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John Player Special

Brand

Car Racing

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John Player's brands are well known in motor racing from their long association with the Lotus Formula One team, the Norton motorcycle racing team and special edition Fords.

Car Racing

John Player's sponsorship of Team Lotus began with the Lotus 49 in Gold Leaf colours at the 1968 Monaco Grand Prix, continued with the Lotus 72, which changed to the black and gold John Player Special colours in 1972 and ended in 1986 with the Lotus 98T.

BMW owned the JPS livery in touring car racing in Australia in the 1980s. In 1984 BMW released a limited-edition road version of its 323i touring car in JPS colours to the Australian market.

Player's brands also sponsored the Forsythe Championship Racing team in Champ Car racing until tobacco advertising through Canadian brands was banned midway through 2003.

Motorcycle racing

John Player began sponsoring Norton motorcycle racing in November 1971. The racing was successful and Norton produced a version of the Norton Commando in John Player colours to exploit it. However, Norton's NVT parent company commercially declined and John Player withdrew sponsorship in 1974.

In the 1980s Norton Motorcycles was revived and in 1988 John Player resumed racing sponsorship. The racing succeeded again and in 1990–91 Norton produced a road-going version of its RCW588 racer, the Norton F1. In 1991 Norton again commercially declined and John Player withdrew sponsorship for a second time.

1975 Ford Capri Mk II 2.0 JPS

Ford introduced the John Player Special limited edition, (known as the JPS) in March 1975. Available only in black or white, the JPS featured yards of gold pinstriping to mimic the Formula 1 livery, gold-coloured wheels, and a bespoke upgraded interior of beige cloth and carpet trimmed with black.
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