BLUE & ORANGE is the story of Gulf Oil and a history of motor racing sponsorship that stretches back to the 1930s. This lavishly illustrated, large format 196-page, full colour book focuses on the drivers, the cars and the events associated with the Pittsburgh company and their famous logo through the best part of 70 years.
The story begins with Harry Miller's ‘Indy 500’ challenger which, in 1937 was a hugely innovative mid-engined single-seater that boasted nothing less than four-wheel drive! In 1966 Gulf Oil vice-president Grady Davis formed a lasting friendship with John Wyer, the race car constructor based in Slough. This racing partnership lasted nine eventful years and was perhaps, the most successful commercial partnership there has ever been in endurance racing, the Gulf Ford GT40s winning the 24-Hours of Le Mans in 1968 & 1969.
Followed by two more successful seasons representing the Porsche factory. This was truly the golden era of sports car racing. Pedro Rodriguez and Jo Siffert established records everywhere they raced the Gulf Porsche 917s, and their exploits at Le Mans, Spa, the Nurburgring and Daytona are now legendary.
Steve McQueen's film 'Le Mans' gave the Gulf Porsche 917 an iconic status, and a chapter in BLUE & ORANGE focuses on the movie, with never before seen photographs and stories of McQueen. Gulf went on to win the 24-Hours of Le Mans again in 1975, and returned to Le Mans in 1994 with a Kremer Porsche K8. In the late 60’s and early 70’s Gulf had a hugely successful partnership with Bruce McLaren in the fields of Can-Am, Indy cars and Formula One. This liaison produced numerous victories and championships before in 1995 Gulf Oil returned to a racing partnership with McLaren, and the privately owned team of Ray Bellm and Lindsay Owen-Jones.
In their centenary year, Gulf Oil sponsored an Audi R8 in which Stefan Johansson won the Le Mans Endurance Series. The story of this campaign is the final chapter in BLUE & ORANGE.