I was swiping through Instagram the other day checking out, unsurprisingly, a bunch of race car accounts and stumbled upon this great photo of an airborne Martini & Rossi-adorned Lancia rally car. In addition to being an amazing photo, the car’s livery is stunning.
Alcohol sponsors have largely left professional auto racing often citing “drink responsibly” which is probably a smart move. But it got me thinking about racing paint schemes created for their alcohol sponsors, so I decided to compile a list of the best.
I first tracked down as many alcohol sponsors as I could find. The preliminary list got really long (29 at last count), really fast. I then pared the list back by instituting a super “scientific” rating system based on three attributes:
1. Success and longevity in the sport
2. Variety of racing series
3. Subjective looks
And with that, I present to you the Best Booze-Fueled Liveries.
Honorable Mention: Jack Daniels
Jack Daniels' foray into racing includes a 10-year stint with Australian V8 Supercar, in addition to a return to NASCAR stateside in 2019 after a 5-year stint in the mid-2000s. While Jack Daniels Racing is relatively short-lived, you can’t argue with the intimidation factor of the white lettering on a black canvas.
3rd Place: Budweiser
The beer sponsors, while plentiful, did not seem to keep a consistent looking livery. The colors, while similar, would change. But one contender emerged with a tried and true look that covered several different racing programs—the King of Beers, Budweiser. Bud’s white lettering on red backdrop (or on rare occasion, red lettering on a white backdrop) is in my humble opinion the best looking beer-backed scheme. IndyCar, NASCAR, and a CAN-AM team owned by Paul Newman all sported the red and white. In addition to being the official sponsor of the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association), Budweiser backed Kenny Bernstein racing for 30 years winning six titles! Now that’s dedication.
2nd Place: Martini & Rossi
Martini Racing finished in a close 2nd for a couple reasons. In addition to creating a clean, tasteful design, M&R’s livery has lasted the test of time. Martini Racing dates back to the early-60s when they sponsored a couple of Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ Coda Troncas at the Daytona Three Hours. Later sponsorships included Formula 1, several 24 Hours of Le Mans winners, numerous sport, touring and rally cars, and the winner of the ’73 Targa Florio. Martini even backed some hill climb efforts. So beloved is the Martini & Rossi livery, in 2014 you could order the Martini Racing Edition decal set for your new Porsche and have it installed at your dealer!
1st Place: Jägermeister
For 38 years, possibly no livery was as unmistakable as the signature bright-orange race cars backed by Jägermeister Racing. Jäger cars raced in everything from German Touring Car to IMSA to Formula 1 and were piloted by racing legends Hans-Joachim Stuck, Niki Lauda and Graham Hill. While Jägermeister stopped sponsoring racing in 2000, the iconic orange lives on through the work of Eckhard Schimpf (one of the founders of Jägermeister Racing) and 72STAGPOWER. Just look at these cars! I strongly encourage you to check them out at @72stagpower.
We'd like to hear from you! Please vote below on your favorite booze-fueled livery.
The Best –
2. Martini & Rossi
4. Jack Daniels
The Rest –
2. Black Bull Racing
5. Coors Light
8. Dale’s Pale Ale
10. Jim Beam
11. Johnny Walker
13. Miller Genuine Draft
14. Miller High Life
15. Miller Lite