VotW – Beautiful British Racing Green

For our return, or attempted return, to our much-liked Video of the Week features, I thought we would start off with something a bit classic. So how about a film entitled “British Racing Green”?

The Morley family have raced Bentley’s for generations, this is a film about them and the iconic color that covers their historic race cars.

This film was produced on behalf of Omologato watches and features its founder Shami Kalra, a man who lives motorsport and has built his watch brand around it. The featured watch is aptly the British Racing Green.

VotW - British Racing Green

A Bit About British Racing Green (BRG)

Many people are familiar with the name for the color, but few people realize where it came from. And don’t even get me started with the debate on what shade is the officially correct variant of green to wear properly wear the name. Anyway, to briefly explore the history of BRG I am simply going to quote a bit of the Wikipedia article on the subject.

In the days of the Gordon Bennett Cup, Count Eliot Zborowski, father of inter-war racing legend Louis Zborowski, suggested that each national entrant be allotted a different color. Every component of a car had to be produced in the competing country, as well as the driver being of that nationality. The races were hosted in the country of the previous year’s winner. When Britain first competed in 1902, they had to choose a different color from the national flag colors of red, white and blue, because those had already been taken for the 1900 race by America, Germany, and France respectively. When Selwyn Edge won the 1902 Gordon Bennett Cup race for England in his Napier it was decided that the 1903 race would be held in Ireland, at that time a part of the United Kingdom, as motor racing at the time was illegal in Great Britain. As a mark of respect for their Irish hosts, the English Napier cars were painted shamrock green.

In keeping with these Irish/Napier roots, many of the earliest greens used on British racing cars were of a lighter olive, moss, or emerald green. Later, darker shades became more common, though there was a return to lighter greens by HWM and other teams in the 1950s. Initially, the color use only applied to the grandes épreuves, but was later codified in the Code Sportif International (CSI) of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) for use in all international-level motor racing events.

Michael Carnell
Editor at Just British

Michael Carnell is the editor and founder of the Just British Online Motoring Magazine. As a lifelong British car enthusiast, he has owned or driven British cars of all ages from Austins and MGs to Jaguars and Triumphs. He currently owns a 1966 Vanden Plas Princess 1100 and a 1977 MGB. But there is always room for more - no matter what his wife says.

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