French Racing Blue – The Origin
The origins of French Racing Blue can be traced back to 1904. Before that, race cars were traditionally painted black and featured single numbers, often combined with a single letter to identify their driver. This made it difficult for mechanics to differentiate between them. When the British Grand Prix was moved to Ireland in 1903, the British painted their race cars green in honour of their host. This idea soon developed into an expression of national pride and every country with a major automotive manufacturer claimed its own colour: Germany picked white, Italy red, Belgium yellow and France opted for blue.
What is the real Bugatti Blue?
Fortunately, the answer is very simple: there is no such hue as authentic Bugatti Blue, Ettore and Jean Bugatti painted their cars in various shades throughout the years, claiming the French national colour in all shades and depths as their colour for the Bugatti brand. However, legend has it that Ettore Bugatti’s wife smoked cigarettes from a French brand whose packs were also blue. Each time a car was produced, she would allegedly hold her cigarette pack against the paintwork. If the colour of the paint did not match the colour of the packet, she insisted that car to be repainted.