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LIttle Classics Feature: 21 June 2014

Cigarettes and Alcohol…. and Classics

Many companies have gone down in automotive racing history over the years, from tuning companies to oil giants. However, two industries in particular were, for a number of years, key to building classic legends on the track – tobacco and alcohol.

Many icons were born on the track and it was this world that needed money – and a lot of it. Even the biggest manufacturers needed additional finance, which is where major sponsorship deals were struck. With the glamour and attention attached to motorsport, tobacco and drinks brands were only too keen to hand over a big bag of cash to plaster their names all over the much loved metal.

This is now a partnership of the past with many new advertising restrictions. However with our love of classic cars it doesn’t stop us looking back at our top cars from the days of fags and booze.

Bastos cigarettes

Bastos cigarettes - Rover SD1One car in particular made Bastos cigarettes part of this line-up: the Rover SD1. Part of the TWR legacy, the SD1 was one of the British Touring Car Championship’s leading icons across the early 1990s.

HB cigarettes

Team HB Audi Sport Quattro The Team HB Audi Sport Quattro has gone down in the hall of fame for rallying. This iconic classic racer was part or the monstrous Group B era, making it one of the coolest cars ever made.


Lancia 037 Martini rally car The Lancia 037 Martini rally car was one of a whole stable of iconic racing cars to wear the famous Martini colours. However, not many cars sported those colours quite so well as the last of the winning rear-wheel drive cars of Group B.

Rothmans cigarettes

Porsche Type 961 - Rothmans cigarettesThe Porsche Type 961 was one of a line of cars Porsche rolled out for racing, including LeMans. However, unlike many other cars to don the Rothmans racing suit this car had a short-lived life making it extra special.

Silk Cut cigarettes

Jaguar XJR9 - Silk Cut The famous Jaguar XJR9 remains one of the biggest icons of LeMans and probably the most well recognised car to ever wear the Silk Cut clothing.

JPS cigarettes

Lotus 77 John Player Special The stylish Lotus 77 John Player Special was not just a looker, but has gone down in history as one of the most iconic and dominant classic F1 cars of the 70s.

Camel cigarettes

Lotus 99T Honda CamelCamel may be best known for the gruelling Camel Trophy with Land Rovers being tested to destruction, but there is no denying the striking Lotus 99T Honda Camel, which made a spectacular show with the famous Ayrton Senna at the wheel.

Marlboro cigarettes

McLaren MP4/2 - MarlboroThe McLaren MP4/2 is only one of many classic racing cars across many disciplines to take the white and red of Marlboro. However, in the hands of Niki Lauda and Alain Prost this famous F1 car created two Constructor Championships and three Driver Championships.

Labatt’s lager

Labatt’s Ford SierraThe Labatt’s Ford Sierra was one of the powerful monsters of what we would consider to be a heyday of Touring Cars in the 1980s. That is all we need to say.


Jägermeister Porsche 956The World Sportscar Championship (WSC) and Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft (DRM) may not be as well known as other championships in the UK, but trust us when we say the Jägermeister Porsche 956 did the job in the mid 1980s.



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