Can You Buy a New Car in the Gulf Oil Racing Livery Colors?
Gulf Oil livery–marigold orange stipes over powder blue–is one of the most beautiful color schemes in auto racing. It is also one of the classiest, because Gulf Racing is very selective about what vehicles are allowed to wear its colors. Any hot rod builder can paint their vehicle powder blue and marigold orange. But if you want to buy a new car wearing the Gulf Oil livery colors, you have relatively few options. From the Gulf Livery Ford GT Heritage to bespoke McLarens, here are a few officially licensed cars in these historic colors.
Ford Mustang Heritage Edition
One of Gulf Racing’s first big wins was with a Ford GT40 at the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team would even return to win in 1969, further cementing its reputation. For this reason, Ford fans love the Gulf Oil orange and blue color scheme. Hotrodders such as Roush love this livery for one-off customs. But Brown Lee Performance of Nashville, Tennessee took it a step further. The dealership struck a deal with Gulf Oil so it can offer officially licensed Mustang special editions. The cars are 2020 Mustang GT Premiums have a 3.0-liter Whipple supercharger for a total output of 808 horsepower. They also feature upgraded suspension, carbon fiber, an alcantra interior, and are available with a rear wing. These Mustangs also start at $139,995 and Brown Lee Performance claims it will only build 119 at most–according to Motor 1.
Porsche 911 R tribute to Gulf Racing
By the 1970s, Gulf Oil swapped to Porsche 917s for its Le Mans teams. Steve McQueen’s 1971 film “Le Mans” featured a Gulf Liveried Porsche 917, burning the color scheme into the public consciousness. Porsche fans continue to embrace the powder blue and marigold orange color scheme on modern cars. Porsche even built a one-off 911 for one of the original Gulf Racing 917 drivers, Pedro Rodriguez. But those of us who didn’t win a 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Porsche can still buy a similar car: the Porsche 911 R Heritage Gulf Livery. This car is a track monster with a 500 horsepower engine and lightweight body including a magnesium roof and carbon fiber luggage lid. These cars are even rarer than the infamous Porsche 918. The company built 991 of the 911 Rs, and actually offered them to the 918 buyers first. Any left over are available for the rest of us peasants to buy.
Ford GT Heritage Edition in Gulf livery
When Ford brought back its mid-engine GT supercar, it was only a matter of time before it released a Gulf Oil livery edition to celebrate its Le Mans wins. Sure enough, the 2019 and 2020 Heritage Edition Ford GTs come with marigold orange stripes over powder blue bodies. You can order them with exposed carbon fiber interiors, or more vintage-looking Alcantra leather. The 2019 cars wear a number “9” just like GT40 chassis 1075 wore when it won Le Mans in 1968. The 2020 cars wear a number “6,” just like the same GT40 wore when it won again in 1969. Gulf racing called the 2019/2020 GT Heritage, “The modern spiritual successor to the amazing Gulf-Ford GT40s that took Le Mans and World Championship honours.”
McLaren Elva in Gulf Racing livery
While Gulf Oil was sponsoring Ford GT40s and McClaren 917s in endurance racing, it also had a partnership with John McLaren. Gulf Racing and McLaren were a force to be reckoned with in Can-Am, Indy car, and Fromula 1 through the 1960s and 70s. The two companies joined up once again in the 1990s, and Gulf Oil sponsors McLaren’s current Formula 1 team. The McLaren team even trots out the traditional marigold orange and powder blue livery for special races, such as the Monaco Grand Prix. I addition, McLaren’s MSO division builds custom supercars, including licensed one-offs wearing traditional Gulf Racing livery. One such example is the already retro McLaren Elva roadster which looks especially fetching in traditional Gulf Oil colors.
Next, see the most beautiful racecars to wear Gulf Oil’s racing livery or watch