The 25 Most Gorgeous Race Car Paint Jobs of All Time

When it comes to giving cars complex, multi-faceted, multi-colored paint jobs, it’s a weird art.


Giving cars complex, multi-faceted, multi-colored paint jobs, it’s a weird art. For instance, a standard road-going ’84 Porsche 944 puttering down the highway cloaked in Gulf orange and blue will only draw eye rolls and project an air of a tryhard. But a ’71 Porsche 908 in the same colors draws crowds and gives off the energy of a legend. It all comes down to the canvas. The more extreme the car, the more ostentatious the paint job can be while still making the car look good. But that doesn’t mean a race car can’t have a subtle paint job — Ferrari has painted their F1 cars essentially one color for the better part of a century, and they’ve looked beautiful for just as long. It’s a weird art, yes, but it’s an art all the same.

As the old adage goes: “A beautiful race car is a winning race car.” Some of the most outlandish paint schemes in competitive motorsports have become the most handsome, purely because of the victorious cars they adorned. These are the 25 greatest racing liveries of all time.

1975 BMW Motorsport BMW 3.0 CSL – IMSA


1970 Factory Porsche 917 – Le Mans


1974 Alitalia Lancia Stratos HF – WRC


1971 Gulf Racing Porsche 908 – Targa Florio


1985 Coca-Cola Porsche 962 – FIA Group C

Photo: Bob Akin

1970 John Player Special Lotus 72 – Formula 1


2010 Tequila Patron EMS Ferrari F430 GT – ALMS


2011 Flying Lizard Porsche 911 type 997 GT3 RSR – ALMS


2014 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro Z/28.R – Continental Challenge


1979 BMW Motorsport BMW M1 – Procar


2009 Brawn GP – Formula 1


1968 McLaren M8A-Chevrolet – Can Am


1979 Denim BMW M1 – Procar


1990 Castrol Toyota Celica GT-Four – WRC


1998 Mobil Porsche 91 GT1 – FIA GT1


1967 Gold Leaf Lotus 49 – Formula 1


1989 Martini Racing Lancia Delta Integrale HF – WRC


1977 Martini Racing Brabham-Alfa Romeo BT45 – Formula 1


1973 Sunoco Porsche 917/30 – Can Am


1992 Jaegermeister BMW M3 – DTM


1980 BASF BMW M1 – Procar


2010 BMW M3 GT2 Jeff Koons Art Car – ALMS


1980 Apple Computer Porsche 935 K3 – Trans Am


1986 Marlboro McLaren MP4/4 – Formula 1


1973 Brumos Porsche 917/30 – Can Am


1983 Toyota Celica GTU – IMSA


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