Ford Motor Company and Gulf Oil are celebrating 50 years of their legendary back to back wins at the Le Mans. To mark this special anniversary, a Ford GT '68 Heritage edition has been showcased at the Rolex Historic Reunion event at the Laguna Seca Raceway in California. The original Ford GT40 with chassis number 1075 had won the races in 1968 and 1969, one of the few cars to ever do this since. The most distinct feature on the Ford GT '68 Heritage edition is the Heritage Gulf Oil Blue and Orange livery that has since become one of the most recognised race liveries in motorsport. It also bears the competition number 9 as on the original 968 race car. The car will be sold in limited numbers in 2019 and 2020, with the competition number changing to six for the second year.
Gulf is extremely proud in 2018 to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first Le Mans win, with the legendary Ford GT40, and, as a fitting climax to these celebrations, Gulf has joined with Ford to produce the new Ford GT '68 Heritage edition for the 2019 and 2020 model years. The Heritage Blue with Heritage Orange paint scheme honours the Gulf Oil-sponsored Ford GT40 - chassis #1075 - that won back-to-back 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1968 and 1969.
Gulf has many oil industry firsts to its name - including being the first company in the world to open a drive-in fuel station - and this is the first time that a lubricant & fuel manufacturer has partnered with a global Vehicle Manufacturer to produce a road car production model.
"Many say the Gulf Oil paint scheme is the most famous in motorsports, 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 colors, while staying true to the original GT40 Le Mans winner."
The Ford GT '68 Heritage Edition was officially launched today at the Rolex Historic Reunion event at the Laguna Seca Raceway in California by Ford's Joe Hinrichs and Gulf's Ravi Chawla. The car took its place in a specially designed garage, which depicted the 50-year span of success and which featured Gulf-Ford GT40 #1075, the actual 1968 and 1969 Le Mans-winning car.
"We are 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 motorsporting legend and the same is true in reverse," enthused MD of Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd, Ravi Chawla, at the launch of the car. "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."
Unique partnership - unique car
The Ford GT '68 Heritage edition features the famous Heritage Blue exterior with Heritage Orange graphics and is offered with optional exposed carbon a-pillar and roundel with #9 graphics on both the hood and doors. The car sports unique high gloss dark stainless 20-inch one-piece forged aluminum wheels with black lug nuts. Orange calipers and silver rearview mirror caps complete the look.
The Limited-edition Ford GT features exclusive interior colors, materials, and appointments. Ebony Alcantara is used extensively throughout the interior. Contrasting blue and orange stitching accentuates the seats and steering wheel with a new seat embossment inspired by the original '68 Le Mans-winning car as well as clear & polished anodized paddle shifters. High gloss dark stainless appliqués are used on the instrument panel, door register bezels and x-brace completing the look.
The '68 Heritage edition boasts a unique serialised identification plate plus exposed matte carbon fiber door sills, air register pods and centre console.
Limited quantities will be available for the 2019 and 2020 model years and, for 2020, the package will boast an optional No. 6 in honour of the 1969 Le Mans winner.