As usual, my review is well after the event; one reason is time of course, but the other is that I always prefer to use on track shots, rather than promo photos, with decent quality shots often taking some time to find. Regardless, here are the retro round updates we saw at Sandown last week.
#2 Pye/Luff & #25 Courtney/Perkins
First cab off the rank is Mobil 1 Boost Racing, who paid homage to the 2008 Toll HRT, the last Commodore to be driven full time by Mark Skaife. The first thing I wonder in situations like this is, how should a company feel when they are, in essence, promoting another?
Marketing aside, it’s refreshing but also makes me feel old when we are looking at a 2008 livery as retro. It isn’t completely identical, and can’t be given they are not longer Holden backed, but could have used a little more silver to more strongly replicate the old design. Neat to see, but wouldn’t have it over their usual livery.
Retro done right! Erebus have done a great job emulating the 1986 Bathurst winner, replicating it almost line for line, including a very nice stylised Penrite logo to match the now defunct Chickadee. This is a style of livery design that has been out of favour for a number of years, but I hope it makes a comeback of sorts.
I personally love flowing liveries, but straight lines with harsh angles have their own odd charm, which is clearly visible on a few of this year’s retro efforts. Probably mine and many others’ pick of the bunch.
#12 Coulthard/D’Alberto & #17 McLaughlin/Prémat
Simple, however, also has its place in retro round. No fuss was also a popular theme back in the day, and the Sierras driven by Dick Jojnson and John Bowe were a leading example.
The key to a simple livery is the right colour, and DJR Team Penske have done well in bringing back this shade of red, which is just different enough to their usual red to be noticeable and eye catching. The clean look is pulled off well, capped off with the warm fuzzy feeling of classic number plates on the doors.
Brad Jones Racing have tipped their hat to Bob Jane and his 1972 Monaro with this orangy-red effort. It’s a quite similar replica to DJR Team Penske, but this one falls apart slightly in that the logo placement just doesn’t quite match the original. The blocky white Alliance logo, despite attempting to match the theme, is the main culrpit, adding a lot of white where it should appear plain red, not to mention the number font. The thought was there, but the execution slightly lacking for the #14.
Castrol have decided to throw back to 2002, oddly enough replicating the Larry Perkins Commodore on the#15 Nissan. As strange as that seems to me, the design is near identical which is super pleasing to see. All that’s missing are the thick five spoke wheels in white!
This retro livery isn’t too dissimilar to the Freightliner entry last season, but so was the basic design thinking in the 60s and 70s.
The #18 this year closely resembles the 1968 McPhee Monaro it pays homage to. It’s a completely authentic looking design, with perfectly matching lines, numbers, and even the old ‘Class D’ lettering (on the side at least). The ‘Warwick Yellow’ looks great and is a nice break for the usual, equally nice Preston Hire yellow.
Tim Blanchard kept it classy this year, giving a nod to the BMW his father had once raced. I remember Lotus getting some heat for using the old JPS liveries as inspiration in Formula 1 one year, but you can’t get much closer to a cigarette livery than this Benson & Hedges replica.
Any livery fanatic will tell you that cigarette brands had some of the best and most memorable liveries of all time, and this here is no exception. It’s translates incredibly well to a modern racer, and despite a departure from the usual blue, CoolDrive looks fantastic and in no way out of place on the design. While cigarettes are terrible things, I’m glad in a way that they left an imprint on the Motorsport world.
Another set of direct replicas, and don’t these look amazing. Both are depicting cars Garry Rogers himself had driven, this one a 1978 Torana. As I mentioned with the Chickadee Penrite machine, it’s great to see some truly retro shapes and colours going on this year, this one being a true period piece of the 1970s. This too translates well to a modern Supercar, and just looks nice!
Would love to see this used for the rest of the Enduros – fingers crossed.
The #34 is an homage to Garry’s 1983 Commodore. The sleek black and simple white line and chevron look great on the 2018 car. It’s nice to see that simple designs can work just as well as the odd and complex ones.
Antother design from the not too distant past, with Tickford choosing to paint the #55 in Steven Ellery’s Supercheap Auto colours from 2004. They’ve steered clear of purple this year, instead going with the blac, red and silver design. They’ve taken some liberties and simplified the livery slightly, removing some of the extra yellow lines, which does modernise the design. It’s great to see not only replicas, but successful modernisation of classic liveries this year.
#78 De Silvestro/Rullo
For De Silvestro and Rullo, Nissan have gone with a retro themed design as opposed to immitating an actual past livery. I’m not sure how rich Harvey Norman’s racing history is, but I’m sure there would have been some lovely looking Nissans to choose from, rather than this very basic effort. Whilst it’s very similar in design to others we’ve seen this year and last, red and white doesn’t really excite!
#99 De Pasquale/Brown
I went the whole of last weekend, somehow, thinking both the Erebus cars had the same livery. My usually attentive eye stupidly saw the retro Chickadee font and didn’t ask any further questions. Luckily in writing this post I picked up on my error, and found that the #99 is based on the 1982 Toyota Celica.
In actual fact, the two liveries are completely different, this one focusing simply on a thick red stripe across the bonnet and front quarter panels. It’s a great job again of font replication and logo placement, although the one thing I’d have loved to see on both cars was the Penrite/Erebus logos on the side sprawling all the way above the rear wheel to the rear bumper.
It’s great fun to see retro round increasing in stature year after year, and more teams and fans embracing it with the awesome inspired and replica liveries. Can’t wait for next year.