Home » The Australian Leyland P76 Had Some Of The Best Color Names Ever: Cold Start

The Australian Leyland P76 Had Some Of The Best Color Names Ever: Cold Start

Cs P76 Colors Top
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For a car that’s so obscure to where I’m from and pretty much everywhere outside of Australia, it’s surprising that this is the second Cold Start to feature it. That’s the minimum number to make something plural. Plural! This time I want to show you something wonderful The Bishop showed me: the Leyland P76 had some really fantastic color names. And, not really related, it also had a really fantastic side marker lamp solution.

If you’re not familiar with the Australian-market Leyland P76, it was a striking-looking large four-door sedan built between 1973 and 1975 and capable of swallowing a whole 44-gallon drum in its trunk, something that seemed to be important for Australians. It’s probably beer-related.

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Anyway, let’s look at these amazing colors, courtesy of this wonderful P76 fan site:

Cs P76colors

Look at those colors! Home on Th’Orange! Peel Me A Grape! Oh Fudge! Am Eye Blue! Hairy Lime! That last one is interesting because it seems to be referring to the character Harry Lime from the movie The Third Man, played by Orson Welles. Was Harry Lime that much of a household name in the 1970s? I guess so, at least enough to be a color for a big car.

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The P76 isn’t alone in ’70s-era great color names, of course. The Ford Maverick had some pretty incredible ones, too:

Cs Maverickcolors

Anti-Establish-Mint? That’s a good color name. Freudian Gilt! Thanks Vermillion! What a glorious, goofy, colorful era!

Oh, let me show you the side marker light thing I was talking about, because it’s great:

Cs P76 Markerlamps

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Okay, so what we have here is a really clever solution: the P76 has these great dual-chamber side marker lamps that show both a marker light and a side indicator repeater. And it does all of this with no bulbs or wires or anything! 

That’s because they’re just windows! They’re windows of colored plastic lenses that share the light from the bulbs used for turn indicator and sidelamp up front, and turn indicator and brake/tail at the rear! That also means this is one of the only cars ever to have side brake lamp repeaters!

It’s so freaking clever I could spit. Love it.

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Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
14 days ago

I’m not so into overly fresh “funny” product names, like calling a drink Sex on the Beach..

-But Hairy Lime had me giggling.
As it is a quite unique car from Downunda, it would be perfect with one of those in Furry Road! 😀

Jason: Didn’t VW do something a bit similar with side cutouts in the front chrome fender indicators on the beetles at some time?

El Barto
El Barto
14 days ago

For a car that’s so obscure to where I’m from and pretty much everywhere outside of Australia

And New Zealand, Torch – the Leyland P76 was sold in NZ as well.

The rear indicators also did double-duty as back-up lamps, which was common for Aussie Holden, Ford & Chrysler cars at the time.

The Leyland P76 deserved better, but the stupid Poms back in Blighty (on both sides – management and workers) spent so much time fighting each other and not doing any work, this car was effectively still-born. Bastards.

Greg R
Greg R
14 days ago

The 44 gallon drum part was aimed at farmers, so they could carry a drum of fuel or whatever in the boot ( trunk). Plum Loco was the colour of my brother’s 1973 Mini, he picked it up at auction, the colour was probably why it was cheap.

Clive Wilson
Clive Wilson
14 days ago

In the 70s Holden offered Strike Me Pink, and I’m pretty sure they also had Lone Oranger.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
15 days ago

A lot of those colors look like common British Leyland colors with weird names, I think I see Pageant Blue, Java Green and Inca Yellow from the Triumph Spitfire and Landrover Stage 1 V8 color sheets and maybe a variation on Sand Glow, the Camel Trophy color. Oddly the vast majority of Australian Stage 1 V8s were painted Goldenrod which seemed to be the default for Australian Land Rovers in the 70s and early 80s.
As Dar Khorse mentioned, The Harry Lime theme was a pop music standard so lots of people would get the reference, just like “peel me a grape”.
The P76 is noteworthy as the only Leyland branded car since everything else kept its pre-merger branding. Leyland itself was always a truck and bus builder.

