Our Two Cents: Our favorite racing team livery

In this installment of Our Two Cents, we asked our staff a very simple, yet loaded question: What is your favorite racing team livery or logo?

Turns out the answers reflect our diverse interests within car culture. And motorcycle culture, but perhaps it’s best we just let our staff explain:

Yamaha Speed Block


Editor Kyle Smith’s interest in motorcycles is clear, but one particular race livery really works for him:

“It’s gotta be the Yamaha Speed Block. There is nothing that says badass quite like a yellow Yamaha puffing blue smoke from the pipes. Of course Kenny Roberts and the TZ750s really made this livery iconic but the 500cc GP bikes he rode with the speed block livery are even better.”

Anything Group B Rally

Peter Singhof | Artcurial

Ben Woodworth, Senior Video Lead, chose not to pick a specific race livery, rather all of them…when painted on Group B rally cars.

“Pretty much all the Group B Rally liveries do it for me. It may just be the cars themselves that I’m drawn to, but there were some darn good liveries to come out of that era of racing. I can’t decide, so I’m gonna pick two: The Alitalia Lancia Stratos and the HB Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2 give me allll the feels.

If my wife let me, I’d have framed images of these cars all over my house. But honestly there would also be Martini, Gulf, and Rothmans cars on the wall, too. Oh, and that wild Apple Computers-liveried Porsche 935! Ok sorry, I’ll stop now.”

Alitalia on anything


And with that in mind, Senior Manager of Content Joe DeMatio chose a famous race livery mentioned by Ben in the previous example. Joe says the “Alitalia logo looks good on cars, planes, and the flight crew” and we can’t argue with that!

John Player Special

1977 Lotus 78/2 Brandan Gillogly

I need to be straight up with you folks, as I have very little interest in high-dollar motorsport activities. (I’m more of a grassroots type, where corporate sponsorships and whatnot are very unlikely.) But I will absolutely go for a John Player Special livery on anything. Black and Gold is very 1970s disco chic, and an adrenalin-inducing race car with the word “Player” on it speaks to me like no other livery can.

Of course, I later had access to Google and Wikipedia and learned that John Player Special name originated from a tobacco magnate. Which doesn’t exactly spin my crank, but still, the livery on its own works for me.

Gulf Oil


Community Coordinator Eugene Leeds picked the race livery that is near and dear to many of us, but gives us a little twist:

“I’ll be wrapping the Tesla Roadster in the Gulf livery/logo for EV irony. (Or something like that.) Is Gulf Livery overplayed? Sure. Is it still beautiful? Absolutely.”

Petty Blue

Richard Petty Dodge Magnum stock car
ISC Archives/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images

Special Projects Editor Steven Cole Smith picked the livery for an icon of stock car racing, and we couldn’t agree more with his assessment:

“Petty blue was, says NASCAR’s Richard Petty, created in 1958 when the team didn’t have enough white and dark blue paint to cover the whole car. So it was mixed, and the rest is livery history. Petty Blue is also the name of a documentary about the Petty family. I can’t see that light blue color and not think of Richard Petty, even if it’s on a Hyundai Elantra N.”

Red Lobster


Senior Editor Brandan Gillogly reminds us all that Red Lobster is more than just a chain of approachable seafood restaurants with addictive cheddar biscuits, they were also a shockingly cool livery for the 1983 March 83G.

“My favorite team logo is the absurdity that is the Terlingua Racing Team with the heraldric jackrabbit, but my favorite livery, with respect to Smokey’s black and gold Chevelle, might have to be this March Chevrolet IMSA car.”

Corvette Racing Jake

Our Creative Director Todd Kraemer picked one livery (and logo!) that he has a professional connection with, and frankly, we’re all jealous he got so close to these race cars and the team behind them.

“It’d be hard for me not to pick Corvette Racing’s ‘Jake’ and their long time yellow and black livery, since I worked with them so many years. It started as a doodle and a mascot during the C5-R years that only the team really knew about. Then it found its way onto the C6.R cars and spawned special editions featuring Jake on the road Corvettes. Jake has undergone a slight facelift with every generation of the new car to its current C8.R rendering. I always liked the C7.R version.”

