The Driver Suit Blog-Paint Scheme Grades and Clarification of a Term

By David G. Firestone

I have been neglecting the Paint Scheme grades for the last few weeks, so after this brief post, we will focus on those this week.  I want to clarify a term that I use regularly.  I use the word “overdesigned” and what it basically means is that the paint scheme has design for design sake.  The scheme has design that serves no real purpose, and was just added needlessly.  Most things we own are, to a certain extent, over designed, mainly to prevent damage from regular use.  But when a car uses needless design in a paint scheme, more often than not, it looks awful.

The other news items I wanted to get to are from Formula 1.  I’m not an F1 fan per se, but I felt that these deserved some time on the DSB.  First there was a major shift in how cars are numbered in F1.  It used to be that were ever the driver finished in the previous season is what his car number was.  Now the change has been made and instead it is that the drivers pick a number and then use that for their entire careers.  Sky Sports covered the driver’s number choices in full, and I’m now a Daniel Ricardo fan!  The 2014 F1 helmet designs have been released and the designs speak for themselves.  This last item is about the man who is in charge of painting Lewis Hamilton’s Silver Arrow for the German-based Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team, my favorite team appearance wise in F1.  Now we move on to…

Paint Scheme Reviews

Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol Chevy SS For many years, green was considered an unlucky color in auto racing. That said, this is a decent scheme. The green used is very good, and the overall design is good. The green around the vent on the side is needless, but this scheme still works. A-

Austin Dillon #3 Bad Boy Buggies/Realtree Chevy SS I’m seriously considering giving any camo paint scheme an automatic F because not one that I have seen in the last 5 years looks good at all. This scheme is just awful. The white/camo scheme is hideous and I’m embarrassed to have to grade it. F

Greg Biffle #16 Red Cross Give Blood/3M Ford Fusion One of Greg’s best schemes he has ever run. I can’t say anything bad. It has a simple yet attractive design, and a great color scheme. A+

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 Zest Ford Fusion Same scheme as last year, same F grade.

Kyle Busch #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry Same scheme as last year, same B Grade

Jeff Gordon #24 Texas A&M Engineering Chevy SS Decent color scheme, but the side design is odd. It has a little too much design. The crooked Texas A&M logo looks odd here too. Still it is a decent design and earns a C+

Paul Menard #27 Menards/Quaker State Chevy SS Quaker State has a great shade of green, and it should be the dominant color of the car. The yellow base with green accents looks awkward. I’ll give it a C

Parker Kligerman #30 Swan Racing Toyota Camry Simple design and a great color scheme earns an A+

Parker Kligerman #30 Swan Racing Toyota Camry Simple design and a great color scheme earns an A+

Travis Kvapil #32 Ask More Get More Ford Fusion Yellow, white and black is a great color scheme. Overall design is great and the car has a great look to it. A+

Travis Kvapil #32 Ask More Get More Ford Fusion Two different schemes in two weeks is unusual and for whatever reason, the new car was a bit over designed. It still has a decent look and earns a B+

Timmy Hill #33 Circle Sport Chevy SS Simple design and a great color scheme earns an A+

David Ragan #34 Taco Bell Ford Fusion Overall design and color schemes are good, and the only complaint is that the Taco Bell logo should be in color as opposed to black and white.  A+

David Ragan #34 Dockside Logistics Ford Fusion  The car looks great, with a great color scheme and great design scheme…A+

David Ragan #34 Farm Rich Ford Fusion  Good color scheme and I love the rolling hills effect…A+

Reed Sorenson #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy SS Simple design and a great color scheme earns an A+

David Gilliland #38 Long John Silvers Ford Fusion Great design, great color scheme, great look, A+

Landon Cassill #40 Nabi Tablet Chevy SS Good color scheme, but the the car, like the Nabi Tablet is overdesigned, and earns a C

Landon Cassill #40 CRC Industries / K&W FiberLock Chevy SS A very simple design, though the yellowish-green is unattractive. If the green was darker it would work better. C+

Kyle Larson #42 Clorox Chevy SS AJ Allemdinger has a good Clorox scheme, this is an awful scheme . Why did they choose that shade of yellow instead of white? I can’t give this a passing grade. F

Aric Almirola #43 Farmland Ford Fusion Simple design and a great color scheme earns an A+

JJ Yeley #44 Phoenix Warehouse Chevy SS My first thought when I saw this scheme was it looked like the color scheme from the 1994-1995 NBA All-Star Game jerseys which is a decent color scheme. But to say the car is overdesigned is an understatement. This scheme is awful. Not even a great color scheme can help this car pass. F

AJ Allmendinger #47 Bush’s Grilling Beans Chevy SS  Great color scheme and a simple design earns an A+

Justin Allgaier #51 SEM Chevy SS Simple design, great color scheme, looks great, A+

Brian Vickers #55 Xarelto Toytoa Camry Good simple design with a great color scheme earns an A.