Morgan Thomas
Morgan Thomas
15 days ago

Leyland Australia wasn’t the only Australian manufacturer to use interesting colour names. But often the other manufacturers would reserve the ‘special’ names for renaming a run-of-the-mill colour when it was used on a ‘special’ model, like a GT Falcon or a Monaro GTS.

I’m sure I have mentioned the unusual P76 taillights/front markers on this site before, but it’s good to see them get a mention again. The panels surrounding the lights at each end of the car were die-cast alloy, incorporating cast-in studs to bolt them to the body, and served double duty as the only thing clamping the lights in place.

I’ve owned P76s in Country Cream, Oh Fudge and Bitter Apricot. An old friend and his dad who got me into P76s between them owned Targa Florios in Omega Navy and Aspen Green, and another car in Bold As Brass.

And for more trivia, the P76 website you link was set up by someone I went to high school with!

SK2807
SK2807
14 days ago
Reply to  Morgan Thomas

The best was the LC Holden Torana colour called “March 17th”……it was green. Barney’s Shirt was another one, think it was pink/purple colour.

David Escargot
David Escargot
14 days ago
Reply to  Morgan Thomas

I think the XY GTHO Phase III or maybe it was the XA ‘Phase IV’ package was available in Old Gold red

SK2807
SK2807
14 days ago
Reply to  David Escargot

Nothing say’s 60’s-70’s like naming a car colour after a brand of cigarettes! Gallaher Silver on the XR Falcon GT was another cigarette brand colour, and the HDT Marlboro red wasn’t called “Marlboro” even though it was the exact same colour – some say it was actually a Nissan paint colour that HDT applied as it was closest to the Marlboro colours

David Escargot
David Escargot
14 days ago
Reply to  SK2807

I’m not sure whether it referenced the cigarettes or the chocolate…. might have to see if there’s some truth in it

SK2807
SK2807
14 days ago
Reply to  David Escargot

You’re right, the colour was actually called McRobertsons Old Gold and was for chocolates, not a pack of smokes. It was painted onto maybe 5-10 XA Falcons.

They also painted a few XA’s and XB’s in Rothmans Blue or Rothmans Filter Blue, two different cigarette branded colours you could get

Morgan Thomas
Morgan Thomas
13 days ago
Reply to  Morgan Thomas

Turns out I did mention the P76 taillights before – back in November 2022!

“Some Leyland P76 taillight trivia for Jason – those side marker lights on the rear quarters are not separate lights, they are an extension of the tail light housing that ‘peeps’ out of the die-cast cap panels that form the rear corners of the body, so you get side marker lights, side repeater indicators and side repeater reversing lights (due to the amber housings doubling as reverse lights) with only 2 bulbs total per corner. The same thing happens at the front, where the indicators and park lights are stacked above each other to form the outer ends of the grille, with similar side marker light provision.
(Bonus trivia – less than 500 Targa Florios were built, and only 73 in Aspen Green as per the car in the picture)”

Myk El
Myk El
15 days ago

Could I then get an interior in rich Corinthian blue leather?

David Escargot
David Escargot
15 days ago

We need more dads naming colours… they’re great names

The BA (02-06) Falcon has a bit of a well in the boot above the spare tyre… turns out that perfectly fits 2 50l beer kegs and they can’t move at all

Fire Ball
Fire Ball
15 days ago

What, no ‘Stanky Bean’ or ‘Sindus Poop”

https://www.aiweirdness.com/160985569682/

Sklooner
Sklooner
15 days ago

Crystal White but no Mexican Black ?? needs some Statutory Grape

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
15 days ago
Reply to  Sklooner

For those fans of Whitest Kids You Know : The Grapist

DysLexus
DysLexus
15 days ago

Oh those whimsical marketeers in the 70’s. Alas.

Now we are stuck with the modern “high tech” names like Nebula Gray Pearl, Ultra White, Obsidian, Midnight, Atomic Silver.