Penske – Donohue

Brandan Gillogly

Senior Editor Kirk Seaman loves some “Penske-liveried Porsche 917/30 driven by Mark Donohue” and those graphics are simply perfect for such a sleek race car.

Skoal Bandit

Historic Porsche

Greg Ingold, our Hagerty Price Guide Editor, brings us back to another icon of nicotine-infused racing excitement:

“In the words of Joe Dirt, ‘keep that Skoal, baby’ because the Skoal Bandit livery is where it’s at. The iconic green and white was on everything form the Porsche 952 to NHRA funny cars, and the most famous has to be the Harry Grant Skoal Bandit NASCAR. It is just the perfect combination, while not as much cachet as the cancer stick brands, you can’t deny that the Skoal Bandit design got it right.”

Porsche Pink Pig

Oink. Porsche

Managing Editor Stefan Lombard picks the 1971 Porsche 917/20 Pink Pig. As he put it, this is “such a fast slab o’meat!”


Girardo and Co

Editor at Large Aaron Robinson picked one of those international icons of motorsport that simply must be added to any list of this kind:

“There just was never a bad looking car sponsored by Martini. And the Lancias sponsored by Martini were some of the best looking race cars ever made. An Italian booze written on the side of an Italian car driven by Italians? It didn’t get much better.”

Falken Tire

Falken Tire

Associate Editor Chris Stark shifts us into the modern era of race car livery, and there’s little doubt this one has a bright future with the likes of Petty Blue, Alitalia, Martini, and Gulf Oil.

“I do love the Martini cars, but I’ll nominate the blue-and-teal Falken livery. It’s simple and instantly recognizable—rare for a modern livery.”


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    Gotta agree with most of these in the article. Martini, Gulf, JPS, Falken, Skoal, Petty 43, Alitalia – all iconic names and looks. Since I’m a big IndyCar fan, I’ll throw a couple of my favorites out, too. First, the Pennzoil yellow cars were always easy to spot on track, and they also spent quite a bit of time in the winner’s circle in the ’90s when I was attending races. But as Emerson Fittipaldi is my all-time favorite driver, I’m going to pick the Marlboro red-orange & white cars at the top of my list. Plus, from clear back in the Rick Mears era, those cars often wore numbers 1, 2, or 3 – showing where they were finishing much of the time. (Possibly you can also tell I’m a Penske fan?)
    Bottom line is that nearly all racecar liveries are cool, and it’s pretty hard to pick just one or two. 🙂

    There was a time when all you saw walking around where I live was Goodwrench black and Dupont rainbow outside of the beer can liveries.

    Early Trans Am racing has some great liveries.

    The CNR train livery, rust orange/red, black/white in the angled strip renditions always looked great to me. I keep debating putting that on my Mustang to really confuse people…

    4 left out here.

    #1 GM Goodwrench. What better combo than Dale Earnhardt and a black car..

    #2 The Penske Sunoco Cars Indy and Trans Am with the pin stripes the 917 lacked.

    #3 Gulf McLaren in the Orange.

    #4 the Indy roadsters from the late 50’s and early 60’s painted by Custom car painter Dean Dean Jeffries. He would travel and apply stipes and even full paint to nearly 30 cars in the field. They were all hand striped and the cars were often painted in pearl paint. The black and white photos never recorded the art work the cars really were. Foyt’s last Roadster win in the museum is still in the original paint.

    #5 Jim Halls cars. All were with in Can Am and no real sponsor decals. you knew by the wing and color who it was.

    I just browsed back through the pictures and took a longer look at the Red Lobster March. How come that never won a World Championship? GeeZuss, just seeing that thing in the mirror coming up behind me would probably make me want to pull over and let it pass. 😂

    Need to add the Penske or McLaren Marlboro day-glo red and white schemes to this list. That scheme looked great on both Indy and F1 cars.

    The early BMW Motorsport livery with the red, violet, blue stripe is a particular favorite of mine, being into vintage BMWs. The best application of said livery is the 3.0 CSLs from the early IMSA days. As for branded liveries, the iconic orange Jagermeister cars and the BASF M1 Procar are two that stand out.

    Racing currently, the Pfaff Porsche 911 wearing red and black plaid is a standout in today’s field…

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