Jeff Burton #66 Toyota Toyota Camry The stripe down the side is much too big, and the hood design looks odd. The color scheme is good, but the overall design is a D+

Joe Nemechek #87 SmartBen Toyota Camry Simple design, great color scheme, looks great, A+

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Mountain Dew Kickstart Chevy SS The black and green color scheme is good, and the side is a bit overdeisgned. If the green stripes were scaled back, it would work better. It is work a B- grade.

Michael McDowell #95 WRL Contractors Ford Fusion Levine Family Racing continues to get back into my good graces with another A scheme with great design and a great color scheme.

Carl Edwards #99 Kelloggs/Cheez Its Ford Fusion Too many colors, and the car is overdesigned. F

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Vintage Item Spotlight-2012 Tony Canadeo Commercial Jersey

3-canadeoBy David G. Firestone.

Ok, ok, I get it, this item isn’t really “vintage” but it does have an interesting backstory. In 2012, the NFL in response to the recent concussion lawsuits released the “Evolution” commercial as seen here:

It shows a series of historical players returning a kickoff from one endzone to the other. The field numbers have been replaced by decades, and as one player runs from one decade to another, the uniforms, and equipment adapt. As the 1940’s start, Tony Canadeo becomes the focus, as he runs through the 1940’s and 50’s, moving from leather to hard plastic helmets. Canadeo is, during those 10 seconds, wearing this Packers jersey.canadeo canadeo3 canadeo2

This jersey is made by a company called Sports Studios, who make jerseys for movies and TV shows. They made the uniforms for the epic biopic 42, A League of Their Own, as well as many other commercials. You can see more of their work here. It is made of polyester and is a size M.3-canadeo 3-canadeo-3f 3-canadeo-fhem 3-canadeob 3-canadeo-3b 3-canadeo-bhem 3-canadeo-tag 3-canadeo-rsleeve 3-canadeo-lsleeve

The thing that I find interesting about the sequence is that the Packers are at home against the Eagles, but in researching the schedule, I found that at no point during Canadeo’s tenure with the Packers, did they ever play the Eagles at home while wearing that uniform. The Packers and Eagles clashed in 1942, 1943 as the “Steagles,” 1946, 1947, and 1951. The only time the Packers played the Eagles in Green Bay was in 1951, but the Packers had switched to green jerseys in 1950, and the Eagles had switched helmet designs.

The jersey shows some light use, with a small stain present, and is video matched to the commercial itself. It is an interesting item that is very well designed and displays well.

The Driver Suit Blog-Sponsor Profiiles-Kodiak Tobacco

41-craven - CopyBy David G. Firestone

As this week’s column is being posted, I am boarding the Texas Eagle in Tucson Arizona, awaiting the train ride back to Chicago to begin. I’ve spent the last week away from the deep freeze of Chicago, and in the warm weather in Arizona.

The colors of the desert are deep and bold. Just like those of one of my favorite racing sponsors to collect, Kodiak Tobacco. Kodiak is a subsidiary of Reynolds American, which also owns Kool, Winston, Salem, Doral, Capri, and Camel cigarettes, and Grizzly tobacco. They were a major sponsor of NASCAR in the 1980’s and 1990’s. They sponsored Rusty Wallace, Ricky Rudd(as Levi Garrett) Ken Schrader, Ricky Craven, Steve Grissom, and Stacy Compton. They have one of my favorite shades of green used in racing. Interestingly, for many years, green was considered an unlucky color in racing. The most promenent item in my collection is this Ricky Craven suit from 1996.41-craven - CopyIt does show signs of use, but the big question is “was this worn in the 1996 Winston Select?” which was the race that Ricky Craven suffered his worst wreck…

