1987 NASCAR Paint Schemes: A Colorful Canvas of Speed and Sponsorship

1987 NASCAR paint schemes burst onto the racing scene, adorning the sleek machines with vibrant hues and captivating designs. This era marked a turning point in the sport, where paint schemes evolved into a powerful tool for brand recognition, fan loyalty, and technological advancements.

As the cars thundered around the tracks, their paint schemes became a reflection of the cultural and social landscape of the time, showcasing the impact of sponsors, manufacturers, and technical innovations on the world of NASCAR.

Iconic Paint Schemes

1987 nascar paint schemes

The 1987 NASCAR season witnessed several iconic paint schemes that left an enduring mark on the sport. These designs combined vibrant colors, bold graphics, and innovative concepts, creating a visual spectacle that captivated fans and became synonymous with the era.

One of the most recognizable paint schemes was the “Rainbow Warrior” of Dale Earnhardt, sponsored by Wrangler. The car featured a vibrant rainbow pattern that stretched from the front to the rear, symbolizing the diversity and inclusivity of NASCAR’s fan base.

Another iconic design was the “Tide Ride” of Darrell Waltrip, which featured a bright blue and orange color scheme with the Tide detergent logo prominently displayed. The scheme became synonymous with Waltrip’s success, as he won the NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship that year.

Richard Petty’s STP Pontiac

Richard Petty’s STP Pontiac was another iconic paint scheme of the 1987 season. The car featured a sleek red, white, and blue design with the STP logo prominently displayed on the hood and sides. The scheme was a nod to Petty’s long-standing partnership with STP, which had sponsored his cars for many years.

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Manufacturer Dominance

In 1987, NASCAR witnessed a fierce battle for supremacy among car manufacturers, each striving to establish their dominance on the track and in the hearts of fans. Two manufacturers emerged as the frontrunners, their paint schemes leaving an indelible mark on the sport.


  • Chevrolet emerged as a formidable force in NASCAR in 1987, with its Monte Carlo model becoming a fan favorite.
  • The iconic blue and white paint scheme of the Mello Yello Chevrolet, driven by Dale Earnhardt, became synonymous with speed and success.
  • Chevrolet’s dominance was further cemented by the likes of Darrell Waltrip and Ken Schrader, who also showcased the brand’s prowess on the track.


  • Ford was another major player in 1987 NASCAR, fielding the iconic Thunderbird model.
  • The famous red and white paint scheme of the Miller Genuine Draft Ford, driven by Bill Elliott, became a symbol of Ford’s racing heritage.
  • Other notable Ford drivers included Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin, who contributed to the manufacturer’s strong presence in the sport.

Sponsor Impact

1987 nascar paint schemes

Sponsors played a pivotal role in shaping the paint schemes of 1987 NASCAR cars. They provided the financial resources necessary for teams to compete, and in return, they demanded prominent visibility for their logos.

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Sponsors influenced the design of paint schemes in several ways. First, they often had specific requirements for the placement and size of their logos. Second, they often preferred certain colors or designs that would help their logos stand out. Third, they sometimes provided input on the overall design of the car, including the shape and style of the body.

Sponsor Dominance

In some cases, sponsors had such a strong influence on the paint schemes that they essentially dictated the design. This was especially true for teams that were heavily reliant on a single sponsor. For example, the No. 27 Miller High Life car driven by Rusty Wallace was almost entirely painted in the sponsor’s colors, with the Miller High Life logo占据了车身的大部分空间。其他例子包括由万宝路赞助的蓝色和黄色 No.

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28 车,以及由可口可乐赞助的红色和白色 No. 11 车。

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Visibility, 1987 nascar paint schemes

Sponsors also influenced the visibility of their logos. They often required that their logos be placed in prominent locations on the car, such as the hood, trunk, or side panels. They also often required that their logos be a certain size and color, so that they would be easy to see from a distance.

The visibility of sponsor logos was important for several reasons. First, it helped to increase brand awareness for the sponsor. Second, it helped to create a positive association between the sponsor and the race team. Third, it helped to justify the cost of sponsorship for the sponsor.

Technical Innovations: 1987 Nascar Paint Schemes

The 1987 NASCAR season witnessed significant advancements in paint technology and application techniques. These innovations revolutionized the durability and visual appeal of the race cars, enhancing both their performance and aesthetics.

Automotive Paint Advancements

  • High-Solid Paints:These paints contained a higher percentage of solids, resulting in thicker and more durable coatings. They provided superior protection against scratches and chips, extending the lifespan of the paint schemes.
  • Clear-Coat Finishes:Clear coats added a protective layer over the base paint, enhancing its gloss and shine. They also prevented fading and discoloration, maintaining the vibrant colors of the schemes.
  • Metallic Pigments:The introduction of metallic pigments added depth and dimension to the paint schemes. These pigments reflected light, creating a shimmering effect that enhanced the visual appeal of the cars.

Application Techniques

  • Airbrushing:Airbrushing techniques allowed artists to create intricate designs and details with greater precision and control. This technique enabled the creation of complex sponsor logos and realistic artwork on the cars.
  • Computer-Aided Design:The use of computer-aided design (CAD) software streamlined the design process and ensured accuracy in the application of paint schemes. CAD allowed teams to visualize and fine-tune the designs before applying them to the cars.

Cultural Significance

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1987 NASCAR paint schemes held cultural significance, reflecting the era’s social and cultural trends. They symbolized the growing popularity of stock car racing, the rise of corporate sponsorship, and the influence of American consumer culture.

The vibrant colors, bold graphics, and prominent logos showcased the fusion of art and commerce. These designs resonated with fans, who saw them as expressions of their own passions and identities.

Nostalgia and Patriotism

Many 1987 paint schemes evoked a sense of nostalgia and patriotism. They featured classic American symbols, such as the stars and stripes, eagles, and race cars. These designs celebrated the nation’s history and values, resonating with fans who shared a deep connection to their country.

Corporate Branding

1987 NASCAR paint schemes were heavily influenced by corporate branding. Companies saw the sport as a powerful platform to reach millions of consumers. Logos and brand messages were prominently displayed, creating a visual spectacle that reinforced brand recognition and loyalty.

Artistic Expression

Beyond their commercial significance, 1987 paint schemes also served as a form of artistic expression. Designers pushed the boundaries of creativity, experimenting with new color combinations, patterns, and textures. These designs showcased the talent and skill of the artists who brought them to life.

Final Summary

The legacy of 1987 NASCAR paint schemes continues to inspire and captivate racing enthusiasts today. These iconic designs not only showcased the artistry and creativity of their creators but also played a pivotal role in shaping the sport’s identity and its enduring popularity.

Common Queries

What were the most iconic paint schemes of 1987 NASCAR?

Some of the most recognizable paint schemes included the Miller High Life car driven by Rusty Wallace, the Mello Yello car of Dale Earnhardt, and the Kodak car of Bill Elliott.

How did sponsors influence the paint schemes of 1987 NASCAR cars?

Sponsors played a major role in shaping the designs, ensuring their logos were prominently displayed and easily recognizable to fans.

What technical innovations were used in 1987 NASCAR paint schemes?

Advances in paint technology and application techniques, such as the use of clear coats and metallic paints, enhanced the durability and visual appeal of the cars.