Today we’re going one step further by offering our Magic Fit® Tshirts in timeless British Racing Green – arguably the most famous colour in the world of motorsports. And like so many famous things claimed by the British Empire, the origins of British Racing Green are offshore.
"British Racing Green isn’t an exact colour: Jaguar has one shade, Bentley another and Aston Martin a third."
There’s a lot of mystery surrounding British Racing Green. For one thing, it isn’t an exact colour: Jaguar has one shade, Bentley another and Aston Martin a third. And yet, all manufacturers are united by the fact that their sports cars have been painted some version of dark green for well over a hundred years.
"As a mark of respect to Ireland, all three British cars were painted shamrock green."
It all began in 1902 when wealthy American newspaper baron James Gordon Bennett Jr. organised an annual race pitting various nations against each other in a bid for automobile manufacturing supremacy. As the winner of that first race, Great Britain was tasked with hosting the next one in 1903.
However they ran into a bureaucratic snag.
With automobiles being in their infancy, there was a lot of fear and resistance from the “horse” generation who had grown up before cars. These folk had some powerful allies, and as a result the speed limit in the U.K was set at a terrifying 20 kph (12 mph), which for reference is about half Usain Bolt's top speed of ~45 kph.
Faced with the prospect of a race that wouldn't get beyond second gear, the British wisely decided to hold it elsewhere and the racers were welcomed by Ireland – a country where the laws were, so to speak, meant for racing.
As a mark of respect to their hosts, all three British cars were painted shamrock (Irish) green and from these humble beginnings, green was adopted as the official colour for British racing even though each team put forth their own interpretation of the colour – a shade of very dark green sitting somewhere between Brunswick, hunter and forest greens.
BRITISH RACING GREEN QUEEN
There’s a tendency to think of car racing as a largely male pursuit. However, over the years, a lot of women have climbed behind the wheel and kicked ass and arguably the most famous was the indomitable Margaret Allan.
With an aunt who was a well-known suffragette, young Margaret was always destined to be headstrong. She learnt to drive as soon as she could and soon mastered the family’s 2-litre Lagonda. Not only that, but she entered it into a race and won. First attempt.
"In 1936, Allan became one of just four women to gain her Brooklands 120mph badge."
Her prowess was noted by the racing fraternity and in 1934, she was invited to drive an MG Magnette (in BRG, of course) for the 1934 Relay Race at Brooklands. Two years later in 1936, Allan won the prestigious race, becoming one of just four women to gain her Brooklands 120mph badge at a speed of 122.37 mph in a 6.5-litre Bentley (that’s 196.94 kph... without a roof!).
One final story on Margaret perhaps tells you all you need to know about this remarkable woman.
When she was in her eighties, Autocar magazine invited her to test three sports cars but she was literally too fast for the photographer, and the piece ran with fewer pictures than planned. #SquadGoals.
"Green also symbolises the natural world: fusing the yellow of the sun with the blue of water to create a colour associated with balance, harmony and growth."
As well as being the preferred colour for (British) racing, green also symbolises the natural world: fusing the yellow of the sun with the blue of water to create a colour associated with balance, harmony and growth. Green is also said balance both the emotional and the logical and is often thought to represent tranquility, good luck and health.
On the flip side, green is also the colour of envy and jealousy – both of which you will experience firsthand when you rock one of our Magic Fit® Tees.
So if you’d like to join us in celebrating all that's green, race to get one of our limited edition British Racing Green Tees.
But be warned, they’re going fast!