Top Five: Motorsport Liveries

19 08 2009

Traditional national racing colours had been de rigueur in motorsport from the 1900s to the 1960s. Cars were easily identified by nationality simply by colour: green for the UK; red for Italy; silver for Germany, etc. By signing a deal with Gold Leaf, Lotus brought sponsorship liveries to motorsport, so here are my top five.

1. JPS Lotus

Well, it’s a classic, and here it is on the ground-breaking, ground-force Lotus 79, being driven by the 1978 World Champion , Mario Andretti, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

2. Gulf Porsche

The blue and orange bedecked Porsche 917 is the enduring image of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car was a lot harder to drive than it was to look at, simply put, it didn’t like corners.

3. Martini Lancia

Martini have sponsored both Porsche and Lancia in sportscars; Tecno, Brabham, Lotus and Ferrari in F1; Alfa Romeo in touring cars; as well as Ford and Lancia in rallying. Ultimately it’s the last partnership that is the most enduring, I mean, just look at the Delta HF Integrale, mmm.

4. Marlboro McLaren

A partnership that lasted from 1974 till the end of 1996, and the naming policy of McLarens to this day (MP4 = Marlboro Project 4). Here we have the MP4/4 that won 15 of the 16 Grands Prix of 1988, simple but beautiful.

5. 555 Subaru

Colin McRae, Subaru Impreza, blue and luminous yellow. To so many people, that is the iconic image of rallying, and you can’t blame them, it looks good.

…and for luck, one of the ugliest liveries.

Lucky Strike/555 BAR

Just too much going on, and a zip, seriously?!




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