Sunday, 6 February 2011

Smokin', Drinkin' & Drivin' - Classic Liveries

I love classic and youngtimer racecars. The looks, the sound, the legend surrounding them makes a monument of speed. But definitely, it is the looks.

It is unlikely you'll see one in motion, except for YouTube clips. So you only remember the images you can find on the web, in old magazines, or as an assembly kit you can buy. Even if you don't know how fast they were going, whether they were first or last, you can clearly tell what is cool and what is not.

You simply make a decision on the looks of the car.

Not just classic silhouettes, but the paintjob, too. And paintjobs, liveries - which lacks functionality - can penetrate generations of models, developments, cars, motorbikes, boats, you name it. The only thing that is constant on a car. Something people can attach to.

Pure marketing.

Now, Renault got on business with Lotus and Lotus got on business with Renault, so that makes two Lotus Renault teams in this year's F1 competition. Long story, never mind.

Originally, both teams were to race in the classic JPS livery, but the "original" Lotus had to drop it and stick to last year's BRG and yellow design, which is even better, because now you can see two seperate generations of Lotii lapping the tracks.

The Ford Fiesta WRC is now sponsored by Castrol that partly flashbacks the old Group A age with the monstrous Toyota Celica and its successor, the Toyota Corolla.

Anyone ever playing SEGA Rally must remember the Celica's counterpart, the Lancia Delta Integrale with the Martini Racing colours. Martini Racing - truly penetrating time has been with Porsche in sportscar racing, with Lancias in Group 5, group B and Group A, most remembered on the 037, the Delta S4 the Integrale, Ford in WRC and with Ferrari in F1.

Another livery Lancia is famous for is Alitalia. The most remembered version of the Stratos, which later raced in Marlboro colours. Marlboro then went for F1 and made visual history with McLaren. Senna and McLaren Honda has been unseperable as they made history together, and it is the tobacco colours that puts the cherry on top of the cake. Senna went for Williams later with the Rothmans livery and died tragic death. Rothmans has made a legend, too, with the Porsche 959 in Dakar.

But let's return to Marlboro a bit as they continued in WRC with Mitsubishi. Very determining age as they competed with Subaru in the 555 livery. That blue basecolour has been unalinated fromSubaru since. Remember the BAR-Supertec? British-American Tobacco bought Tyrell Racing in order to make history with lots of cash. They wanted one of their cars in 555 and the other one in Lucky Strike livery. However, this went against F1 rules, saying that both cars must look identical except the numbers they are featuring. So they painted 555 on the right, Lucky Strike on the left. Even the clothes had to be changed to this version, so the whole team looked like a bunch of clowns. Eventually, 555 pulled out leaving Lucky Strike, entering Honda, exiting Lucky Strike, Entering Ross Brawn, exiting Honda, entering Mercedes, and ta-da, here we are with the classic Mercedes factory team for the first time since the 1955 Le Mans tragedy. The silver arrows having the reputation being plain, and they are silver, indeed, only with some Petronas.

Repsol Racing did a great fame with motorbikes and in WRC with the Ford Escorts, but we remember Fords the most in Gulf Oil colours. The GT40s, winning Le Mans, the Porsches, the copies since then.

How about Camel Lotus? No, let's just forget that one. Or how about Esso on Lancias? Sr STP on any car?

What's your addition to the list?

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