You may think that I’m showing you this dazzling dozen of colors as a way for me to kvetch yet again about how glorious and open and free automotive colors were in the past and how they’re a muddy grayscale jury duty of mundanity now. But I’m not. I’m going to make another point about color and cars, a much more specific one, and one I’m not really sure I’ve entirely formulated in my head yet. The point is that the Audi 50 needs to be in a notable, distinctive color for it to be an Audi 50, at least to me. Color is a key part of the Audi 50ness to me, and that’s that.
Let’s talk about the little Audi 50 a bit here; it’s better known as the Volkswagen Polo Mk1, which it was re-badged as six months after its introduction, but I prefer the slightly more refined Audi version. The design is very much like a smaller Golf, but it feels like that famous ItalDesign Golf has been filtered and distilled down to its absolute fundamental essence, and it works better as a result.
It’s taughter and leaner and crisper than the Golf, and the front end is ever so slightly raked forward, making it more purposeful and active. There’s that funny round air-extraction vent on the C-pillar, the only circular bit save for the headlights and wheels. There’s nothing wasted here. It’s like a greyhound, a sheath of skin stretched over the stuff that makes it go.
And, it just works best in bright colors.
The interior was kind of stylish, too, in its own unfussy way. But my attraction to the 50 isn’t about the inside. It’s one of the few cars I like best at distance, in quantity, scattered about in a variety of colors like a handful of flung, sharp-cornered Skittles. It’s kind of a confusing affection, but aren’t those the best kind, really? The ones that defy explanation, that grip you and hold you and you can’t really express why or how, but you know that if you didn’t feel that peculiar clutch, you’d miss it terribly?
That’s what I think about the Audi 50s and color. So there.