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A Travel Guide to Land Rover Colors

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Posted On: Nov 13, 2019 By: Greg Fitzgerald Category: Land Rover History

Exterior Color Swatch For Land Rovers

 

Over the years, Land Rover has produced some iconic colors, whose names are legend among enthusiasts. Many of the colors in their palate over the years have been derived from the names of places, both in Britain and abroad. The origin of some of these names is obvious, but a few have some obscure tie to the place they’re named after.

So, for all of those who ever wondered what Kinversand meant, what a Coniston was, or what the heck Arles Blue was, we’ve put together a guide to likely meanings for these names. This is by no means an complete, or definitive list, and shouldn’t be taken as any kind of official definition. To figure out the exact inspiration for decades worth of colors is likely impossible now, lost in a long string of recycled meeting minutes and former employees. But these names were chosen to evoke something related to a place that tied in with Land Rover’s brand, and we think we figured out the connection for many of them.

Also, we have a plethora of the Land Rover OEM paint colors available in Paint Touch-Up Pens, if your looking to doctor those nicks or scratches!

Blacks

Java Black: One of Land Rover’s most enduring colors, Java Black was seen on P38 and L322 Range Rovers, first-generation Range Rover Sports, Discovery 2s, LR3s, Freelanders, and LR2s. It’s likely named after Java, the Indonesian island which is well known for its coffee production. Of course, “java" is also common slang term for coffee, and it was particularly popular in the lexicon of the late 1990s when this color hit showrooms.

Santorini Black: A bit of an unusual choice perhaps, considering that most people equate the Greek island of Santorini with the blue and white buildings that line the hillside there. But it’s also a volcanic island, and many of its formations are the result of these eruptions. The color may be inspired by the Black Beach, which is covered in black volcanic sand. The water on this beach is warmer than others in Santorini, due to the color retaining more heat and warming the sea.

Picture of Santorini Island

Sumatra Black: An early 2010s color common on Range Rover L322s, Range Rover Sports, and Range Rover Evoques, Sumatra Black likely continues the caffeniated theme of Java Black. The island of Sumatra is the largest coffee producing region in Indonesia, producing both Arabica and Robusta beans.

Blues

Aegean Blue: A light blue from the late 1980s and early 1990s, this color draws a parallel to the clear waters of the Aegean Sea in Greece.

Alaskan Blue: A Range Rover Classic color, the inspiration here is the icy northern landscape of the 49th state.

Arles Blue: Another iconic NAS Defender color, Arles is a city in the south of France, on the Cote d'Azur, or "Coast of Azure." This color reflects both the name of the region, and its historical region of Provence, which has long been connected to a similar blue.

Biarritz Blue: This is a relatively rare color, but a particularly striking color on later Range Rover Classics. A bold blue, it refers to the Basque town of Biarritz in France, on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. Its deep blue waters are one of the best surfing spots in Europe.

Buckingham Blue: A deep blue, almost a navy blue, the only thing this can refer to is “The Big House” at Buckingham Palace. The Queen’s London residence is heavily decorated in 19th-century blue lapis similar to this hue.

Buckingham Palace

Cairns Blue: Seen on 2000s Range Rovers and Range Rover Sports, this rich blue likely refers to the city of Cairns in Australia, which is the gateway to the richly-colored Great Barrier Reef.

Caspian Blue: A moody, dark blue from late 1980s Range Rover Classics, it hearkens to the Caspian Sea, the world’s largest inland body of water in Central Asia. The salty sea is over four times as large as Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake.

Icelandic Blue: Another end-of-run Discovery 2 color, this icy blue resembles the glaciers that cover 11% of Iceland’s land surface.

Monte Carlo Blue: A somewhat rare, very bold Discovery 2 color, this reflects the bold lifestyle of the rich and famous in the city-state of Monaco, on the bright blue waters of the Mediterranean.

Oslo Blue: Another extremely popular color at the turn of the millennium, perhaps reflecting the blue water of the Oslofjord on the shores of which the Norwegian capital sits.

Oxford Blue: It doesn’t get much more stereotypically British than this dark blue, seen on trucks in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It’s a tribute to the University of Oxford, one of the two best universities in Britain alongside Cambridge. The two universities chose their respective blues -- Oxford a dark one, Cambridge a light one -- for competing against each other in boat races on the Thames.

