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Marlboro Racing History & the Syclone

We dived into Marlboro history for our newsletter back in August 2020 and wanted to revisit this topic and add in some cool facts about the Syclone.

Marlboro Racing

The bold red, white, and black Philip Morris Formula 1 livery conjures images of James Hunt and an urge to watch Rush, again.

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Though banned from motor sports in most countries since around the early 2000s due to anti-tobacco sponsorship laws, Marlboro has a long association with racing, MacLaren, and especially Ferrari where the bold red and white logo remains eye-catching today, even in its most subliminal form.

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Marlboro has also inspired street car livery in Japan. The Kanjozoku in Osaka sport the well-known red and white on their street cars.

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Grand Prix Motorcycle racers, like Giacomo Agostini were also sponsored. As well as, Australian Touring Car Racing, and the World Rally Championship teams of Lancia, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Lancer Evolutions, and racers like Tommi Mäkinen, Timo Salonen and Miki Biasion.

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Philip Morris liked cars with power and in 1991 gave away 10 'Marlboro' Corvettes with signature red/white stripes as a promotion. This promo had such a great response that the cigarette giant teamed up with GMC to give away (yes, that is correct - give away!) a red 'Marlboro' pickup truck called the Syclone as a promotion. These are rare with only 10 given away in 1991 and 3 given away in 1992. All are in existence today. If you have one of the 3 Syclone's from 1992, you have a truly rare piece of automotive history. GMC did not officially sell any Syclone pickups after 1991, so the 1992 give away model created with Marlboro are the only ones out there!


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