the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

1/26 SLIDES © Everrati

Earning your stripes

Everrati has revealed an all-electric recreation of the Ford GT40, with batteries instead of a brawny V8. The car is sure to divide opinion, but its classic styling – including the go-faster stripes – has survived intact.

The go-faster stripe goes back to the Briggs Cunningham C-2R Le Mans car of 1951, with designer Peter Brock credited for the stripes making the transition from the track to the street. Here are 25 of our favourites from Europe and the United States, plus a bonus offering from South Africa. Which stripes would you add to the list?

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

2/26 SLIDES © Ford

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

The Ford Mustang GT500 is probably the most hardcore be-striped car on sale today. With over 760hp from its 5.2-litre supercharged V8 engine. Ford’s affectionate nickname for the unit is ‘Predator’. Consider those stripes well and truly earned…

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

3/26 SLIDES © Ford

Shelby Mustang GT350

It was a Mustang that first brought racing stripes to the road. Peter Brock was working at Shelby American when he was tasked with creating a competition look for the Shelby Mustang GT350 without the use of badges or bespoke body panels. He kept things simple by using GT40-inspired stripes along the side of the car, plus a pair of 10-inch wide ‘Le Mans stripes’ running from front to back. Many of the Wimbledon White cars were delivered without the stripes, with dealers fearful of run-ins with the cops.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

4/26 SLIDES © Renault

Renault 8 Gordini

It didn’t take long for the Europeans to buy into the potential of go-faster stripes. Unveiled at the 1964 Paris Motor Show, the Renault 8 Gordini sported a pair of white stripes on its Bleu de France paintwork. Racing stripes were used to equally good effect on the Renault 12 Gordini and future hot Renaults.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

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the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

5/26 SLIDES © Renault

Renault Sport Clio 182

The best of which, arguably, was the ballistic Clio 182 of the early 2000s. With 182hp and weighing just over a tonne, the scrappy little Renault Sport could also be specced in a rather arresting ‘Gordini Blue’. Jeremy Clarkson drank the racing-striped Gordini Blue 182 Kool-Aid on an episode of Top Gear in 2003.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

6/26 SLIDES © Ford

Ford Lotus Cortina

The Ford Lotus Cortina was one of the earliest examples of a Q-car, with Autocar labelling it “inconspicuous and deceptive in its speed and acceleration” and that the “neighbours would hardly be impressed unless they were keenly informed”. The clues are there, though, not least the evocative green stripe extending from the front wing to the back of the car.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

7/26 SLIDES © Newspress

Hillman Avenger Tiger

The Hillman Avenger Tiger is as 1970s as wearing a pair of bell bottom trousers at a dinner party where ham and banana hollandaise is the main course and glam rock is playing on the Linn LP12 turntable. We love the way the go-faster stripes blend seamlessly into the rear spoiler. That’s neat, that’s neat, that’s neat, that’s neat, etc, etc.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

8/26 SLIDES © Goodwood

BMW 3.0 CSL

Ford dominated the 1972 European Touring Car Championship, winning 13 out of the 16 races in the season. BMW responded with the upgraded 3.0 CSL of 1973, with absolutely nothing left to chance in the pursuit of giving Ford a bloody nose. The result is one of the most iconic cars of the 1970s and a jaw-dropping paint job.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

9/26 SLIDES © Goodwood

Ford GT40

Powder blue and marigold. Strawberries and cream. Ant and Dec. Gin and tonic. Four examples of dynamic duos, when two separate entities collide to enrich our lives. Powder blue and marigold are the two paints used to create the highly evocative Gulf Racing colour scheme, showcased here by another Ford GT40.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

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the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

10/26 SLIDES © Christopher Ziemnowicz – Wikipedia

AMC Gremlin X

Not many cars were designed on an airline sickness bag, but that’s not the only reason to love the AMC Gremlin. The ‘hockey stick’ go-faster stripe introduced on the Gremlin X in 1974 is a triumph of simplicity and 70s charm.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

