MOTOR SPORT FLASHBACK
Above: Where it all began for Kenny Smith — at the wheel of the ex–bruce Mclaren Austin for an early outing at the Ostrich Farm hill climb in Patumahoe, 1959 (photo courtesy Ken Smith) Right: Kenny and the Lola T332 at Manfeild, 1973 (photo: Terry Marshall)
New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and Canada were seen as mere extensions of the Empire and so, in each case, were allocated green and ‘something’ — gold for Australia, buff for South Africa, white for Canada, and silver for us. So, not black and silver but green and silver, like the Foulkes Lotus livery, so don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise — regardless of how ‘our’ A1 car was painted.
For the record, the Italian A1 car was not red but ‘azure’, just like its football and rugby shirts — and you’d have been disappointed if you expected to see the British A1 car in BRG: it was red, white and blue. Perhaps that decision came after a day-long committee meeting at which the sole agenda item revolved around the question, ‘Which green?’ By that I mean, should be it the green of BRM or Lotus, Cooper or Vanwall, Jaguar or Aston Martin, Connaught or Bentley, BRP or Napier?
I know that BRG has come to mean dark green to those who do not lie awake pondering over such things, but the truth is that the colour allocated to Great Britain and Ireland was ‘green’— not dark green, not deep sea green nor emerald green, just green. Which brings me back to Kermit the Frog who, by deduction, could be BRG, apart from one important fact — whisper it — there is no such thing.