What a great initiative this is! The first round of this year’s Enduro Cup at Sandown has been given theme ‘Retro Round’. While spectators have been encouraged to dress up in the best retro attire, some of the teams have themselves created some ‘new’ liveries based on some old favourites.
Brand Jones Racing
Team BOC’s retro livery pays tribute to Brad Jones’1991 AUSCAR machine. In plain bright red, the livery does well to match the feel of the original including a cool retro number, as well as the AUSCAR/NASCAR style front wheel arch logos. Top points for hitting the brief, but it’s very plain.
Freightliner Racing isn’t based on a retro car, but is instead an original ‘retro’ design. It definitely gives off a 60s feel with the white, pinstriped section ending just in front of the front wheels, leaving the bumper and bonnet all in red. The old style logos really top this one off, although I wish the Freightliner logo was vertically centred.
DJR Team Penske
This livery has actually been on my review list for a while now, but I never mangaged to get around to it! Thankfully for me, DJR Team Penske have gone ahead and recreated their 2003 (the 2000s are retro now oh boy) Falcon livery in what is a spot on adaptation. Driven by Steve Johnson and Max Wilson that year, the bright yellow design features a white section along the doors, outlined by thick red. At first glance it just look like an interesting spiked design, but on further inspection, the front section looks like a giant Shell logo placed on the bonnet, with the rear supporting the design theme.
Clever design work, a really lovely livery and replicated to an absolute tee. Only thing missing on the new version are the white wheels! I also thought it was semi-ironic to see American racing rival Haas as a sponsor on the 2003 version.
On the Coulthard/Youlden car, DJR have attempted to recreate Penske’s 1972 Indy 500 winner, which was driven by Mark Donohue. It’s nice to see DJR Penske touch on both sides of the team’s history, but I have a couple of issues with this one.
Firstly, it’s difficult to transfer a single seater livery onto a sedan. Obviously I can’t blame the team for this, but I need to point out that it’s tough to make this one look authentic. Secondly, the yellow used here matches MightyMite, which is a much cooler shade than the warm Sunoco yellow, which is done out of necessity, but brings the level of authenticity down. Thirdly, the livery design itself is significantly different to the original. Where the 1972 version had lone pin stripes along the contours of the car, this weekend’s version has a thick double set of lines beneath the side windows, going against the original design. The number is nice, but I’m not sure why they felt the need to put it in a ‘retro’ circle when the original didn’t have one.
Apart from the blue, and the yellow wing/splitter sections, it’s unfortunately quite a poor representation of the original.
Hard to judge this effort against the original 1966 Datsun due to the lack of and quality of images on the internet, but it seems as though Nissan have done a good job. With liveries very plain back in the day, Nissan have taken what distinguishing features they could from the original; the stand out red colour, as well as the black circle and white numbers, with the letter A next to them (this represents the class the original Datsun had raced in – thanks Jose for the info!). The tilted number/letter combo on the bonnet is great too.
In addition, there is a silver stripe along the bottom side of the car, perhaps mimicking the silver trimmings back in the day.
I love how obscure a livery they have chosen to replicate here and brings hope for exciting new (old) liveries in retro rounds for years to come. Nissan have done a great job on this effort, with the mostly white car featuring a red and blue split section along the sides. The big yellow number is very NASCAR, as are the technical sponsors behind the front wheel.
Good to see the original GB Galvanizing logo used on the front bumper. Some good attention to detail here. Definitely fits the retro brief!
Wilson Security GRM
Despite the ongoing drama between Gary Rogers Motorport and Volvo, the team have decided to pay tribute to the 240T, which won the ATCC title in 1986. I have to say I’m a little surprised as to how well this has been transferred to the 2016 machine!
The four stripes in four different shades of blue start at the intake (unlike the original) and go straight along the side of the car, before jutting up and thickening, ending at the Wilson logo. Whilst Wilson Security have used their current logo (although it may be an old one that hasn’t evolved much, I’m unsure), Valvoline have used an old school one which is very nice to see. With the added red which didn’t feature on the original, as well as a few other liberties taken by GRM, it makes for an awesome take on a nice livery. I’d be quite happy to see this design stick around for a few more races!
Supercheap Auto Racing
Prodrive have gone back to 2002 for this livery and have done things a little differently in replicating the retro design, but with updated logos. They’ve done a superb job with this one, taking very few liberties (in terms of actual design) in recreating the original livery, whilst making it fit the new car very well.
The thing that jumps out initially is the brilliant vibrant purple that has been used. What an awesome colour; not used very often, but would easily look great over an entire livery. The purple, red and yellow combination is not one many would choose willingly, but given this round’s theme, it suits me just fine.
The design is rather simple, with the red and yellow sweeping up the side of the car toward the rear wing. The main excitement in this livery for me comes in the form of the two yellow sections coming from the headlights. What looks rather tame on the original is super aggressive on the tribute, as it’s been made to fit the new Falcon’s mean looking headlights very nicely.
What helps this livery work is the omission of the green Castrol section on the bonnet, who ironically sponsored the 2002 car, featuring in the very position it had been on Chaz’s 2015 car and on the other two PRA cars this year.
The livery design on the Reynolds/Baird Erebus machine is not based off an old car, but rather has taken inspiration from main sponsor Penrite. Using a retro Penrite logos and colours from the 1960s, the livery pulls off a fantastic vintage look. It features a straight, main blue section along the side, with red and white stripes above and below the logo, following the lines of the car from front to rear.
This is all based off the old Penrite Oil cans and the bonnet shows this off best. I’d perhaps have preferred to see the thin red lines match up, possible connect better from the bonnet to the side of the car, but overall, the livery is fantastic.
#222 Lucas Dumbrell Motosport
LDM, for the Percatt/McConville machine, have replicated Phil Munday’s speedway livery from the 1970’s, using the long time supporter’s original logo and colours. Unfortunately I couldn’t find an image of the original livery.
While simplicity can work, it often comes down to the colours used to determine whether the livery is pleasant or not. In this case, the lovely green and contrasting white make the simple design shine. It’s just a thick green band wrapped around the car when it comes down to it, but the placement is great and with the lovely colour scheme it is very easy on the eye.
Finally, TeamVortex haven’t based their livery on a real retro livery, instead using the old Caltex logo as inspiration. It is very basic and very similar to Nissan’s retro design in they are both basically simple red liveries, with a white line along the side of the car. The Triple 8 car includes some Red Bull branding on the front and rear bumpers. A basic design, but not exciting and also not ugly. I almost forgot about the Bright/Jones Commodore, so there you go, three plain red cars with different sponsors on them.
A great initiative by Supercars and while I’m not sure how many years it will carry on for, I’m sure we’ll all be excited to see what the team’s will decide to pay tribute to at Sandown every time.
Here are a couple of bonus liveries:
I was hesitant to include the Preston Hire livery because the only change they’ve made is plonking a giant ‘retro’ #18 across the front door and quarter panel. Perhaps that and the red and yellow off centre stripes along the top of the car, but I didn’t even notice that until looking at this picture! Nice to see they wanted to join in the fun, but seems as though they haven’t put in too much effort.
Not a retro design, but rather a livery update. Sandown saw Aaren Russell join Andre Heimgartner at LDM for the enduros and in doing so, bringing a new Fitness Plus livery to the grid. It’s a little different to the one used on the Erebus Commodore, with less white on this version, but does look like there has been a little less attention to detail. For example, the double logos along the side just look strange and with the black background, does give off the feel of a decal being slapped on the side of the car. I have an inkling this may be tinkered with further before Bathurst.