My favorite dull name that never to fruition for many gray cars is Wet Cement.

ESO
ESO
15 days ago
Reply to  DysLexus

Don’t forget Sand, Breakwater Blue, and all the other names that I have apparently succeeded at forgetting since I escaped from my 35 year automotive career… 🙂

Gilbert Wham
Gilbert Wham
15 days ago

I’ve always wanted one of these. Now I want one in Omega Navy.

Omega. Navy. Never has metallic blue sounded more like awesome anime. I need it.

Last edited 15 days ago by Gilbert Wham
Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
15 days ago
Reply to  Gilbert Wham

It is, obviously, the last word.

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
15 days ago

With modern chemistry and paint technology, why can’t we have colors like those in the 21st century!?

“Was Harry Lime that much of a household name in the 1970s?”
The Third Man was a global phenomenon in the late 40’s/early 50’s in Europe and the US. The theme music spent 11 weeks at the #1 spot on Billboard’s Best Sellers chart in the US. With a film this influential, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if people were still talking about it in the 70’s, especially in Europe, since (if my wife recalls correctly) there was a re-release of the film and it once again became a Topic for Discussion. Also, it may have just taken 20 years to make it down to Australia.

Check out CineFix’s take on how Orson Welles invented the “star role” in film with this movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In2tp8HoLh0
Or, for a shorter video, here’s their Top 10 best character introductions of all time, in which Harry Lime takes spot #2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5psXjzWUve8

Last edited 15 days ago by Dar Khorse
Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
15 days ago

I’m pretty sure that the 40-gallon drum in the trunk is to make it to the next gas station. Or, to the next wasteland fortified town where people wear football pads that you and your dog are going to steal gas from.

Last edited 15 days ago by Michael Beranek
StillNotATony
StillNotATony
15 days ago

Hey!! Max didn’t steal any gas from them! They had a deal!!

Chronometric
Chronometric
14 days ago

That made me think of a different post apocalyptic reference: “A boy loves his dog.”

AverageCupOfTea
AverageCupOfTea
15 days ago

Look how many colors they offer, why can’t they do the same today?

David Frisby
David Frisby
15 days ago

now it’s just 50 shades of grey….

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
15 days ago
Reply to  David Frisby

I guess we’re all getting punished.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
15 days ago

Because today, everyone is staring at their phone for visual stimulation, seeking the anonymity of the crowd. They are fearful of the unwanted intrusion of strangers, who may comment on the color of their possessions.

Anyone brash enough to rock wild coloration in the real world, is only doing so in the vainglorious hope of becoming an influencer, or a YouTube serial content slave, or as indirect advertisement for an upcoming livestream.

Once they burn out all such vigor, they retreat back into the grey masses.

This is our world.

David Frisby
David Frisby
15 days ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

real colour is good, we need more if it. I joked about the 50 shades if grey, but I do have the joy of driving round in a Burnt Orange Vauxhall Mokka (Buick Encore to my US friends (6spd Manual and Diesel) identical to this one.
https://smgmedia.blob.core.windows.net/images/129374/1024/vauxhall-mokka-suv-petrol-81d517d19938.jpg

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
15 days ago
Reply to  David Frisby

Shame we don’t get the diesel over here.

Cool Dave
Cool Dave
15 days ago

Frankly I’m surprised they weren’t more like “It’s bloody red mate” or “Crikey, that’s green”.

A. Barth
A. Barth
15 days ago

Leyland had a color called Plum Loco.

Mopar had a color called Plum Crazy (Purple).

One might think they would be similar, but the Leyland color is closer to what Mopar called Panther Pink. Leyland’s version of Plum Crazy was Peel Me A Grape.

Fun fact: Mopar divided their color names by manufacturer. For example, the bright orange was called Go Mango on a Dodge and Vitamin C on a Plymouth, even though the paint codes were the same.

Mr. Frick
Mr. Frick
15 days ago
Reply to  A. Barth

I had a 70 AAR with a vanity plate that read GOMANGO. It was the best color name ’cause Go! Man! GO!

