Through the Mustang’s multi-decade production, only a few purple Mustangs have been produced. That’s true for most cars. Since the ‘90s, purple has been the least popular vehicle color, with whites, blacks, and grays dominating. Pretty boring highways have become the norm.
Most people point to “resale” value as the reason they select subdued colors. But as of 2019, people are keeping their cars for an average of 12 years, and fun, bold colors are making a comeback. After all, if you don’t have to sell your car for 12 years, don’t you want a color you love?
We’ve talked about the shades of blue, yellow, green, and red the Mustang has had throughout the years. Now, it’s time to talk about purple. Because in 2022, the Ford Mustang will come in purple for the first time in nearly twenty years. Here’s a look at all the shades of Mustang purple and how they stack up.
Technically, there was a 1967 special edition Mustang available in Lavender. A paint code is the only evidence that it existed. There’s no record that any were ordered, and no pictures have turned up. It’s the worst simply because no one even ordered one. If you have a party and no one comes, it’s a bad party.
An artist rendering of what a Lavender Mustang might have looked like.
7. Purple Metallic
Purple Metallic was offered as a special-order color for the 1967 Mustang. Not many people ordered it, which makes a lot of sense when you see it. This particular grape soda-looking color is a tough look to pull off.
The saturated hue just makes this color feel a little overdone. The Purple Metallic Mustang actually ended up on our worst colors of all time list, and we stand by that.
The problem with Iris is that Ford didn’t really commit. The result is a purple that looks more like a red that’s been left in the sun too long. This is especially true if it’s not cleaned and taken care of. It’s not really a huge surprise that Iris was only available for 1994. Of the 123,198 Mustangs made that year, only 1,304 were Iris, making it the least popular color. Of those, only 246 were GTs.
But seeing a well-cared for Iris SN95 now is a treat because of the rarity. In April 2021, an Iris GT sold on Bring a Trailer for $11,000. Multiple commenters claimed to be obsessed with it, and the great condition of the Mustang highlighted the color very well.
With a clean body and the right light, you can see how the pink undertones make it an “Iris” and not a “red.” This color came so close to being good, but couldn’t quite jump over the hurdle.
5. Deep Violet
Deep Violet is a dark purple, completely unlike any of the other colors on this list. This color was only available between 1996 and 1997. Between the two years, 7,421 of the 226,786 Mustangs made were Deep Violet. About 3%.
While that’s not many, more people have changed their minds on this color over the years. It ages well and looks outstanding with just a few well-placed accent pieces (like black wheels). Basically, all the characteristics of a good color.
4. Extreme Rainbow
The Extreme Rainbow Saleen is a one-of-a-kind Mustang that uses the same color-shifting paint as the Mystic Cobra. But the color-shift doesn’t look quite as good here. The Saleen decals and body stickers feel out of place, and you can see how the color feels flatter around them.
Anyone would be happy to have this beauty in their garage, and the unique paint adds to that. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a Saleen Mustang, so the underhood area is just as exciting as the paint.
3. Evening Orchid
Evening Orchid is a bright lavender metallic that was a 1967 exclusive. (Yes, there were 3 shades of purple available in ‘67. This one is the best). It’s the metallic finish that makes this color look spectacular. Unlike ‘67’s Purple Metallic, Evening Orchid uses a touch of purple to great effect. Coupled with the black rocker panel molding and top, this color really pops.
Evening Orchid was offered as part of the “She-Country Special,” a promotion designed by Ann Goodro, of William Goodro in Denver Colorado. The idea behind the She-Country Special was to showcase Mustangs geared towards women.
As a bonus, you got a corsage and personalized nameplate with your purchase. Positioned next to a sign declaring “She Car Means Beautiful!,” it’s hard to disagree. Only 12 of these were ever made. But two of them came with big-block V8s.
The Mystic/Mystichrome colors have become legendary. Admittedly, part of the color's allure is that it could only be found on the performance-oriented Cobra.
The other part of the color’s charm is how it shifts between shades depending on the light. Changing from green to blue to purple and finally to black, the Mystic Cobras gained a mysterious quality. But without the purple, it’d be less magical.
Unfortunately, this color was so expensive to produce that it was never available on GTs or V6 Mustangs. Estimates on a single pint to repair body damage are around $453.
1. Mischievous Purple
This color isn’t released yet, but we already love it. Leaning towards the blue-end of the purple spectrum rather than the red is a great decision. And it’s no coincidence that the best looking purples have been the ones that have the shifting color effect.
One of the best parts of Mischievous Purple is that the purple is mostly contained in the metallic fleck. If we’ve learned anything from this list, it’s that richer metallic purples stand the test of time.
Let Purple Reign
Even though purple hasn’t been available often from Ford, custom paint jobs and wraps have helped show us what purple Fox Bodys, S197s, and more would look like. Some enthusiasts also use purple as a way to accent a neutral shade with lighting, decals, and more.
In short, it’s past time for purple to get it’s due and for people to give this color a chance. And with a great 2022 paint option, they can!
Sources: Purple Has Been the Least Popular Car Color in the U.S. for Years and I Want to Know Why, The Drive | 1994 Mustang Brochure, Old Car Brochures | 1996 Ford Mustang Brochure, Paint Ref
Image Credits: Photos of She Country Special used with permission from William Goodro and scanned by Wes Eisenschenk of Lost Muscle Cars| Most recent She Country Special photo used with permission from Mecum Auctions | Oil Slick Blue-Purple paint sample images courtesy of SSR Collision
This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.