11/26 SLIDES © Emile Gerber – Wikipedia

Datsun 160Z

The Datsun 160Z was designed and built at Datsun’s plant in Pretoria and featured a yellow paint job and decals inspired by the 280Z Zap Edition.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

12/26 SLIDES © Sicnag – Wikipedia

Plymouth AAR Cuda

The ‘strobe’ stripes were unique to the AAR Cuda, but as Paul Zazarine points out in his book Barracuda and Challenger, they created problems for Plymouth designer Milt Antonick. “We asked ourselves, how in the world we were going to figure this out for 3M? One of the guys in design was a genius in math, and he calculated a four percent increase in block size from segment to segment.”

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

13/26 SLIDES © Chevrolet

Chevrolet Chevelle SS

In the case of the Chevrolet Chevelle SS, less is most definitely more. Even though the SS lost some of its lustre in later life, the optional bonnet stripes hinted at more power. And that’s the point of go-faster stripes.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

14/26 SLIDES © Jaguar

Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar D-Type

Although, in the case of the Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar D-Type, stripes can also serve a purpose. The cars featured lateral nose stripes – arranged in lance-corporal, corporal and sergeant military style – to make it easier for the pit crew to tell them apart.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

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the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

15/26 SLIDES © Jaguar

Jaguar F-Type Project 7

Jaguar paid homage to its priceless classic racer with a hardcore speedster variant of its F-Type sports GT. Like the D-Type, it featured a signature ‘hump’, though it’s unclear as to whether this is of any aerodynamic benefit like it was on the D. Unlike the D-Type, it utilises a roaring 5.0-litre supercharged V8, which is good for near-on 600hp.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

16/26 SLIDES © Darren Brode – Shutterstock

Ford Gran Torino

The Starsky & Hutch Ford Gran Torino, also known as the ‘Striped Tomato’. Automotive televisual perfection.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

17/26 SLIDES © Andrew Bone – Flickr

Vauxhall Viva Brabham

In truth, the Brabham version of the Vauxhall Viva didn’t quite live up to its illustrious name, but it did feature some nice stripes. It was almost like a reverse of the Lotus Cortina, with the stripes running forward from the middle of the door and across the front edge of the bonnet.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

18/26 SLIDES © Chrysler

Chrysler Dodge Viper

The Viper introduced a whole new generation to the joy of stripes, which is why it secures a place in this gallery. Don’t agree? Don’t write in, it’s just for fun.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

19/26 SLIDES © Porsche

Porsche 911 RSR

In common with Gulf Racing, the Martini Racing Porsche 911 RSR is a prime example of sponsorship and stripes working in perfect harmony. Feel free to save this image to use as your smartphone background.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

20/26 SLIDES © Bentley

Bentley Continental GT3-R

Bentley is a great British brand, so we felt duty-bound to include one of its go-faster models. We’re sure Woolf Barnato would approve.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

21/26 SLIDES © Fiat

Fiat X1-9

In 1977, Autocar said the ‘ladder’ go-faster stripes were ‘rather gaudy’, but we beg to differ. Note the way they link the front of the car with the cooling vents and beyond them to the rear. The more you look at the Bertone masterpiece, the better it gets. Heck, even the seats feature go-faster stripes.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

22/26 SLIDES © Lamborghini

Lamborghini Huracan Avio

Designed to pay tribute to the world of aviation and aeronautics, the Lamborghini Huracan Avio featured a double stripe – in white or grey – running along the roof and down the bonnet. Because even 610hp supercars need go-faster stripes.

the 25 greatest go-faster stripes

23/26 SLIDES © Chevrolet

Chevrolet Camaro Z28

There would be riots on the streets if we didn’t include a Chevrolet Camaro, so have some of this triple-striped Z28 goodness. You can almost smell the aftershave.

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