Blue and orange machine that showed overwhelming power│Exploring the strength of Porsche and Gulf

How Gulf contributed to motorsports Over 50 years have passed since the Gulf Oil Company participated in the racing world. Speaking of strong racing sports cars, all of them were blue and orange painters, and the sponsor colors had a presence that everyone thought so. In particular, Porsche is a sponsor called Gulf who gave great power. Delwin Mallet unraveles how they reached the top.

The late 60's and early 70's were the days when the world's major manufacturers and great teams built a pinnacle on racing sports cars. Not only cars but also drivers from all over the world gathered, and famous drivers who were active in F1 also participated. The presence of sponsoring companies was also important. FIA has opened up the path to sponsoring large companies by removing the advertising restrictions on participating vehicles and making brand names easier to appeal. Gulf and Martini are representative examples. Racing cars are freed from the duty of wearing national colors, team colors, and parts manufacturers' decals, and now they are wearing unprecedented fashion. The symbol colors of Gulf Oil, blue and orange, became the body colors of Ford and Porsche champion cars from 1967 to 75.
Gulf Oil dates back to 1901. It was happening that Anthony Francis Lucas, a Croatian-born oil digger, struck oil in a small town on the Gulf Coast, Texas. His great discovery triggered a field boom in Texas, and Texas became the center of oil production. Named after Gulf Coast, Gulf Oil was established in 1907 and quickly grew into a global giant. Gulf and motorsport first met in the 1930s. The first was to provide lubricants to the speed record holders at the time, helping to further update the records. In 1937, famous car designer Harry Miller committed the development of the first mid-engine indie car that was under development, and the car was a success, but behind that was the support of Gulf Not well known.

It was Grady Davis who made the Gulf Oil soak in motorsport. Davis, who worked hard at Gulf Oil, quickly ran up the career path and in 1960 went up to the vice president. Davis, on the other hand, loved racing so much that he participated in his own car Corvette. So it was natural to invest Gulf oil money in motorsport activities. Dreaming of the great success of American cars, in 1966, with the cooperation of General Motors, he created a hot Corvette model. This car was still not blue and orange, but a blue stripe based on the international white color of the United States. Corvette and Cobra have made many famous matches as described in American racing history, but Corvette, backed by Gulf, has won 12 wins in 14 SCCA races held in 1987.
At that time, there was another man who was able to free up his own funds with his own will. He sincerely hoped that American cars would beat European cars in his land, especially passionate about breaking Ferrari with Le Mans. Henry Ford II. He had previously offered to buy Ferrari but was rejected. This is the GT40 project whose revenge began in 1963.
Ford invited John Wire, who once worked as a team manager for Aston Martin, as a project manager for Ford Advanced Vehicles, a newly established company in Slough, west of London. Wire is the core person in this Gulf Story.

The first time that 917, wearing a colour, appeared before the public at a press conference at the London Carlton Tower Hotel in September 1969.
It was April 1, 1963 that GT40, an advanced version of Laura Mk.6, unveiled. I chose April Fools on the day of the announcement to reassure Enzo Ferrari that Ford would send an unfortunate 63 season without winning this year. However, Henry Ford was not confident. He sent the car to American Carol Shelby for further development. It can't be interesting for wires. What was less interesting was the fact that the Shelby tailored GT40 won the first Daytona 2000. Shelby has installed a 7-liter engine on the GT40 because of the belief that “no tuning is superior to the large displacement” obtained by Cobra.

This provided Ford with speed, but he couldn't win any more because of lack of reliability. The same was true for the 1965 season, but history will be renewed in 1966.

… Continue to next time

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