It’s 1967, and Grady Davis, the vice president of Gulf Oil decides to enter his very own GT40 to race at both Daytona and Sebring under the number 1049. The car was finished with the company’s standard color scheme: blue with orange accents, and that car began a more than the 50-year long legacy of Gulf Oil-sponsored cars, donning the famous blue and orange, and changing the world of motorsport forever.
In 1967, Ford themselves had just left sports car racing, so Gulf then decided to take over the team of GT40s, doing them up in the now-eponymous 3707 Zenith Blue and 3957 Tangerine colors that we know the best Gulf liveries for today. Gulf has since sponsored a diverse cast of Gulf livery cars, thus the iconic blue and orange has become associated with four wins at 24 hours of Le Mans, two of those wins being back-to-back between 1968 and 1969, and plenty of other racing accolades. The pedigree and success those cars achieved is the reason that the original GT40s are worth tens of millions of dollars today. Between Porsche, Aston Martin, McLaren, Audi, and of course the Ford GT, the Gulf Livery logos they’ve worn have been an unmistakable symbol of a car with a racing pedigree. A Porsche 911 GT3 RS or a Ford GT is already bound to turn heads on the street, but when they wear the colors that are synonymous with the golden age of motorsport, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that they’re looking at a machine that is capable of doing incredible things on the track.
Thus, the legend of the Gulf livery colors is far deeper than simply being an iconic throwback, or making for a nice car to look at. Any motorsport fan knows, thanks to half a century of history, that Gulf Oil’s commitment to racing has shaped, innovated, and defined motorsport as we know it today. A Gulf Livery exotic car is a celebration of how far racing has come over the past 50 years, and how the joy of speed and the spirit of competition will preserve motorsport for generations to come.