The 1956 Buick Color Lineup Is Putting Us To Shame

I am not sure why the 1956 Buick lineup continues to rattle around in my brain, haunting my dreams. Whatever the reason, I know that I must be free of it. To free myself of it, I must process it, and in processing it, I have noticed that the color lineup Buick buyers had in ’56 is putting us to shame.


Let me be upfront: The 1956 Buicks do not need my praise. They do not need my adoration. These were sister cars to the tri-five Chevrolets of ’55, ’56, and ’57. I spent my entire childhood hearing about these cars, seeing them in car shows, car cruises, hearing about the importance of the small-block Chevy V8 (debuted in 1955), and on and on. Writing about mid-50s General Motors offerings is like writing about Elvis.

But just as there are always new things to say about Elvis (a hero to most), there are always more things to say about these iconic cars, for better or worse.

On the better side of the ledger: The colors you could get on a ’56 Buick were out of control.

I pulled up the ’56 Buick brochure on the wonderful, and it didn’t take long for this bumblebee to catch my eye:

Black-over-yellow two tone is a powerful look, but only peering longer through the lineup did I notice that you could swing for a yellow-over-grey scheme, on a full-on longroof station wagon:


Another interesting pairing on the brochure is that you could get a very sharp black and red combo:


As well as black over red over black again:


A quick search on Instagram reveals that you could flip this layout for a remarkably powerful red over black over red again, with an interior that would not be more red if you burst an artery inside:


Slightly less common on IG is this mind-altering green over green over green with a green interior.


What mainstream car company today is offering this kind of color blocking? Kia has a few fun-colored roof options, but that’s about the only one on offer. I am not one to delve endlessly into 1950s nostalgia, but it’s hard not to dream of current lineups with these colors and trims. Would not the Bolt EUV make a bit more of a splash if it was dark blue over light blue over dark blue again with a blue interior?

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.


Jalopnik had an article some time back where they said that customers didn’t want colors and more. I guess if the “customer” is the dealership, that’s right. But they endless shades of meh available in modern cars keeps me out of the dealership. Mazda? Call me when I can get a 3 grand touring in BRG with tan leather and standard transmission.