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Why is red the color of racing?


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#1 Nathan

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Posted 30 September 2000 - 23:30

I have noticed that the color red seems to be the unofficial color of racing. Does anyone know why this is?

Most sports cars are red, most sport car companies have red in the logo, most racing organizations have red in their logo, and when a specialized car (ie Type-R's from Honda) are made, again their logo's are mostly in red.

I have looked through the colors of national colors, and red seems to be rather rare. Italy and Japan are really the only sucesful nations to use the color. Blue seems to be the most succesful with France and the US.

What is the facination with red? Does it go to the passion of Ferrari, Alfa and Maserati?

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 October 2000 - 10:22

Perhaps it's the most eye-catching colour... a question for the smart marketing types, really.

#3 rainern

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Posted 01 October 2000 - 19:56

The national colours was determined at the Gordon-Bennett race of 1900.
Yellow for Belgium
Blue for France
White for Germany
Red for USA (yes they actually raced with red initially)
Later of course the red colour went to Italy.
The Germans adopted a slight change to silver.
The US colours was changed to blue and white.
So how about the British Racing Green?
Also from the 1900 Gordon-Bennett races...
British driver Charles Jarrot was unlucky to receive the number 13 on his vehicle so out of compassion he was awarded the "lucky" green colour to make up for the dreaded 13...

Rainer

#4 Gil Bouffard

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Posted 02 October 2000 - 03:18

According to legend, the Germans changed to silver after Alfred Neubauer discovered that the white painted Mercedes were a number of kilograms overweight. As the legend goes. Herr Neubauer had the paint removed from the cars and the cars raced in their "bare skin."

Gil

#5 Nathan

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Posted 02 October 2000 - 06:35

Gil Bouffard , I believe, if not know you are correct.

#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 October 2000 - 10:51

I thought it was the Gordon Bennett races... as I mentioned in another thread... but I don't think 'a number of kilograms' would have been involved in the paint-scraping exercise.

#7 Barry Lake

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Posted 02 October 2000 - 13:45

This thing about the weight of paint has always puzzled me. Many people assume that the weight added to a painted vehicle is equal to the weight of the full cans of paint from which it came.
The base fluid evaporates away and this is a large percentage of the weight.
Has anyone felt the weight of a large portion of paint that has flaked from a crashed car? It feels extremely light.
Unfortunately I have never been able to find information on this. I would assume that people have experimented by weighing something before and after painting, then comparing this to the weight of the liquid paint that was applied. But where is the answer?


#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 October 2000 - 10:51

Is it simply a Neubauer story... perhaps they ran out of time to paint the things?

#9 Barry Lake

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Posted 03 October 2000 - 12:05

I think it was a genuine incident. They were tantalisingly close to the weight and trying for anything they could get.

I wonder if anyone over on the Technical Forum knows the difference in weight between paint in its liquid form and in its final guise, after drying.

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 October 2000 - 12:35

I think you covered it well enough, Barry. The wet stuff that evaporates makes up almost all of the weight, what's left would hardly weigh anything in the quantities required to cover a race car.

#11 Roger Clark

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Posted 03 October 2000 - 18:46

THe paint removal incident may or may not be true. but supposing that it is; what would we think today of a new team which turned up at their first race with a 3005cc engine? Pretty amateurish?

#12 PDA

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Posted 03 October 2000 - 21:56

Ray - you may remember earlier this year, when Jaguar was announced, the engineers rejected one paint scheme becasue it added 5 kilos to the cars weight.

#13 MattFoster

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Posted 03 October 2000 - 22:11

I thought that it was a scientific fact that red cars go faster. It's as simple as that


Cheers
Matt

#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 October 2000 - 22:54

No, PDA, I was over here in the warm comfort of the Nostalgia forum at the time... but I seriously doubt it, I really do... are there, as Barry asks, any people around here who can be serious about this?

#15 MattFoster

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Posted 03 October 2000 - 23:25

I understand that the Jaguar paint saga wasn't about the weight of the paint but which shade of green showed up best on TV

cheers
Matt

#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 21:28

Norman Smith's book 'Case History' states that the cars were weighed in first for the French GP. Weights for Auto Unions were 740.5 kg (Stuck) and 738.5 (Momberger), both 20kg heavier than the Alfas.
Having encountered that, I rushed to the Mercedes section of the book, but it was a vain pursuit...
Frustration!

#17 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 14 October 2000 - 07:01

  • Chiron (Alfa Romeo)..........720.5 kg
  • Varzi (Alfa Romeo)............730.0 kg
  • Trossi (Alfa Romeo)...........721.5 kg
  • Stuck (Auto Union)...........740.5 kg
  • Momberger (Auto Union)....738.5 kg
  • Nuvolari (Bugatti).............747.0 kg
  • Dreyfus (Bugatti)..............749.5 kg
  • Benoist (Bugatti)...............747.0 kg
  • Zehender (Maserati)..........735.0 kg
  • Etancelin (Maserati)..........748.5 kg
  • Caracciola (Mercedes-Bz.)..739.5 kg
  • von Brauchitsch (M.B.).......737.0 kg
  • Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)......737.0 kg


#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 October 2000 - 11:40

With figures like that, it puts an end to any doubt in my mind that the story of scraping the paint off is nothing but a story.
Perhaps there was an underlying reason they wanted to go with silver, probably to do with the Third Reich, but they weren't revealing the truth. This seems a logical reason for the subterfuge to me...