Every motorsport fan has a favorite driver, a favorite team and a favorite car, but how many can mention a favorite racing car livery, so easily? Fortunately, I can think of many—and that’s why, in my regular series, we’ll be bringing you a collection of outstanding examples of motor racing liveries, both well-known and not-so.
To kick things off , where better to start than with the letter “A”, for the Alitalia-liveried Lancia Stratos. A double-whammy of Italian classic design, it doesn’t get much better than this.
We say Italian, but the Italian national airline’s corporate image was originally created by the highly renowned San Francisco-based German designer Walter Landor, whose agency produced some of the most iconic branding ever. Along with Alitalia, the firm is responsible for the “Cotton” logo (on everything), Levi’s, Del Monte, Frito-Lay, the World Wildlife Fund, and FedEx—do you see the hidden arrow?
Back to the glorious Alitalia Stratos. Certain liveries are always associated with particular cars—even when the livery has adorned many different types and eras of race car, and the Alitalia Stratos is a prime example.
Sure, there are plenty of other cars sporting variants of the Alitalia logo, but this particular combination is the most successful. Think of Marlboro on the early 90’s McLaren MP4/5; again, there have been endless cars with the same cigarette sponsor, but none were more effective or memorable (that recognition does, of course, owe much to the car’s driver).
Here, however, the marriage of Landor’s timeless logo and the drop-dead gorgeous Stratos where a match made in the stratosphere. But why does it work so well on this car?