Despite the fact that three generations of Andrettis have competed in the Indy 500, only one driver from the family, the one you’ve heard of, has won the race. The streak of perpetually bad luck is known as the Andretti Curse, and this year, Marco Andretti is looking to break the streak with a tribute livery designed after his grandfather Mario Andretti’s Indy 500-winning car.
This May marks the 50th anniversary of Mario Andretti’s Indy 500 win. Since that race in 1969, Mario, Michael, Jeff, John, and Marco Andretti have all tried their hand at the iconic race, and none of them have yet to succeed. If you count all that up, that’s 70 (seventy!) chances for the Andretti family to win. And they’ve only done it once.
It is unclear if Mario made an unspeakable wish on a monkey’s paw outside a newly abandoned steel mill in the Lehigh Valley circa 1956, but his family has borne a horrific burden ever since.
We pray for them.
Anyway, in an effort to beat the horrible curse, Marco is channeling his grandfather’s race-winning livery for the race in hopes that this year will, finally, prove to be different. From Mario himself:
I am honored to have Marco carry the design from my 1969 car. I hope this winning paint scheme will be a good omen for him and that he’ll get his first 500 victory. When I see the car, it will definitely be an opportunity for reflection. It’s humbling. It is a tremendous compliment to me that this team would look back at my victory and find it worthy of recognition.
It will likely not be different.
But I dig the livery—if we can even call it a livery. It is, in fact, just a chassis coated in red paint. Calling this a livery kinda feels like saying my Mazda has a livery. It’s not wrong I guess, but it is a stretch.
That said, retro-style anything is great in racing—it’s simple, classy, and looks fast. And in an era where there are tons of sponsors on cars, it’s nice to see a team going for the more streamlined, single-color look. It’ll be an easy one to spot on the track—especially so if Andretti actually does manage to pull off a lead.