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Origins of the Racing Stripe

In the early days of European car racing teams were required to use colors which represented their countries: Italian teams were red (think Ferrari), British - green (Lotus), Germans - silver (Mercedes), and Americans - white. However the differentiation amongst teams of the same nationality was minimal at top speed. How can anyone tell if its Aston Martin or Lotus coming through the chicane if they're both in rich emerald green?

 

American Briggs Cunningham entered the notorious Le Mans 24 hour race as both team owner and driver in the 1950s with two white Chryslers featuring blue stripes and instantly his cars became distinguishable from the pack. From then on racing stripes became synonymous with American manufacturing and this style was iconically adopted on the Ford Mustang, GT 40, Chevrolet Camaro, as well as Chrysler, Dodge and Corvette models. 

 

Briggs Cunningham Racing Stripe

 

While Briggs Cunningham never did win Le Mans, his design impact lives on 70 years later.

In addition to his innovative design, Briggs is remembered for heroically driving 20/24 hours by himself when his driver fell ill one race. Today the maximum drivers are allowed behind the wheel during Le Mans is 14 hours. 

We encourage anyone not afraid to be seen and committed to do the work to channel their inner Briggs and check out RB's Striped Band.

 

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