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Color Inspirations: from Cobra to Bugatti, all the legendary cars dressed in blue

From the paint of the 1964 Shelby Daytona to the Ford classics, from the unmistakable vintage Bugatti to the Delahaye that made pre-war France fall in love, from the race cars speeding on the tracks of Formula 1 and NASCAR circuits: blue has undeniably been among the most iconic colors of the motoring world, bound to men and automobiles that have influenced the entire history of this sport with their victories and innovations.

The color blue appears among the historic colors in the motor racing world not once, but twice: as the bright Bleu de France, a symbol of the French motoring pride, and as the Imperial blue, a darker and deeper shade that unites the US champions beyond the Atlantic.

Speaking of French, its impossible not to mention the Bugatti Type 35, launched in 1924 and easily the most popular race car ever built by the automaker. The blue Bugatti was the first to cross the finish line at the 1924 San Sebastian Grand Prix and from that moment on another 2000 times in its 7 years of racing. A fierce and very exclusive world-beater, produced in only 96 specimens.

Americans have certainly contributed to the fortune of the color blue. Pilot and manufacturer Carroll Shelby adopted this color as a trademark for many of his masterpieces: the Shelby Cobra CSX2000, the Shelby Daytona, the Shelby GT350, Ford Shelby GT 500 and the incomparable Cobra 427, which went down in history for having beaten Ferrari in Maranello back in 1964. Nowadays, it’s impossible not to associate this deep and vibrant color with the idea of a powerful engine roaring on the asphalt.

Other cars that have filled history with their blue hues include the futuristic Campbell-Railton Blue Bird, holder of the World Land Speed Record 9 times from 1920-1930, the Renault 8 Gordini, which triumphed in the 1965 Tour de Corse and all the contestants from the F1 universe.

But the link between the color blue and the mark is has left is not only the result of motoring triumphs of the past. Research on color psychology shows how the deep blue is associated with self-confident and capable personalities, as well as authoritative: people that make themselves be heard.

And if this was not enough, how can you not consider the innate magnetism and elegance of the color blue? An essential hue in the corporate world and the most appropriate in all situations where you would like to express a prestigious and charismatic demeanor throughout your look.

Just like a tailored suit, a blue bodywork also enjoys this charismatic and irresistible appeal. It is no coincidence that many car manufacturers themselves have often "betrayed" their team colors to dress their own in blue: Jaguar, Ferrari and Lancia are just a few examples of cars that have their history woven with that of this iconic color.

Photos: Federico Bajetti for The Outlierman © 2017

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