie mums, hipsters, and people of a certain age and sensibility. The truth is that appreciation for the Volvo has always been prevalent in the heart of enthusiasts. Guy Martin's Volvo Amazon or Paul Newman's 740 are case in point. In recent years, Japanese sub-culture has welcomed the Volvo with open arms, finding solace in the comfort of a relaxed driving experience, retro vibes, and solid reliability.

Source: Volvo


If you are craving more brown, be sure to take inspiration from the cars below, all spec'd in earthy hues of brown, bronze and even gold.

The Apex Team

The Apex Team

The Apex Editorial Team @Custodian: Archie Hill - Interviewer & Editor, Archie Hill Jeremy Hindle Charles Clegg - Editors, Archie Hill - Production, David Marcus - Transcription.