The Most Beautiful Racecars To Ever Wear Gulf Oil’s Motor Racing Liveries Are Breathtaking
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
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)
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
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
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.