Is This the Ugliest Race Car Ever Made?

It’s hard to mess up the classic Martini livery, but this freakish prototype shows it can be done.

byJames Gilboy| UPDATED Feb 8, 2019 5:09 AM
Is This the Ugliest Race Car Ever Made?

We all know the classic Martini Racing liveries. A bright white, red, or silver base color, adorned with red and blue stripes and the Martini & Rossi vermouth logo. As far as iconic liveries go, it's up there with the likes of Gulf Racing, Scuderia Ferrari, and John Player. It has appeared on cars of many makes, such as Porsche's endurance racing cars, the Formula One cars of Brabham, Lotus, and Williams, and of course, their unforgettable Lancia partnership during the golden age of rally: the Group B era. Their liveries appeared on the 037 and Delta S4, and after the abolition of Group B, on their Group A car, the Delta Integrale.

The car in this video is both a continuation of the Lancia and Martini partnership...and at the same time, it isn't, because it's a home-built prototype car, and it is in no way officially affiliated with Lancia or Martini. Hence, there is no Martini logo on the car, despite the livery being an undeniable replica of the Martini design. The car itself is not a Lancia, but it uses a number of Lancia parts that define it, notably the engine and the grill.

The owner YouTube channel that uploaded the video of this car, 19Bozzy92, stated, "it seems to be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, to which a supercharger has been added." They speculate it is from a variant of the Lancia Thema or Delta, though probably not a late model of either car, as the modern Thema is based on a Chrysler 300, and the modern Delta is actually a Fiat. The engine, though, in spite of its curious twincharged setup (in which both a supercharger and turbocharger are used to gain the advantages of both systems) are not the feature any of us will spend the most time staring at.

No, most of us will spend time staring at that hideous grill. I am struggling not to do a Hail Mary every time I see the front of this little monstrosity. It makes me wonder if it would dissolve if holy water were spritzed over its face. The mustache-esque grill resembles that of the cars in A Car's Life, a knockoff of Disney Pixar's Cars.

Okay, I'll stop being mean to this car now. After all, the biggest rule of comedy is to never punch down.