Shell has picked up the flag planted by Grand Prix Originals in offering a wide series of garments and accessories that evoke the history of Shell’s racing effort (in particular, their sponsorship of Jochen Rindt) under the name Magic of Motoring. Perhaps the standout of the collection is this LM Jacket, named for the Ferrari 275 LM that Jochen Rindt brilliantly piloted to victory in the 1965 24 Hours of LeMans.
It’s damn-near perfectly executed and if your friends don’t know any better, they’d believe it was dead-stock vintage sewn in ’66. The details are what really make it, from the small X-100 racing fuel patch on the breast, to the vintage Shell logo, to the “5 cans” graphic on the lining; it’s truly a splendid jacket. Unfortunately it’s not on my immediate purchase list for 2 reasons. 1: £160 is a touch steep for a cotton jacket. More importantly in my case is reason 2; it’s white, which means it would be stained about 20 minutes after I put it on for the first time. That being said, it’s a spectacularly realized version of the type of garments I’d like to see more of: Garments that not only commemorate vintage racing, but look period-appropriate. No airbrushed or heavily Photoshop filtered racecar shirts for me, thank you.
While the price on that jacket is a touch high, it’s not so high that I wouldn’t still consider it. An easier sell, though, is a very nice series of T-shirts. Certainly more affordable, they’re well designed and, like the jacket, look fairly period-appropriate. Although T-shirts as anything but undershirt weren’t popular at the time, the graphic and print method employed on these shirts look like it could have come from the ’60s. Naturally, my affinity for 500cc Formula 3 cars is coming through as I pick this shirt honoring the 1950 500cc International Race as my favorite. Each is inspired by the photography and illustrations that made up the series of “Shell Successes” booklets published in the ’60s to commemorate victories by competitors in all series of motorsport using Shell fuel. Good Stuff.
I would be remiss if I also didn’t point out the one thing that makes this series particularly appealing to vintage racers. They also offer a fully FIA compliant race suit in an equally appealing vintage style. Similar to the LM Jacket, it features a small X-100 breast patch, shell logo, and red stripes down the arms. It is also available with custom embroidered name panel on the opposite breast. It looks every bit as authentic as Dunlop Blues for your race weekends.