Last weekend there was a man with a British Racing Green MG at the Spankeren DIY garage 'Rubo Cars'. Ruud van Rubo Cars, his Lief Agnes and the dogs undoubtedly enjoyed the good weather. The MG driver had only come to Spankeren to check Rubo's address.
Read: He had searched for a reason to go for a drive and told with satisfaction how he had avoided a wonderfully peaceful trip because of the streams of classic cars, motorbikes and tourists. We lit a cigar and talked about BRG: British Racing Green. Also called 'British Raging Green' endearing.
British Racing Green
In the past, countries had 'national' colors for competition cars. That was about recognisability. That idea was born for the Gordon Bennet Cup, a championship that was held between 1900 and 1905 in various European countries. At the time of the Gordon Bennett Cup, Count Eliot Zborowski proposed to give each country its own color.
Since both the car and the driver had to come from the same country, there could be no misunderstanding about the color to be taken. Great Britain had to abandon its national colors of red, white and blue because they had already been assigned to Italy, Germany and France respectively. German cars turned white *, French turned blue, Belgian participants drove yellow and red was for participants from the US.
But that color went to Italy a few years later where it became legendary. When the worldwide United Kingdom at that time started to get involved in this sport, it was given the color green. In 1902 the car of Selwyn Edge - the boss of the Napier Car Company - was olive green. Later 'British Racing Green' became pretty much everything as long as it was dark green.
Too few colors
Between the world wars, more and more nationalities started running on the circuits. Because the number of basic colors is limited, the flex case was tackled: combinations were introduced in which Dat, bonnet and other body parts were given different colors. The use of the local national flag turned out to be very useful. And the Dutch cars were ... Orange. think again of the Porsche of Carel the Goddess of Beaufort, the racing young gentleman or also De jonker van Maarsbergen
But the famous BRG, British Racing Green, was available in dozens of shades. The absolute color green was never described. Within a fairly broad context, the teams had the freedom in color as long as the recognisability remained guaranteed.
Money instead of national pride
In the 1960s, commerce took over from Great National Thinking. The time of the big sponsors had arrived. The cars became advertising media and in this way the baby blue / orange combination of the Gulf team became legendary. Just like the combination of black and gold from the John Player Specials and the Martini stripes on the battle lances and the ocher yellow of the cars sponsored by Camel.
The fight against tobacco
It was mainly the tobacco brands that saw support in motorsport for the sale of their smoking products. And that came to an end in Europe in 2001. The sponsors played along subtly and drew attention by, for example, not putting 'Benson & Hedges' on the cars but' Buzzin 'Hornets' with the same colors and letters. Just like in 'hints' ”“ Sounds like… ”
* White or not?
Around the 1930s, thought was already very thoughtful. Weight comes at the expense of speed, paint has weight. So without paint you are faster. It was the Germans who came up with that. And so the color of bare aluminum became the second racing color for Germany. And the name 'Silberpfeile' was of course completely top!