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Gulf Oil is a racing sponsor with instantly recognizable liveries, or color schemes for its cars. The sponsor first put marigold orange stripes on powder blue Ford GT race cars for the 1968 24 Hours of LeMans, and the color combo transports most motorsports fans back to this golden era of automotive racing. One of the things that keeps Gulf Oil’s liveries among the classiest in auto racing is how selective the company is about the automakers it partners with. But there have been several iconic race cars that war the Gulf Oil liveries into battle: here are four of the most beautiful.

Gulf Oil’s Ford GT40

Le Mans 24 Hours 15th June 1969. Two blue and orange GT40s on a straightaway, other cars in the background: Jacky Ickx/Jackie Oliver, Ford GT40, race winner. Car no 7 in background David Hobbs/Mike Hailwood, Ford GT40, finished 3rd.
Ford GT winning the 1969 Le Mans 24 Hours | GP Library/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

As the story goes, Gulf Oil vice-president Grady Davis bought a dark blue Ford GT40 and painted his company’s iconic orange and navy logo on it before entering it in an endurance race at Daytona. When he later sponsored John Wyer’s team at the 24 hours of Le Mans, they decided to paint the cars powder blue but keep the dark orange stripe. These Fords are some of the most iconic cars ever to wear Gulf Oil liveries, and the first ones many motorsports fans think of.

Watch the Gulf GT40 make a Goodwood appearance in this video:

Gulf Oil’s Porsche 917 (made famous by Steve McQueen)

Porsche 917K wearing Gulf liveries, a crowd visible in the background.
Porsche Gulf 917K during the Goodwood Festival of Speed | Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

The John Wyer/Gulf Racing team eventually moved on to Porsche 917s. These cars, and famed drivers Pedro Rodriguez and Jo Siffert, were victorious at Le Mans, the Nurburgring, and Daytona. The team was so strong that Hollywood based the 1971 Steve McQueen film “Le Man” on them. It is the image of McQueen driving the Porsche 917 that cemented Gulf Oil liveries in the public consciousness as the racing color combo.

See the 917 in action in the video below:

Gulf Oil’s Aston Martin Vantage GT2

Modern Aston Martin endurance cars wearing gulf liveries, dark orange over powder blue.
Aston Martin Vantage GT2s at FIA World Endurance Championship | Darrell Ingham/Getty Images

Drivers Mike Wainwright and Roald Goethe formed their own team to take on the new Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in Aston Martin Vantage GT2 endurance cars. Gulf Oil found them promising and agreed to sponsor the team, bestowing its liveries on yet another make and model. The team continues to be one of the leading contenders in the World Endurance Championship today.

Gulf Oil’s McClaren Formula 1 car

A modern Formula 1 car wearing special edition Gulf Liveries with orange stripes over powder blue.
McClaren’s current Formula 1 car | McClaren

Bruce McLaren first joined forces with Gulf Oil during the early 1960s as he entered Can-Am, Indy Car, and Formula 1. The partnership led to a very competitive team then, and now. Gulf Oil and McClaren are competing in this year’s Formula 1 championship. For the storied Monaco Grand Prix, the Gulf Racing team decided to resurrect the classic powder blue and marigold orange liveries from decades past. The result was one seriously eye-catching Formula 1 car.