RM Sotheby's has a pristine example of the limited-edition Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evolution Martini 6 up for auction in Paris come February. And we desperately want it.
If we've said it once, we've said it a hundred times – but we'll gladly say it again: there are few racing liveries as iconic as Martini. And while those stripes have adorned countless Lancia and Ford rally cars, grand prix racers (like the latest Williams) and even speedboats, they remain inexorably tied to Porsche. Fortunately that point is not lost on Porsche itself, which has lately put them on its own 918 Spyder, race-spec 911 and all manner of merchandise. And this is the latest.
As a car culture, we throw the word "iconic" too much, but if there's anything it has ever applied to – when it comes to racing liveries especially – surely it's the legendary stripes of Martini Racing. The Italian vermouth brand has sponsored everything from Porsche endurance racers to Lancia rally cars. It's followed Ford into the WRC and Alfa Romeo into DTM. It's even sponsored offshore racing powerboats. But when it comes to Formula One, it's come and gone over the years.
Porsche has amassed quite an impressive trophy case in just about every racing series it has ever entered, and one of its most dominant machines has to be the 911 RSR from the 1970s. Taking part in various GT-class competitions, the 911 RSR managed to take home three international and seven German victories in 1973, its very first year of competition.
Pure Vision Design imagines what could have been with Martini Racing 1966 Ford Mustang T-5R [w/video]
Imagine, for a moment, this scene taking place way back in the 1960s:
Porsche appears to have let slip a rash of 918 Spyder images that look to be lifted from a company brochure. The shots give us a better idea of what buyers can look forward to when they plunk down their fat stacks of cash. We are particularly smitten by the Martini livery wrap, though a Salzburg Racing exterior is also available. Those who prefer pricier paint can cough up a little over $65,000 for Liquid Metal Grey or Liquid Metal Blue finishes. The lifted images also show that the 918 Spyder w
Lancia di Lancia launches in Venice – Click either image for high-res image gallery
It must be hard for most companies to justify multi-million-dollar sponsorship deals in times like these, but when the chips are down, you'd figure alcohol companies would still be doing just fine, if not better. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that Martini, a name with a rich heritage in motorsport sponsorship, has pulled back out of racing again.