Gulf and Ford have come together to mark 50 years of Le Mans victory with a new GT ’68 Heritage Edition. Just look at it!
Gulf has celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first Le Mans victory by joining forces with Ford to produce a very special model. The oil giant has granted use of its famous livery to produce the new GT ’68 Heritage edition for the 2019 and 2020 model years.
The Heritage Blue with Heritage Orange paint scheme honours the original Gulf Oil-sponsored Ford GT40 – chassis #1075 – that won back-to-back Le Mans 24-hours events in 1968 and 1969.
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Although Gulf boasts various oil-industry firsts to its name, including being the first company to open a drive-in fuel station, this is the first time that the lubricant and fuel manufacturer has partnered with a global vehicle manufacturer to produce a production road car.
The Ford GT ’68 Heritage Edition’s blue and orange livery can be enhanced with optional exposed-carbon A-pillars and roundels with #9 graphics on both the hood and doors. The vehicle also sports unique stainless 20-inch one-piece wheels. Orange brake calipers and silver mirror caps complete the homage.
Furthermore, the cabin features exclusive interior colours, materials and appointments. These include contrasting blue and orange seat and steering-wheel stitching, as well as clear and polished anodised paddleshifters. High-gloss dark stainless appliqués are used on the instrument panel, door-register bezels and X-brace, completing the interior look.
That’s not all. The ’68 Heritage showcases a unique serialised identification plate, plus exposed matte carbon-fibre door sills, air-register pods and centre console, for a truly bespoke car.
As an optional extra, the package can boast #6 livery in honour of the 1969 Le Mans winner.
These models are going to be exclusive and expensive, however. While pricing is yet to be confirmed, bet on around the £300,000 mark.
‘Many say the Gulf Oil paint scheme is the most famous in motorsport, propelled by the 1968 GT40 that quickly became a global sensation after Ford beat its European competitors not three, but four times in a row,’ said Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president, global operations.
‘We set out to accentuate the new Ford GT’s race-inspired aerodynamic lines with the Gulf colours, while staying true to the original GT40 Le Mans winner.’
Officially launched at the Rolex Historic Reunion at California’s Laguna Seca raceway on August 24 by Hinrichs and Gulf’s Ravi Chawla, the GT rook its place in a specially designed garage depicting the 50-year span of Gulf and Ford. The garage also featured Gulf-Ford GT40 #1075, the actual 1968 and 1969 Le Mans-winning car.
‘We’re delighted to partner with Ford to help the Gulf-themed Heritage Edition Ford GT become reality. The Ford marque has played a major role in creating Gulf’s place in motoring and motorsport legend, and the same is true in reverse,’ enthused Chawla, MD of Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd.
‘Every Gulf outright victory at Le Mans has been Ford powered, and of course Gulf Ford GT40s took the latter two wins of Ford’s four consecutive victories at Le Mans from 1966-1969. What could be more fitting than both brands coming together to produce this fantastic motor car – the modern spiritual successor to the amazing Gulf-Ford GT40s that took Le Mans and World Championship honours.’
After its unveiling, the ’68 Heritage Edition was moved to the Exotics on Cannery Row street festival, where it starred as one of the central features for 150,000 attendees, before moving on to the Pebble Beach Concours.
With such a riotous and enthusiastic reception, these cars won’t hang around the showrooms for long...