top of page

The Tale of Two Porsche 993 Reds

“What color is that?” is a common refrain among Porsche owners.  Two Porsche 993’s, with two reds deserve a look.  The one on the right is Arena Red and the one on the right is Guards Red.

Red Porsche 993
Two Porsche 993's, Two Porsche Reds: Guards Red and Arena Red

At the recent Asheville (NC) Cars & Coffee held at Prescott Auto Reserve these two red Porsche 993’s drove in together and parked next to each other.  This provided an ideal opportunity to study the difference between the two reds.


Guards Red is one of the most popular Porsche colors and is definitely the most popular red.  Guards Red first appeared in 1974 as a color for the 911 G-models.  Owners really took notice when the 1975 Porsche 930 (turbo) was launched in Guards Red. 

Porsche 993 Guards Red
Guards Red Porsche 993

Guards Red has been a standard bearer in the Porsche palette since then and is the red most people think of when someone says their Porsche is red. Guards Red is a bright shade of red and gets its “pop” from a hint of orange that differentiates it from early reds on Porsches such as Polo Red used on 356’s


Arena Red is a medium red metallic without the hint of orange of Guards Red.  The main differentiator for Arena Red is the metallic flake that affects the color.


Arena Red Porsche 993
Porsche Arena Red on a 993

It is interesting to hear the story behind the name Arena Red.  The story goes that the color of red is the color of the Gladiators blood that was spilled in the ancient arenas.  There is also another story to the reason for the name as noted by Max911 on the Pelican Forum: “The 993 Arena Red has quite a bit of metallic in it.  The color’s name comes from the Spanish word “Arena” – which translates to “sand” in English.  If you look closely at the Porsche paint you will see gold and silver metallic flecks – as in sand.”


Arena Red along with Guards Red were colors that appeared on both 993 air-cooled Porsches and on the 996 water-cooled Porsches.  As far as rarity, it you refer to the PCA color site, you see Guards Red having a one paint can rating (very popular) versus Arena Red achieving a three paint can rating.  Five paint cans represent the rarest color so Arena Red leans towards the rare end of the spectrum.


So which red is a better red for a Porsche 993?  That of course is a subjective call but I will say that these two 993’s got it right.  The Guards Red model is on a Cabriolet model while Arena Red is on a coupe.  In my opinion having the flair of the bright Guards Red on a cab while the coupe features the rich Arena Red appears right.


Porsche 993 reds
What's Your Choice: Arena Red on the left, Guards Red on the righ?

Ask 100 Porsche owners and you’ll probably get 100 different answers.  What is for sure is that the owner of a Guards Red 993 will say Guards Red is the right choice while an Arena Red owner will say “Arena Red or nothing.” 


When you are writing the check, you get to decide.


Tags:  Porsche 993, Porsche 993 colors, Porsche 993 Reds, Guards Red, Arena Red


179 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page