From  Fri Apr 17 09:36:42 1992
    REFERENCES are often made, in R&T, to the "red"  cars
        from  Ferrari  or  Maserati,   the   "green"   cars   from
    Vanwall, Aston Martin or  Jaguar  and  the  "white"  or  "sil-
    ver" cars from Mercedes-Benz.
       These are not arbitrary colors  picked  by  each  construc-
    tor for his cars (except in the  case  of  strictly  national,
    local or club  competition,  where  anything  goes),  but  are
    the result of a decision reached in the early days of  racing.
    Cars were, and still are,  distinguishable  by  assigned  num-
    bers,  but  further  separation  (prompted  no  doubt  by  na-
    tionalistic feelings) was felt desirable.  This is  why  racing
    cars from Italy are red,  the  cars  from  England  are  green
    and the  cars  from  Germany  are  white  (or  sometimes  sil-
    ver-the  result  of  leaving  the  aluminum  body  unpainted).
       A private  owner  will  generally  paint  his  car  in  the
    color(s) of his  own  country,  rather  than  the  manufactur-
    er's.  According to the C.S.I.  of  the  F.I.A.,  "The  use  of
    distinctive colors  of  nationality  is  compulsory  when  the
    supplementary  regulations  of  the  competition  require  it.
    These  colors  are  determined  by  the  nationality  of   the
    competitor."  So,   a   Ferrari   owned   by   an   Englishman
    would be painted green, even though it  was  an  Italian  car.
       Thus, it has become a  tradition  for  racing  cars  to  be
    painted in the colors of the entrant, although  they  are  oc-
    casionally seen  with  minor  variations.  Mercedes,  for  ex-
    ample,  honored  Englishman  Richard   Seaman,   who   was   a
    Mercedes  team  driver,  with  a  green  border   around   the
    grille opening  of  his  car.  The  shrewd  Germans  had  also
    noted that this would allow  quick  identification  if  Seaman
    and one of  the  other  Mercedes  drivers  (who  would  be  in
    identical cars) chanced to pass rapidly by  the  pits  at  the
    same time.
       Because  these  colors  were  assigned  during   the   days
    when racing cars  possessed  chassis  that  were  visible  be-
    neath  the  body,  many  countries  have  a   combination   of
    colors: one for the body,  one  for  the,  chassis  and  some-
    times another for some other  part,  such  as  the  wheels  or
    hood.  This  presented  a  problem  when   streamlining   came
    into fashion and the chassis  disappeared  from  sight.  As  a
    consequence, the color formerly allotted  to  the  chassis  is
    now applied in the form of stripes  or  other  trim  over  the
    color assigned to  the  body  by  the  Code  Sportif  Interna-
    tional  of  the  Federation  Internationale  de  L'Automobile.
       To further simplify (or  complicate)  matters,  green,  the
    color assigned to the British Empire, is used as a  basis  for
    all  cars  from  England  and  its  possessions.  The  common-
    wealth  countries  use  green  as  a  body  color  with  other
    colors, at their choice,  as  stripes.  Canada,  for  example,
    uses two white stripes 4 in. wide, one on  each  side  of  the
    car's centerline and 6 in. apart.
       British racing green, to  dispel  some  of  the  arguments,
    is not any particular shade of  green,  but  Napier  green  is
    preferred.  Stirling  Moss  drove  a  light  sea-green  BRM  in
    the 1959  French  Grand  Prix.  This  was  quite  contrary  to
    the accepted general  opinion  of  what  constitutes  "British
    Racing Green" but was, nevertheless, acceptable.
       The color applied to a racing car has also  had  its  share
    of side  effects.  For  many  years  U.S.  drivers  would  not
    drive in, or in  competition  with,  cars  painted  any  shade
    of green; they believed the color  to  be  unlucky.  This  has
    diminished in recent years, especially  since  the  advent  of
    more British international competition.
       The chart lists the racing colors of each  country  as  as-
    signed by  the  C.S.I.  The  car  number  and  its  background
    color, a necessary aid to identity, are made  to  contrast  as
    as much as possible to aid race  officials  and  lap  scorers.
    Colors assigned to chassis or  underframe  in  the  chart  are
    now applied to stripes or trim.
    COUNTRY         COLORS OF CAR            NUMBERS
    Argentina       Body: blue               red on white
                    Hood: yellow
                    Chassis: black
    Belgium         Body:  yellow            black
    Brazil          Body: pale yellow        black
                    Chassis and wheels:green
    Bulgaria        Body: green              red
                    Hood: white
    Canada          Body: green              white
                    Stripes: white
    Chile           Body: red                half blue-
                    Hood: blue               half red or
                    Underframe: white        all red on white
    Cuba            Body: yellow             white on black
                    Hood: black
    Czecho-         Body: white              blue
    slovakia        Hood: blue and white
                    Underframe: red
    Egypt           Pale violet              red on white
    Finland         Black                    blue on white
    France          Blue                     white
    Germany         White                    red
    Great           Green                    white
    Holland         Orange                   white
    Hungary         Body, front: white       black
                    Body, rear: green
                    Hood: red
    Irish Free      Green with horizontal    white
    State           band of orange around
    Italy           Red                      white
    Luxem-          Pearlgray                white on red
    Mexico          Gold                     white on black
    Monaco          White with red hori-     black on white
                    zontal band around
    Poland          Body and hood: white     red
                    Underframe: red
    Portugal        Body and hood: red       white
                    Underframe: white
    Scotland        Green                    white
    South           Body: Gold               black on white
    Africa          Hood: green
    Spain           Hood: yellow             black on yellow
                    Body and chassis: red    white on red
    Sweden          Body and hood, lower     white
                    Three cross bands of
                    blue on top of hood
    Switzer-        Hood: white              black
    land            Body and underframe:
    Thailand        Body and hood:           white on blue
                    pale blue with yellow
                    horizontal band around
                    body and hood
                    Wheels: pale yellow
    United          Body and hood: white     blue on white
    States          Underframe: blue
    Venezuela       Body:  white