41-craven-7 41-craven-6I asked Ricky about that via Twitter, and got this Private message in response.UntitledSo we can eliminate this as that suit he wore in that event. But I have been able to photo-match this suit to a trading card released later in the year. I can’t say when exactly this suit was worn, but it was worn. The design of suits to in-car cameras and replica jackets is still in its infancy, so there is little consideration to either, so it does have both a modern and vintage look at the same time.41-craven41-craven-collar41-craven-rchest41-craven-lchest41-craven-flogo41-craven-ltorso 41-cravenb 41-craven-neck100_3457 100_3456   I also have a small Ricky Craven mini helmet also from 1996.41-craven1 41-craven2 41-craven3 41-craven4 41-craven5 41-craven6Ricky Craven left Larry Hedrick Motorsports and Kodiak for Hendrick Motorsports in 1997, and Steve Grissom took over. In 1998, in his second year for Hedrick and Kodiak, Grissom donned this customized race helmet.grissom-1 grissom-2 grissom-3 grissom-4 grissom-5 grissom-6 grissom-7      It is in great condition, though it has had the microphone equipment removed. The color scheme is that same shade of green that had graced the side of Rusty Wallace’s car during his 1989 Winston Cup Championship. The blue is used in the design of Kodiak Ice packaging, and works surprisingly well. Grissom ran a Kodiak Ice scheme once in 1998, at the Pepsi Southern 500.

I also have a 1/64 die cast car of similar vintage.100_4055 100_4057 100_4054  Kodiak is one of the many sponsors in NASCAR that I miss. Tobacco advertising has been severely restricted and Kodiak was a casualty. I do miss it but the times have changed.

Again, there will be no paint scheme reviews until next week, when I get back home. I look forward to getting back to normal after a week of relaxation.

The Driver Suit Blog-The Goal of All Drivers in Auto Racing Part 2

header2By David G. Firestone

Last Month, I discussed the various forms that trophies take, and this week, we will continue that discussion. The trophy has obtained iconic status in the sports world, and the racing world uses so many different things as trophies for drivers who win it is amazing.

The checkered flag is synonymous with racing. While no one is really sure when the checkered flag was first used, photographic evidence dates it to at least 1906. The origin of the design is also lost to history as well. Since it is so iconic, the checkered flag is used as a trophy in many forms of racing. This example is from the Doylestown Quarter Midget Race Club which is based in Honeybrook Pennsylvania. It is 24 inches square and has the wooden pole still attached. A patch on the front states that this was awarded to the “FEATURE WINNER, DQMRA.”  dqmrc1 dqmrc2 dqmrc3

The awarding of small trophies was and is very popular, and this is an example. It is a 6.25 inch tall chalice awarded to The Best Beginner of the 1966 Rusters Run. It shows some staining from age, but it is in great conditionrustlersrun1 rustlersrun2 rustlersrun3 rustlersrun4 rustlersrun5 rustlersrun6 rustlersrun7

This small wine goblet was awarded El Paisano Rally Race in 1969. It is about 6 inches tall, and like the Ruster’s Run chalice, it shows some stains but is in overall good condition.elpaisano1 elpaisano2 elpaisano3 elpaisano4 elpaisano5 elpaisano6 elpaisano7

There is something to be said for a traditional trophy. This example is a trophy from Springfield Ozark Dragway, which was for many years, a mainstay of the NHRA. This huge trophy was awarded in the 1960’s to an event winner, and is over 24 inches tall!ozarktrophy1 ozarktrophy2 ozarktrophy3 ozarktrophy4 ozarktrophy5 ozarktrophy6 ozarktrophy7 ozarktrophy8

The last item we have is from a phenomina I have only seen in NASCAR. First the backstory: In 1995, Bobby Labonte won his first NASCAR Winston Cup race, which was the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte. It was also the first Coca Cola 600 win for Joe Gibbs Racing. At a banquet celebrating the win, the attendees were able to take home these napkin rings which are oversized championship ring. This is one of them, and it is huge. The hole in the ring is 1 ½ inch in diameter.labontering1 labontering2 labontering4 labontering3 labontering5 labontering6

Trophies and awards for winning races can come in thousands of different forms, and these examples are just a few of them.

Editor’s Note:  There will be no paint schemes reviews this week or next week.  I’m going to spend the week on vacation in Tucson with my family, and I will get back to normal operations when I get back home to Chicago.