And I’m not gonna lie
I am a graphic artist by trade, a longtime auto racing fan and an avid model racecar collector. My model collection is 25% F1 cars and the rest mostly LeMans, IMSA and Can-Am. But what really gets me going is great big racecar graphics.
The 2021 Rokit sponsorship of the AJ Foyt Dallara Indy car showed remarkable bravery in their choice of graphics. Going with a graphic look best viewed from overhead, they defied all of the rules behind billboards. Racecars are just billboards after all. Each car’s livery is totally dominated and determined by the sponsor’s name. The first rule of billboards is to make them easily readable.
Being able to read the billboard from outer space is only a very minor consideration.
Most enthusiasts will agree that the 2021 Rokit motif did not work from trackside but it definitely worked from space. Note that the Rokit sponsorship on the same car in 2022 has the Rokit name proudly shown fully only on the vertical part of the sidepods. Call that conventional wisdom.
As I said, I like great big racecar graphics and visible from space is just fine on a model racecar.
Could you recognize these cars from space?
No question that you recognize the Dauer Porsche 962 that won LeMans. While there are some smaller Shell markings on the sides of the car, it’s the huge logos on the top of the car that draws your attention right away. There is no way that this car went unnoticed at the Great Race. It’s also the most common view shown in photos from that race.
Our next contestant used the same huge-logo graphic direction as the Shell car. This time it’s Texaco blanketing the top of a Porsche. The elegant main black color is well balanced by that huge logo atop the car. Havoline is shown on the side of the car in deep gold. Not so noticeable. But that giant round logo with the Texaco star tells everything you need to know in the sponsorship universe.
Nissan and Repsol also went the giant logo route and I love them both. Nissan used this technique for the just the one LeMans race. But the Brun racing team went with the same Repsol motif for several seasons. In fact, the giant Repsol logo became normal for all cars, trucks and motorcycles sponsored by the Spanish oil giant.
Lobster, lumberjacks and liquor
Red Lobster famously put their signature dish on the aptly named “lobster-claw” March. I am absolutely sure that many a race fan went to the restaurant chain to eat based on that car! I am also sure that astronauts would be melting some space butter with this view of the car….
When the Pfaff Porsche GT3 car made its debut, the livery caught everyone’s eye. The Canadian team had tongue firmly in cheek when they decorated the car in lumberjack plaid. As far as I can tell, they won’t be changing the decoration anytime soon. This decoration is only made possible by the use of a vinyl wrap that is super-carefully applied so that the lines all match perfectly.
Jagermeister has sponsored a staggering amount of racecars and their iconic stag logo and trademark orange paint would definitely be seen from space. The Ford Capri at the top of the page is readily recognizable and forms a major part of many model car collections. Jagermeister has mostly sponsored cars from German car makers or cars that race in German race series’. Anyone that has seen the Jagermeister cars in action remembers them and anyone that has tried their signature alcoholic beverage will never forget it.
Last but certainly not least
Maxell Cassettes may have had the guy in a chair being blown away by the monster sound on their tapes, but BASF Cassettes had the Sauber and BMW race teams racing around with an unforgettable paint scheme. I am absolutely sure that this car was visible from space and beyond!
Just imagine how long this took to mask off before paint was applied, not to mention the accuracy of the arcs! I really like how the shape of the rear wing carries into the rear stripes and morphs into arcs toward the front of the car.
There are so many more racecars that look great from space due to big racecar graphics:
The Spirit of America Porsche and Pink Pig Porsche 956s. The Shell Porsche 962 the Andretti family drove at LeMans. Or the Dauer TicTac Porsche. Any AutoNation or Marlboro sponsored racecar. The F1 Honda “World” cars. And that one you just thought of.
More model cars and all-around racing fun can be found here.