Oxford Women's Crew Team

Plymouth Blue: Plymouth is a British seaside town, in the southwestern county of Devon. Many Americans know it as the place that the Pilgrims left for America, and the town in Massachusetts they'd name after their port of departure. The Discovery was also released to the press here in 1989. The event was held on the Plymouth Hoy, a prominent hill in town which is the home of the iconic Eddystone Lighthouse, relocated from its original wave-swept offshore site.

Greens

Aintree Green: Aintree is a turf horse racing course, located near Liverpool. It’s the home of the Grand National, probably the most popular horse races in the country and one that draws attention from even those who don’t usually watch the sport.

Ardennes Green: The Ardennes are an area of forest in Belgium, Luxembourg, France, and Germany. The name likely refers to the plentiful trees here, but the region was cemented in history in World War II as the location of the Battle of the Bulge -- officially known to Allied forces at the time as the Ardennes Counteroffensive.

Ardennes Forest

Brooklands Green: Brooklands was the world's first purpose-built motor racing circuit, built in England in 1907. It was also one of Britain's first airports, and was the home of a Vickers-Armstrongs aircract factory. The green is similar to British Racing Green, and likely the Brooklands name is intended to tie the Land Rover color to the classical "BRG." Appropriately, it's closely associated with the Range Rover Classic TWR edition, the sportiest Range Rover Classic available in North America.

Coniston Green: One of the archetypical NAS Defender 90 colors, and a cult classic on Discovery 1s, this light green resembles the slate taken out of the mines in Coniston, England. The Lake District town is home to a distinctive green slate, often used for tile, house numbers, and countertops.

Eastnor Green: Eastnor is a castle in Herefordshire, England, and one of Land Rover’s spiritual homes as the location of their off-road test tracks. The color likely refers to this shared heritage, the forests of the estate, and maybe linking back to Land Rover’s traditional green hues.

Epsom Green: Epsom is a market town in Surrey, England. It’s notable for Epsom Salts, and the Epsom Derby, the most prestigious horse race in Britain, always attended by the Royal Family. The race is run on a turf course, which may have inspired this color name, a prolific color on Land Rovers in the early 2000s.

Epsom Downs

Galway Green: Galway is a city and county in western Ireland, one of the greenest parts of what’s already a very verdant country.

Giverny Green: Another 2000s color, Giverny Green is almost certainly inspired by Claude Monet’s house in Giverny, France. The gardens at Giverny inspired many of Monet’s greatest works, including his Water Lilies series of hundreds of paintings, many taking a similar green hue to these Land Rovers.

Keswick Green: Though never offered in North America, this light green was a common color on 21st-century Defenders in the rest of the world. Its resemblance to the greens offered on 1940s Series Is has made it a common “throwback” color on restorations. Keswick itself is a town in Cumbria, England, in the beautiful green lands of the Lake District.

Tonga Green: Tonga is an island nation in Polynesia, comprised of 169 islands across 700,000 square miles of the Pacific. Many of these islands are heavily forested, and the tropical tree canopy resembles this medium green from the 2000s.

Vienna Green: This light green is found mostly on late Discovery 2s. It may refer to the patina on the copper roofs of prominent buildings in Vienna, Austria. The Belvedere Palace, the Hofburg, and the Karlskirche all have roofs that have aged to a similar green.

Karlskirche In Vienna

Greys

Corris Grey: This grey resembles the slate that comes out of the mines at Corris, in Wales. The Aberllefenni Quarry here was the longest continually operated slate mine in the world until it closed in 2003.

Orkney Grey: Orkney grey evokes emotions about the Scottish islands of Orkney, an archipelago off the northeast coast. Orkney is home to some of the best-preserved neolithic sites in Britain, which are desginated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stornaway Grey: This was a bit of a controversial color when it was introduced in 2007. Stornoway is the largest town in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland, on the island of Lewis and Harris. When it came out, a local councillor protested the name, feeling that naming a grey after the town made it sound like a depressing place, and would hurt tourists' image of it. Land Rover replied that it was one of their most popular colors, and felt that it made people around the world more aware of the town. The name stuck, and became an iconic Land Rover color of its era.

Stornaway In Scotland

Golds and Tans

Atacama Sand: The Atacama is a desert plateau in Chile and Bolivia, and is the driest place on earth outside some small areas in Antarctica. It inspired a common color in the 2000s for LR3s and various Range Rovers, and is also where a Range Rover Classic proved itself on Top Gear’s Bolivia special, besting a Toyota Land Cruiser and Suzuki Samurai and prompting Jeremy Clarkson to declare that “the most unreliable car in the world, is the most reliable car in the world.”

