No Smoke Without Fire!

As mentioned last week, the MSA News magazine includes updates and notifications of new and amended regulations for our sport.

Nigel Mansell Lotus 91

Nigel Mansell in a Lotus 91 at the Goodwood Festival


In the latest issue we noticed that there is a clarification of a rule which always seems to bring a little confusion and controversy to paddock natters.

Tobacco sponsorship in motorsport is always a contentious issue, but what about ‘cigarette’ liveries for historic cars which receive no funding or support at all from the company whose logos are displayed?

Some of the most beautiful and charismatic racing car liveries ever devised have been based around the colours and branding of cigarette manufacturers. Some of my personal favourites include the JPS Lotus, Marlboro McLaren and the Silk Cut Jaguars.

Martin Brundle Benetton B191

Martin Brundle in a Benetton B191 for a filming day at Silverstone


What happens to these cars when running in private hands at what are essentially club events? Do the colour-schemes have to change? Do the logos need to be covered? Can the company name still be displayed?

Of course this is further muddied by the fact that some cigarette brands advertised no longer exist!

MSA News clarifies this issue as follows:

“Tobacco related advertising is prohibited on all competing vehicles, their support vehicles and any other form of equipment directly connected with an entrant or competitor.

This includes drivers’ equipment such as overalls and helmets etc. The only exception to this is if that car can be positively identified and proven to have carried such advertising in period. Note that in such cases it has to be the original car that carried the livery, not a replica.”

So, there we have it, original cars MAY run in a cigarette livery as long as you can prove that it did in period.


All ‘Gold Leaf’ Elan Sprint owners may now relax!

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