The famous black-and-gold John Player Special livery is set to return as bespoke sportscar firm Radford snaps up its trademark

Radford, a famous British coachbuilding name revived by car designer Mark Stubbs, TV star Ant Anstead and former Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button, has secured the rights for the iconic John Player Special livery.

The famous black and gold design has graced famous racing cars across multiple disciplines, as well as a number of motorsport-inspired special edition road cars.

 “The acquisition of the JPS livery trademark is a clear statement of intent from Radford,” said CEO Dan Burge. “We’ll be using this livery in various guises in the coming years, on future Radford models, which we can’t wait to show the world.”

The news follows an announcement earlier this year that Radford is to team up with Lotus Engineering in the development of its first car.

Radford’s first vehicle will be the Project 62, an “ultra-exclusive” sports car “based on Lotus technology”. Just 62 cars will be produced, in tribute to the 1969 Lotus Type 62. Radford has confirmed that the car is already in development and will be revealed “in the coming months”.

Lotus Type 62

The Type 62 (shown here in Gold Leaf livery) was developed from an earlier competition version of the Lotus Europa called the Type 47. It had a short and not particularly successful career.

The image used to announce Radford’s JPS acquisition (main image) appears to offer a glimpse at its new car, at least in computer-generated form. A carbon-fibre roof incorporating 60s sports car-style doors can be discerned, along with a wrap-around windscreen.

“John Player Special is, without question, one of the most iconic racing liveries ever to grace a Formula 1 car,” said Jenson Button. “For me, it conjures images of the ‘Golden era’ of Formula One racing, adorning cars driven by heroes such as Emerson Fitipaldi and Ayrton Senna – legends that inspired me to want to become a racing driver.

“We can’t wait to show you where this livery is going to be used, but expect to see it appearing on Radford cars in the near future – the sort of cars which evoke the great racing pedigree that these liveries bring with them.”