HERE’S OUR COUNTDOWN of the top 10 racing car liveries of all time.
A recent poll by certain F1 magazine got readers to choose the best livery on the 2012 F1 grid, which got us thinking: Which is the best, most asthetically pleasing, most iconic racing car livery of all time?
10. MG XPower (BTCC)
OK, so we’re starting with a bit of a personal favourite. And while it’s not as world famous as some others on this list, the combination of gunmetal grey and luminous green on these MG ZS’ really works and makes for one of the most memorable British Touring Car Liveries of recent times.
9. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes (F1)
This was actually the car that won the aforementioned poll, by quite some distance over its nearest rival, and it’s easy to see why. The chrome-effect silver and ‘rocket red’ has been a fan favourite ever since it was introduced in 2008, and will no doubt remain so for many years to come.
8. Rothmans Porsche (Le Mans)
The late 80’s/early 90’s was quite a time for legendary Le Mans cars, with the likes of the Mazda 787b, Mercedes Sauber C9, Jaguar XJR-9 and the various Porsches that would wear the famous Rothmans colours, like the 962 pictured. It was a successful partnership that netted multiple Le Mans 24 wins and a legacy that lives on.
7. BMW M/Warsteiner (DTM)
The E30 BMW M3 was, and still is, a car that looks just right. But it looked even better when BMW took it racing in the DTM. With it’s BMW Motorsport stripes, Warsteiner sponsorship and gold and silver BBS alloy wheels, it’s probably the coolest and most famous touring car ever.
6. Silk Cut Jaguar (Le Mans)
Say “Silk Cut Jag” to a petrolhead and they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about. It’s one of those combinations that transcends anything as vulgar as sponsorship and money, because it just looks so damn good. This partnership may not have won Le Mans as many times as Rothmans/Porsche, but the cars are more fondly remembered.
5. 555 Subaru (Rallying)
One of rallying’s most iconic partnerships: McRae and Impreza. But just as iconic is that of Subaru and 555; blue with luminous yellow decals and gold alloys. So much so that even after 555 stopped sponsoring Subaru, the cars still aped the colour and design of that famous livery. The most popular combo for road versions is also blue with gold wheels.
4. Martini Lancia (Rallying)
Over the years, the Martini colous have adorned many a racing car, but none more famous than Lancia’s rally cars. Be it the 037, the Delta Integrale (top) or the fearsome Delta S4 (above), which arguably put an end to Group B single handedly, Lancia and Martini is probably rallying’s most famous car/sponsor combo. And probably always will be.
3. JPS Lotus (F1)
Colin Chapman pretty much invented the concept of putting comany logos on racing cars in return for money, so it’s only fitting that one of his cars should feature in this list. But it’s not here just for that. Those John Player Special Lotus’ were Formula One for many years, and it’s no coincidence that Lotus’ current F1 cars are also painted black and gold.
2. Marlboro McLaren (F1)
For many (dominant) years Marlboro sponsored Ferrari. But Ferraris will always be red; the sponsors are a secondary concern. So it’s the white and dayglo orange McLarens that will always be synonymous with Marlboro in Formula One. They too were pretty dominant in their era, thanks in no small part to a certain Mr Prost and a certain Mr Senna.
1. Gulf Ford GT40 (Le Mans)
There was only ever going to one at the top of this list. Gulf have lent their distinctive colour scheme to many cars over the decades including Porsches, Aston Martins and McLarens, but pale blue and orange will always be remembered for the Ford GT40; the car that was famously created to go and beat Ferrari at Le Mans after Ford’s attempted buyout of the Italian company was turned down. There is no more iconic livery in motorsport than this.