While it’s tough to narrow down the best colors of any car model, the 35-year history of the classic Ford F-100 pickup truck makes the task even more difficult. There were over 300 different exterior paint colors used across the lifespan of the F-series trucks! You can check out our guide to all F-100 colors and paint codes if you'd like a complete overview of every single shade.
With that said, we’ve compiled a list of some favorites that stand out because of their popularity, uniqueness, vibrancy, or interesting name. It probably won’t come as a surprise that some of the wildest and boldest colors came during the 1960s and 1970s, especially on the striking Explorer Special package trucks. It’s an old cliche, but truly, it seems like they just don’t make them like they used to.
Even by the mid-1980s, as the F-100 was superseded by the F-150, Ford seemed to be largely shifting away from tropical greens, bright yellows, and radioactive reds in favor of more subdued caramels, tans, and dark blues. Today, Race Red, Velocity Blue, and Hot Pepper Red are some of the very few bright pops of color available on Ford trucks. The majority of the new Ranger’s eight colors are monotone, but as consumer demands have changed through the years, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
Check out our list below for some amazing colors; it’s easy to spend hours browsing through the hundreds of shades through the years and dreaming about what color you want your truck to be...whether you own an F100 or not! Many colors here were also shared with other Ford trucks, especially the F-150, as the two trucks were very similar in most ways.
This bold red really seems to embody the spirit of the American auto industry that boomed after the end of the Second World War. The name was switched to "Torch Red" in 1956, but the shades remained the same. There’s a reason Vermillion remains a popular choice for those restoring early F-100s.
The Explorer Special Package on the F-100 typically offered shades that were even more exciting and vibrant than the everyday trims. The adventurous and eponymous Explorer Green offered something a little more bold without being over-the-top.
You may already know Grabber Blue as one of our perennial Mustang favorites, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it works great for the F100 as well.
Coppery and caramel-tinged, it’s hard to say if the Sequoia Brown paint on the F-100 espouses rugged simplicity or understated refinement; honestly, we’d say both. Even if brown isn't your favorite exterior color for most vehicles, it’s tough to deny the classic look on a 1970s Ford pickup.
The name “Ivy Green” doesn’t really fit the color of this paint; you’d expect a darker shade than the light pastel green, shown here with Wimbledon White two-tone. No matter, as this color is a classically ‘60s shade that works superbly on trucks from that era.
Back when Ford didn’t offer a black color for their F-series trucks, the deep, dark navy blue called Barcelona Blue (for reasons unclear) was the closest you could get. With whitewall tires and chrome trim, this stunning yet stealthy shade is a very cool choice for the early model years.
It’s certainly one of the wackier colors in terms of both name and pigment, but we love the uniqueness of this Explorer Special-exclusive option. Avocado Metallic looks pretty much exactly like how you’d expect, and it has a sort of understated tropical flair that’s hard to come by on any type of vehicle.
Inca Gold, shown here paired with Colonial White, is a soft yellow that’s one of those quintessential 1950's shades. The white two-tone and whitewall tires complement it perfectly, and shined up with a nice restoration it looks incredible in any light.
Another color that’s more pastel, there’s something special about the way that Glacier Blue looks both modern and timeless. With any amount of white and red, you’ve got a subtle American theme going that will look great just about anywhere.
Evoking the color of an Alpine lake on a brilliant, sunny day, Swiss Aqua is an incredibly bold and bright blue with plenty of turquoise in it. This paint will definitely turn heads with its radiance and depth.
Other Great F-100 Colors
Since we couldn’t leave you with just ten of the amazing colors from the F100’s production run, here are a few honorable mentions that also stood out:
Mexicali Red was an exclusive exterior color for the Explorer Special F-100 in 1975.
- Mexicali Red - This Explorer Special color was more orange than red, but was a conspicuous and exotic color regardless.
- Calypso Coral - Also seen on the 1970 Mustang, this incredible red-orange has just a touch of pink.
- Candyapple Red - This incredibly deep, rich red was another one that was popular on the Mustang and other Ford models as well.
- Chrome Yellow - Not the same as the later SN95 Mustang color, but a stunningly bright yellow in its own right.
- Coachman Beige - A bit boring? Perhaps. Super fancy? Absolutely.
- Norway - Not that you’d really know it from the name, but this is a beautiful dark green.
- Sea Sprite Green - A brilliant turquoise that has a touch of pastel and a bright shine, cars in this color immediately evoke 1950s diners.
- Medium Vaquero - Named for the Spanish word for “cowboy”, this leathery, coppery brown definitely has some Western vibes.
If we’ve inspired you to start your next project on your classic Ford truck, check out our full range of F-100 parts and accessories to find everything you’ll need to get started or put finishing touches on your restomod.
Image Credit: Ford | Classic Car Ratings | Mecum | Fordification | TopClassicCarsforSale.com | American Muscle Car Museum | GAA Classic Cars | Ford Truck Enthusiast
Sources: Ford | PaintRef.com