Car Culture

Acura, Ford and Subaru lean on nostalgia for new motorsport liveries

Automakers are making every day Throwback Thursday.

It's a shame that these liveries will only exist for one race.

Ford Performance

When it comes to motorsport, a good old-fashioned vintage livery is a good way to pimp a modern racing program by appealing to everybody's sense of nostalgia. Not one, not two, but three separate automakers have just unveiled vintage liveries for 2019's various racing seasons. Let's take a look at 'em.

Acura: Comptech Racing Acura-Spice GTP

Acura Team Penske unveiled its livery for the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. It pays homage to Acura's 1991 to 1993 efforts in IMSA prototype racing -- specifically, the Comptech Racing Acura-Spice GTP Lights race cars, which ran modified versions of the V6 engine found in the first NSX.

Of course, modern prototypes are vastly more complex than the old-school ones, but adapting the orange-and-white livery to a modern car results in something rather pretty. As expected, the Camel IMSA logo is nowhere to be seen.

Acura will start its season at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. It'll field two of its Acura Team Penske ARX-05 prototypes. The lineups are rather star-studded, too, with drivers like Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and Alexander Rossi behind the wheel.

Ford: Motorcraft and Castrol

Ford also kicks off the 2019 racing season at Daytona later this month, but its Ford GT race cars will not only compete in another class, they have wildly different vintage liveries applied.

Ford's #66 GT will sport the colors of the Roush Racing Motorcraft Ford Mustang. This car won the GTO class at Daytona in 1985, and it also won the GTO class outright later that year. Its #67 GT looks radically different in its Castrol-themed getup, adapting the traditional green and red stripes to the GT's complicated form. Ford pointed out that this is the first time the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing GTs have worn unique liveries, which is happening in part to celebrate IMSA's 50th anniversary.

Sadly, these liveries won't exist for the full breadth of the season. Instead, they'll revert to the usual red, white and blue after spending 24 hours on track (hopefully) in Daytona.

Subaru: Blue and gold, just as it should be

And then there's Subaru. Subaru's 2019 motorsports livery is a throwback to its World Rally days in the 1990s and 2000s, rocking a blue-and-gold getup that displays the automaker's logo, based on the Pleiades star cluster, prominently on the side.

"For a generation of rally fans, Subaru is synonymous with blue cars, gold wheels and the iconic star cluster," said Alan Bethke, Subaru's VP of marketing for the US, in a statement. "This new design pays tribute to that heritage, while looking ahead to future success under the Subaru Motorsports name."

Subaru will display the livery for the first time at the Detroit Auto Show next week, but it won't be in action until the American Rally Association (ARA) Missouri's Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, which kicks off on March 15.

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