Livery of the Day – Toyota GT-One 1998

The Toyota GT-One was a car first introduced to me back on Gran Turismo 2. It was a classic game that I spent years playing and one that showed me just how many cars existed and in how many forms. The GT-One certainly stuck out with it’s unique looks and super fast, super grippy on track performance. Gran Turismo 4 implanted this car further in my memory, buying the special all black version from the used car section, but it was red one the stuck with me.

gtone 5

Toyota entered the Le Mans in 1998 with this beast in the GT1 class. The rules stated that as this was the GT class and not the Prototype class, the cars needed to be based on a road car. So Toyota built the GT-One and afterwards, built the minimum number of road cars; one. A cheeky way of getting around the rules, but completely legal.

1998 Le Mans 24 Hours

The car was super fast and was an outside favourite to take the outright win, and although it did impress in the race, it never did achieve a victory. Regardless, the car lives long in the memory, thanks in part to the livery.

gtone 4

The livery gave birth (at least I think!) to Toyota’s now iconic tear design. This version was a red base, with tears sweeping from the front of the car to the back, as if the sheer speed of the car had ripped the paint right off. At the time it was a very unique design and looked completely in harmony with itself, despite the variety of the shapes and sizes of the tears.

gtone 3

The shape of a car lends itself to a design and can often be the determining factor, as to whether or not a good livery can be made in the first place. A car like this has no problem. The beautiful sweeping curves, especially the downturn fro the roof to the tail, are nothing short of sexy, and the design makes full use, giving it a speedy look in the process.

gtone 2

Unfortunately the GT-One was entered in just two Le Mans 24 hour races, with a far more basic and bland livery on the cars for 1999. This was the result of Marlboro sponsorship, and I didn’t put two and two together until I read that fact, despite it being such an obviously Marlboro design. Anti-tobacco laws in France meant that the worded logo could not appear on the car. The silver lining was that the same group went on to form the Toyota F1 project.

Toyota F1 would rekindle and create the tradition of the tear livery, whilst also continuing the tradition of never reaching their potential. The former frustrated me for years (6 years in fact), before the slight design changed in 2008 kept me from going nuts. Despite all this, it was great to see Toyota back at top level Motorsport with their Le Mans entry in 2012 and hope that they do achieve the victory that has eluded them all these years, especially after the heartbreaking last lap failure whilst in the lead this year. Would be nice to have them back in F1 too.

Livery of the Day – Toyota GT-One 1998

4 thoughts on “Livery of the Day – Toyota GT-One 1998

    1. I did have a quick look over these. 4, 11 and 14 are my favourites, but if I have to choose I think I’d select number 14. It’s the most unique take on the colours and design where many of the others take perhaps a little too much inspiration from the original.

      I was going to enter myself, but just ran out of time. Plus, I hate how people take liberties, straying from the original template, and are then still considered in the judging. What’s the point?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. By straying from the original template do you mean how they’ve added driver helmets and background stuff? I guess that’s more to do with art/creative stuff which is something Mahindra has always encouraged. But I agree, not a lot of them are very revolutionary; I liked number 11 myself best of all. I can see why you picked 14 though with the white/red stripes. I do also like how the first one is clearly made by someone who doesn’t follow FE that closely because they put Pirelli tyres on it! ^_^


        1. Right, adding things to the background or just not using the provided template at all. Can give an edge from something that isn’t the livery design, whether subconsciously or not, when that isn’t the point of the competition.

          Either way, I quite liked Mahindra’s livery last season anyway!

          Liked by 1 person

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