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The legend of Marchal, motor racing’s lucky black cat

Those who know me are fully aware I am the proud owner of an eight-pound, 11-inch-tall black cat. She is a stalwart friend and faithful companion. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that I am infatuated with the black cat logo of S.E.V Marchal, which pegs that perfect combination of vintage motor racing and abject cuteness. Strap in, feline friends.

Marchal headlights adorned the noses of Chaparrals, Ford GT40s, Porsche 917Ks, and BMW 2002s and lit the night from Le Mans to Daytona, Monte Carlo to Finland. There are very few constants in life, but vintage motorsport readily supplies the same images—and the black cat has remained an enduring mascot

In 1923, Pierre Marchal and a few friends started a company dedicated to electric lighting. One night, as the story goes, he drove home to his garage when he caught the reflection of his cat’s eyes staring back at him, piercing through the darkness. And so, for his eponymous company, he adopted the image of the black cat and paired it with the slogan, “I only lend my eyes to Marchal.” Read more >

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