The chromatic evolution of Italian racing cars

The chromatic evolution of Italian racing cars

Artist Vasilij Kandinskij once stated:

“Colour is a power which directly influences the soul.”

This primordial aspect of visual perception daily intertwines with our existence and incredibly affects people, their mood and their decisions.

 It is deeply rooted in our genetic code, and there is not much we can do for controlling it. We often choose and shape a specificobjectthough, making it recognizable thanks to a certain colour, adapting it according to our personal taste. 


Let’s take the red, for example: it is known as the colour of strength and passion. Back in the Thirties, it represented Italy worldwide in motorsports.

Bodyworks from other countries were different: blue for the French, silver for the German, and green for the English ones. Since then, the Rosso Corsa indicated a specific tone, which identified the Ferrari brand to the whole world for more than seventy years: together with its Prancing Horse, it is the symbol of the Maranello-based company.

And what if anyone would prefer to keep a more understated profile instead? You can always opt for a comforting dark blue. You can choose between Blu Pozzi, a rare paint finish created in honor of the French Ferrari importer of Charles Pozzi, and the Blue Tour de France, with its distinctive metallic coating.


Between the Seventies and the Nineties, the Italian brand Lancia dominated the motorsport scene. With 11 titles, it is the most successful marque in the World Rally Championship. Its liveries have been, and will always be epic icons.

For instance, the Lancia Fulvia, in the sporty 1.3 HF version that established Lancia’s agonistic notoriety, was painted in a special burgundy colour named Amaranto Montebello, crossed by a yellow-light blue stripe running from the front to the back of the car. Yellow and light blue are the colours of Turin’s coat of arms.

The Fulvia F&M, an ultra-rare special version featuring a “barchetta” bodywork without roof, repeated the same color scheme, although on a Rosso Corsa surface.


The still futuristic-looking Lancia Stratos has been Fulvia’s successor in competitions: itwon three World Rally Championship since 1974.

If its most famous and iconic race livery is the green, white, and red Alitalia-sponsored, perhaps the most elegant and less famous is the blue one, with which the French pilot Bernard Darniche won, among others, the 1979 Monte-Carlo Rally.

The Eighties have been the years of the legendary Lancia Delta, with its six consecutive titles.
A record also held by his livery, 
which is one ofthe most photographed and appreciated by fans: we are talkingabout the famous red, blue, and light blue lines on white background, synonymous – known all over the world - of  the Martini Racing Team.


In the car world as well as in life, a particular tone or an exact colour match,  if used wisely, are and will always be an excellent propeller for our state of minds. Able to inspire emotions and positive feelings also in those around us, who will perceive a reflection of the good vibe depending on our choice.

Images credits: courtesy of Rosario Liberti

Text by: Federico Fabbri

Selected Pantone Colours

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