I traded it for a 68 Charger R/T that is Seafoam Turquoise with a white vinyl top and bumblebee stripe. Haven’t come up with a vanity plate name (yet).

Laurence Rogers
Laurence Rogers
15 days ago
Reply to  Mr. Frick

What about SeaBee?

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
15 days ago

Small talk person #1: How was your trip to Germany?

Small talk person #2: Berlin was amazing, but Dresden Blue.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
15 days ago

“… great dual-chamber side marker lamps … “ You can’t see it, but I’m giving you side eye right now.

Aaron Headly
Aaron Headly
15 days ago

The Adventures of Harry Lime
There was a radio show after the movie (but set before it). Worth checking out.

Flyingstitch
Flyingstitch
15 days ago

Another of those Australian cars that looks like an American car filtered through Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder. What’s remarkable about this one is that as a Leyland product, I assume it has no American DNA. Excellent faux American, Leyland designers!

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
15 days ago
Reply to  Flyingstitch

The P76 was supposed to be kind of a “greatest hits” album of all the attributes Australians liked/valued in large cars, BL heavily benchmarked against Ford, Holden, and Chrysler and did extensive market research, so it did end up pretty derivative, but by intention. That’s sort of what makes its market failure so tragic, BL made a tradition out of half-assing everything, but the P76 was one case where they actually tried really hard to get it right.

It actually got really good reviews from the press upon launch, but it was more supply chain issues due to labor disruptions, combined with a serious (but ultimately temporary) drop in large car sales due to the 1973 oil embargo that caused it to fail on the market. BL’s financial position was too shaky to continue supporting the Australian operations while waiting for the economy to improve and the production issues were worked through.

El Barto
El Barto
14 days ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Bloody oath. They were the best “ordinary” BL car at the time and much better than any of the Pommy cars. With exception to Jaguar / Daimler, but they were hardly “ordinary” cars.
It was a damn shame that the P76 didn’t last long enough for the coupe and wagon variants to be introduced.

Morgan Thomas
Morgan Thomas
14 days ago
Reply to  Flyingstitch

Aha, but it DOES have some American DNA! The 4.4 litre alloy V8 was an enlarged and redesigned Rover V8, which itself had originally been a Buick design! Coincidentally, most Australian people I have asked over the years to guess what one is (if they don’t know about the Leyland P76) seem to guess it is some sort of Buick!

They deserved better market success, as they were very advanced for the time. McPherson strut front end with rack and pinion, standard front discs, and 4 link coil rear end, when many other big Australian cars still had leaf springs, steering boxes and front discs as an option. Plus big side intrusion bars in the doors, floorpan designed to deflect the engine down and back in a frontal crash, crumple zones built into the bonnet, concealed wipers, and a bunch of other stuff that was pretty revolutionary in an Australian car in the early 70s. The alloy V8 was lighter than the 6 cylinder option, and was even lighter than the Datsun L Series 4 cylinder, so the Datsun 610 I had with a Leyland V8 swap was lighter than the original 4 cylinder version!
A V8 4 speed P76 weighed 1250kg, which was much lighter than the Ford and Holden opposition, and nearly as light as many 4 cylinder cars of the time, but shared the same size vented discs as equivalent Holdens and Fords, so had great braking performance as well!

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
15 days ago

I’m wondering what the N.V.(envy) Green are initials for, I get the envy, but by the other names they’d have just said Envy but that they used initials may have some deeper sinister meaning. “New Velour” or some such.

Mikan
Mikan
14 days ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

I’d waver it’s a reference to the ‘non vintage’ appellation used on bottles of champagne (often using green-tinted glass), making it a neat little pun

Last edited 14 days ago by Mikan
Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
14 days ago
Reply to  Mikan

Ah, clever!

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
15 days ago

Oooooooooo fuuuuuuuuddddgggge

But I didn’t say “fudge”.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
15 days ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

But these aren’t Oldsmobiles!

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