Atacama Desert Plateau

Ipanema Sand: A common color on LR4s and the various Range Rover models in the 2010s, Ipanema Sand can only refer to one thing: the famous beach at Ipanema in Rio de Janiero.

Nazca Sand: The Nazca Desert in Peru is home to Cerro Blanco, the highest sand dune in the world. It’s also home to the Nazca Lines, Pre-Columbian geoglyphs carved into the soil there. This color was particularly popular on LR2s.

Reds and Oranges

Kinversand: One of the quirkiest and loudest Land Rover colors ever, this lasted only a few years at the beginning of the Discovery 2’s run. It may refer to the escarpment at Kinver in England, near Staffordshire and Worcestershire. The Holy Austin Rock Houses were built into these cliffs and were occupied for centuries until they were abandoned in the 1960s.

View of Kinver From The Holy Austin Rock Houses

Portofino Red: Portofino is a fishing village and resort town on the Italian Riviera, known for its brightly colored buildings along the waterfront. It has become synonymous with la dolce bella, the good life. This red, found mostly on NAS Defender 90s, could easily be a sample from a glass of red wine enjoyed on the waterfront here.

Rioja Red: A late 1990s color, most tied to later Discovery 1s, it hearkens to the Rioja wine region in Spain, and its iconic red wine varietals.

Rutland Red: A bold red seen on Discovery 1s and 2s, it’s likely named for the county in England, not the town in Vermont. The name Rutland is said to derive from “red land,” with the soil full of red clay.

Vesuvius: This stunning orange, the flagship limited-edition launch color for the Range Rover Sport in 2006, is named after the infamous fiery volcano at Mount Vesuvius in Italy, whose eruption in AD 79 wiped out the city of Pompeii.

Silvers

Altai Silver: A pale silver, almost white, this was a color on Discovery 1 and Range Rover P38s. It refers to the snowy, high peaks of the Altai mountains in Russia.

Aspen Silver: An early Range Rover Classic color, Aspen Silver is one of the relatively few North American-focused color names. It harkens to the ski town of Aspen, Colorado, a haven of the wealthy adventure set that Land Rover was trying to tap when they brought the Range Rover back to North America. However, it’s likely actually named after the silver bark of the aspen tree. It just so happens the town was named after the tree, too.

Blenheim Silver: Blenheim Palace is the only non-royal palace in Britain, the home of the Dukes of Marlborough, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also the birthplace and ancestral home of Winston Churchill. It is packed with priceless art, but the color name may refer to the Silver Centerpiece in the palace’s saloon. Made by London silversmith Garrad’s in 1846, it depicts the 6th Duke of Marlborough in the aftermath of the Battle of Blenheim.

Colorado Silver: Continuing the Rockies theme, Colorado Silver, another early NAS Range Rover Classic color, likely refers to the historical mining activities in The Centennial State.

Indus Silver: A modern Land Rover color in 2020, it refers to the Indus River. One of the longest rivers in Asia, it flows from the Tibetan Plateau through Kashmir, flows the entire length of Pakistan, and exits into the Indian Ocean near Karachi. The river is a light shade of silvery blue in some of its higher elevations, and some of the riverbed along its journey also reflects this shade.

Indus River

Zermatt Silver: Zermatt is a Swiss mountain town, home to the iconic Matterhorn, and this common color from the late 2000s and early 2010s brings to mind the snows and raw rocks of the Alps.

Whites

Chamonix White: Chamonix is a famous French ski resort, on the slopes of Mont-Blanc. The white snows here were host to the first Winter Olympics in 1924.

Chawton White: Another long-lived Land Rover color, Chawton is located in the southeast of England, near the chalky white cliffs of South Downs and Beachy Head. Although they are a different geological formation, they bear a visual similarity to the famous White Cliffs of Dover.

Chawton Cliffs

Cornish Cream: This rich cream is named after the thick dairy cream that's closely associated with Cornwall in the southwest of England. The cream is made by indirectly heating full-cream cow's milk, and then letting it cool slowly to create clots in the finished cream.

Whistler White: This 2000s color is named after the British Columbia ski resort near Vancouver, which was home to the ski events at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

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