Following the glory of England’s 1966 World Cup victory of Germany, Ford supplied the expectant squad with fleet of white Cortina 1600E Mark 2 saloons for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, where England lost to Germany, and failed to qualify for the 1974 and 1978 events, bringing Ford’s support to a swift end.
Beyond this, and pl enty of sport-related vehicle manufacturer support and special edition models for other sports (Land Rover sponsoring rugby, for example, and Peugeot releasing a special limited edition 806 MPV in France with rugby ball-shaped head rests, Volvo, Renault, Land Rover and Maserati supporting sailing, Austin Rover, Peugeot and Opel sponsoring tennis – the latter even selling a special Steffi Graf Corsa in Germany between 1986-89) very few cars to-date have had a strong football association.
The exception to this is the charming Fiat Panda Italia ‘90, an all-white special edition sold in all European markets to celebrate what I am told was arguably the greatest World Cup ever staged (unless you were Gazza!), the 1990 FIFA World Cup, hosted by the Italians. Now rather sought-after (yes, really), the white Panda Italia ‘90 had unique seat trim, a red coach line down its flanks, with the distinctive red, white and green, plus the official ‘Italia 90’ logo on the rear wings.