Top 5 retro racing liveries of 2018

Classic colour schemes on cool contemporary machines

Retro racing liveries never fail to please die-hard Motorsport fans.

That is, unless Honda decided to bring back their 2007 Earth Dreams livery instead of those Marlboro colours.

Running these throwback paint schemes is a move that benefits both big manufacturers and fans alike; it works from a marketing perspective as well as those on the other side of the fence getting to see contemporary cars run vintage liveries.

1. Porsche's class-winning 'pink pig

This just had to top the list.

When Porsche announced it would run the '71 pink pig colours and a tribute to the iconic Rothmans scheme for the 2018 Grand Prix D'Endurance, it was difficult to pick a favourite.

The pink pig takes the win here though, purely because it won the GTE Pro class in June; with the Rothmans counterpart completing a Porsche 1-2.

2. Ford's legendary Shell throwback livery

It has now become somewhat traditional to run retro schemes for the Sandown 500, and for that, we are eternally grateful.

This year, there was a total of 13 such liveries, but the one that just pips the rest for me is this tribute to Dick Johnson Racing's 1988 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500.

If you really need an explanation as to why this takes the spoils; the original car was awesome, and gold rims look cool.

3. Porsche harks back to inaugural Petit Le Mans with '98 throwback

OK, OK. I know. More Porsche - but they were basically the reason this season was so good for retro liveries.

After the fan reaction in June they basically broke the internet again by running the 1998 Le Mans winning colours for the 20th Petit Le Mans, before taking victory in the GTLM category.

As they have proved such a hit this year - and Porsche have a great many to choose from - we hope to see more of these throwback liveries in 2019 (clearly they help to win races, too.)

4. Castrol Honda NSX at Spa 24

With Honda and the NSX returning to the Spa 24 Hours for the first time in 25 years, the car was always going to be a fan-favourite.

The Japanese manufacturer made 100% sure of that, though, by running it in the classic Castrol colours that hark back to the GT500 MUGEN NSX days.

5. Gulf Racing colours. Enough said.

Technically this doesn't count as an official retro livery - but any car which looks this good in the iconic blue and orange colours made famous by Steve McQueen deserves a spot on this list.

Oh, and that sound.


Nissan's ballsy Le Mans return was a disaster, but not a total disaster...

When Nissan returned to the top-flight of Le Mans in 2015 with a front-engined, front-wheel drive Prototype, everyone thought they were crazy. And they were correct.

One of Nissan's better decisions, though, was bringing back the memorable blue, red and white livery that Mark Blundell sported in one of the best laps of the Circuit de la Sarthe to secure pole in 1990 (if you haven't seen the onboard, you haven't lived).

Mazda's Le Mans Legend throwback

Perhaps the most easily recognisable on the list is Mazda's throwback to the legendary 787B, the screaming rotary-engined '91 Le Mans winner.

I may be slightly biased because the 787B is the greatest racing car of all time , but the livery worked well on the 2016 machine too - the last of Lola's prototype dynasty.

BMW's tribute to its 3.0CSL Sebring victor, 30 years on

As if the original wasn't stunning enough, BMW's idea to pay tribute to it's 1975 Sebring 12 Hours victory by running the same factory colours on it's Z4 GTE went down a treat.

It couldn't complete the perfect anniversary by repeating the same success, but one finished fourth in the GTE category with the other many laps down.

Now, all I want to see is Jaguar return to Le Mans running the Silk Cut colours - and I'll die a happy man.

Are there any we've missed out? Let us know in the comments.

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Comments (14)

  • The 997-based Kremer 935 seen at the 2018 VLN races is one big bag of retro.

      2 years ago
    • Wow - hadn't seen that. That's awesome. Would have made the list for sure! Although then 4/5 cars would have been Porsches...

        2 years ago
  • Sometimes, a picture speaks out louder than 1000 words :)

      2 years ago
  • Will we see Vape companies replace the cigarette companies now?

      2 years ago
    • Definitely a few potential PR stunts involving smoky burnouts and vape clouds there...

        2 years ago
  • The pink pig is too awesome for words.

      2 years ago
  • As much as I appreciate ALL of these liveries, I personally prefer the the "Rothmans/Racing"-livery of this years Le Mans 24 Hours.

      2 years ago
    • I really wanted to put this on the list - but couldn't decide between it and the pink pig. I think the Rothmans car looks better in person, but because the pink pig came out on top it got the spot

        2 years ago
    • I'm absolutely fine with that. I also like the Pink Pig because of its history and the really clever idea behind it back then in 1971 on the 917/20. For me it is just the nice combination of white and blue with the white wheels. It just looks...

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        2 years ago