These days you can probably find just about anything with wheels painted in the distinctive light blue and orange livery that race cars sponsored by Gulf oil wore back in the 1960s and ’70s. It’s appropriate, though, to find a modern Ford GT in those colors because they were most famously worn by John Wyer’s Ford GT40 racers. In 1967 Ford moved the GT40 racing project back to the United States, and Wyer bought the UK facilities of Ford Advanced Vehicles, where the original GT40s were fabricated. When rule changes for the 1968 LeMans race meant that Ford could no longer race with their 7 liter big block engines, the factory dropped out, leaving it to privateers to carry the blue oval in the 24 hour race. Wyer built more GT40s with slightly revised bodywork, small block engines, and the iconic Gulf colors, winning the ’68 LeMans race with Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi at the wheel.
So if any modern sports car can rightfully wear the light blue and orange, its a Ford GT. This particular GT appears to be owned by Rick Ford Sales near Saginaw, Michigan. It was photographed at the Dixie Speedway during the Mid-Michigan Mustangs annual all-Ford show. I was also fortunate to get some video as the car took some laps around the 1/4 mile track. For comparison to the modern Ford GT, in the gallery I’ve also included shots of a real vintage Ford GT40 in the collection of the National Automotive Museum in Auburn, Indiana and a replica GT40 by Superformance, also painted in a Gulf theme, but with a darker metallic blue that was on display at the Detroit Autorama.
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