Happy Birthday McLaren

One of my first employers is 50 today! McLaren was started by the Kiwi, Bruce McLaren in 1963 and quickly became race winners in Formula One, Can-Am and later after his death at the Indianapolis 500. I was fortunate to work for McLaren in the 90’s and play a small part in Mika Hakkinen’s Championship as a member of the Race Team, stationed back in the factory.

I was also involved in various liveries and while I didn’t design it, I was consulted and helped with application of the ‘modern’ Papaya Orange livery of the West McLaren MP4-12 Test Car back in 1997. I thought it would be cool to see the 2013 car in a retro livery, either the popular orange, or the iconic Rocket Red and White Roof tops of Marlboro at the Italian Grand Prix.

Sadly, commercial realities put pay to this. Vodafone’s competitor in Europe is ‘Orange’ while, usage of a Marlboro livery could create issues with Tobacco related sponsorship, even though Lotus run a JPS themed livery. It will be interesting what the team does for 2014. I learned so much from my then colleagues at McLaren and I know the livery is safe in the hands of McLaren’s Graphics Department, headed by Diana Kay.


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