The Mystic Blue BMW E46 ZHP I call mine is the first car I’ve ever owned in a truly gorgeous color. Because of this color, it has attracted some friends of a similar hue, and going on drives with those friends results in some fun photo opportunities.

Car: 2004 BMW 330i ZHP, 1987 Porsche 944 Turbo

Location: Malibu, California

Photog: Chris Rosales (Instagram + Twitter: @chrishascamera)

Camera: iPhone 11 Pro Max

The friend in question is a 1987 Porsche 944 Turbo presented in the extraordinarily rare Ocean Blue Metallic, also called Nautic Blue. Before getting these two machines together, I always commented how similar the shades of blue are, with the 944 having a more subdued metallic and highlight, and the ZHP becoming vivid, almost electric in sunlight.

Getting them together highlights this well. I love both shades of blue, but the Mystic Blue is damn close to metallic perfection. It always presents as blue in every light, but slightly differently. It goes dark, almost black at night. In the shade, it looks subdued like Nautic Blue. In the sunlight, it crackles with current and strikes with retina-projecting pearl.

I used to be firmly in the camp of “you can’t drive color.” Now, I believe you really can. The experience of this car is so much better for the unique and rare shades of blue it possesses. My old Alpine White ZHP never did it for me like this one has. Paint-to-sample is cool, but it’s much cooler finding and collecting old cars in long-lost colors. There’s a treasure hunt angle to it that is lost by spending some money and checking a dealership order box.

As big as we could get it: