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Color Inspirations: in every driver’s dream, there’s a Red icon

“Give a child a piece of paper, some colored pencils and ask him to draw a car, he will definitely make it red”. Enzo Ferrari

What comes to your mind if I say... Red?
Here it is, you’ve just pictured it: four pitch-black wheels, a rumbling engine, polished paint craving to speed on the asphalt. You say Red and a car enthusiast can only think of THE RED ONES, those born to make you lose your head: Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Maserati, Abarth... Italian icons of Racing Red, which is equal to say red passion.

That’s right, passion is one of the dominant psychological elements of the color red, and who loves it, wears it and drives it. Behind the steering wheel of a car in this color there is often a restless, extroverted, scorching personality. An ambitious and self-confident individual, able to take center stage with distinctive style and with the right mix of savoir-faire and audacity that, let's face it, it’s intriguing and seductive.

If these are innate features of the color red, its association with Italian car racing has a precise date of birth. It was August 10, 1907 when Prince Scipione Borghese crossed the finish line of the legendary Peking to Paris motor race after having traveled for 16,000 kilometers in two months on its bright red Itala 35/45 HP.

As a tribute to this brave accomplishment and its hero, Italy adopted the vermilion shade as the official color for Formula 1 races: a choice later granted by FIA with the assignment of national colors for historic racing. It was the dawn of the legendary Racing Red.

Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Lancia immediately beginned to race and win with this color, while remaining distinctive in tones: Alfa Romeo, for example, came up with a slightly darker shade, the unmistakable Rosso Alfa.

Racing Red, in its brighter shade, is instead emblematic of Ferrari, which has kept its original color until 1996 (when it embraced a brighter hue to match that of the Marlboro sponsor). Ferrari is still today The Red One par excellence.

Red is also the iconic trident of Maseratis logo, which has also linked a racing car in this color to one of the most glorious pages of its competitive history: the victory at the 1956 Monaco Grand Prix by Sir Stirling Moss and his Maserati 250F.

Among those which have left their indelible red signature on history, it is impossible to forget the red Alfa Romeo Spider Duetto driven by Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate”, as well as many masterpieces by Porsche, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Bentley... and the list could go on and on forever!

A color closely linked to records and exclusiveness, red. A color that also expresses an always-burning passion for driving and life in general. For this reason, the Racing Red had to be one of the colors of our “The Stylish Globetrotter” travel collection, as well as among the chromatic choiches of driving gloves and accessories for Gentlemen.

Would you like to discover the meaning and stories related to the iconic colors of car racing? You can find them all in our articles on British Racing Green, Blue, Yellow, Black/Red e Light Blue.


Photo credits: Federico Bajetti for The Outlierman © 2017

1 comment

  • Denis Van Dam

    Thank you for your remarks re. RED. I remember my red Alfa Romeo GTV and my red MG TD. Your red and black gloves aid my memories!

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