Paint color names were still top-of-mind as I was watching “My Cousin Vinny” over the weekend. Even though it was the umpteenth time I had watched it, something new struck me: with so much emphasis placed on automotive details in the film’s climax, why didn’t the screenwriter go the extra distance with the actual paint color names? Neither the 1964 Buick Skylark Convertible driven by the defendants or the stolen 1963 Pontiac Tempest driven by the actual perpetrators were ever offered in a paint color called Metallic Mint Green.
The 1964 Buick in the movie was painted Surf Green Poly. In 1963, one could order a Pontiac Tempest in a shade called Silverleaf Green Poly.
I admit that the movie wouldn’t have changed at all utilizing the correct color names. Actually, I might even say that it would be more far-fetched than Marisa Tomei asking me out on a date (and my wife saying it’s okay to accept) for any general mechanic to know offhand the names of low-production paint options from cars sold a quarter-century earlier.