Thursday, July 25, 2024

What ever happened to simple race car liveries?

The color looked as if it was pulled from a Christmas tree ornament, the deepest shade of candy apple red you’ve ever seen. It simply glowed beneath the parking lot lights, perfectly complementing the Miata’s lines.

So, of course, I had to ask the owners: Was the paint custom or something from another model?

It was a wrap.

Even while standing 2 feet away from the car, I had no idea. No stretch marks. No creases. No runs, no drips, no errors. The finish looked flawless. Opening the trunk or doors didn’t kill the illusion; conveniently, the car was originally painted red.

Today’s wraps have transformed how we adorn our cars-both for the road and track. We’ve written about the process and have wrapped a few project cars in the past. The results have been stunning. Crisp. Neat. Everything brought together as a cohesive look.

[How to wrap your race car at home Project LS-Swapped 350Z]

We’ve come a long way in decorating our race cars. Hand-painted signage yielded to die-cut vinyl to today’s wraps. And today’s race cars look just gorgeous, as anything’s possible. You want to put your dog’s face on the hood? Change liveries for every race? Use all the colors of the rainbow?

But have we lost some of the charm from years past? Was there anything wrong with the meatballs of the ’50s and ’60s? What about the Western fonts of the ’70s or the bold, diagonal stripes of the ’80s?

Has the standardization of number panels sanitized sports car racing? Do today’s race cars lack the empty space that made things more dramatic?

There’s a reason why I run meatballs on my Miata-big and bold, just like they did back in the day. (Side note: 17-inch-tall meatballs work well on an NA.)

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