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Aetna Blue: Porsche Paint to Sample

by | Jun 8, 2014 | Classic Porsche Blog, Market & Prices

Flicking through Instagram this morning, a 356 friend on there posted this picture of his stunning Coupe. Turns out the colour is Aetna Blue – a new one on me, available on 356s for just two years: 1960/61. Porsche paint names intrigue me, so I got onto Google.

Aetna Blue Porsche 356

You’ll have guessed that Aetna is a Greek word. In classic mythology, Aetna was the daughter of Uranus and Gaea: nymph goddess of a Sicilian volcano said to entomb the giant Typhoeus, whose frequent restlessness led to the eruptions from the mountain, and terrifying earthquakes that shook the island.

Aetna Blue Porsche 991 911 1

That Sicilian volcano is, of course, Mount Etna. It is easy to understand how a sojourn alongside the Sicilian coast could have led to this rich melt of sky and sea finding its way onto a svelte 356. Continuing the Google led to a thread on Rennlist, which once again proved to me how small this Porsche world is. But that’s another story.

Aetna Blue Porsche 991 911 11

Marc L in Houston, Texas shared how he had bought this used Porsche 991 C2S manual from a Houston Porsche dealer, in paint-to-sample Aetna Blue with Espresso leather and wood trim. Apparently the car had covered less than a thousand miles but had come back in soon after delivery, as part exchange on a C4S 911. Numerous local Rennlisters contributed to say it had been at the dealer’s for a while: the unique colour and trim proving difficult to sell.

Aetna Blue Porsche 991 911 wood trim 6

Marc walked in looking for a Cobalt Blue 997 Turbo, but was struck by the luxurious combination of this custom-built 991. While there is the usual backlash on the thread against the wood trim, seeing these things in person is a totally different experience. No surprise Marc was smitten, buying it on the spot.

Aetna Blue Porsche 991 911 13

The original owner of the Aetna Blue 991 also chimes in to the thread, sharing how “that vintage feel is what I was looking for. My dealer would never order wood in a 911 but after this car they’ve done it several times. With the right colors it looks good.”

Aetna Blue Porsche 991 911 wood trim 12

Porsche’s paint to sample facility is a wonderful thing. A skilled aesthete can build a beautiful car that would be kept forever. It can also go exceptionally wrong, of course, but to me this 991 sums up the best of modern Porsche. Perhaps it also shows that the 991 is now a car for fifty- rather than thirty-somethings (I’m at the wrong end of that scale), but now the young folk have the Cayman and Boxster, let all 991s look as special as this. It’s my favourite 991 to date.


  1. Chuck

    That is beautiful, even with wood trim of which I am somewhat ambivalent but lean toward the idea that Porsches are just less “luxury” and more “tech”. I hate carbon fiber however – looks like plastic to me. All leather or some aluminum, preferably brushed, appeals to me. In this car the wood looks fine with Espresso leather, but that’s perhaps more appropriate in a Panamera.

  2. Chuck

    “Aetna” looks different on that 356 than the 991 S – wonder why??

    • John Glynn

      The difference in paint over the years and a bit of computer filtering also. I like it either way, though 😉

  3. Jock Ellis

    The shade of the 356 in the first photo is that of my ’64 SC. I SAW AN ’80s 911 in the same color but quickly lost interest in that when I saw the Germanic beauty in the passenger seat. I don’t know about now but in the 356 days, the factory would offer special colors. I have lost my option list but in those days Porsche didn’t realize people would gladly pay through the nose for special options.

    • John Glynn

      Sounds nice Jock, still a great colour all these years later. You can still buy nw Porsches in custom colours, but there are a few hoops to jump through before the factory will agree to paint in something really novel.


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