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1967 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil Livery

 

 

1966 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Black Hawk Automotive Museum.

1967 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum.

We recently visited the Blackhawk Automotive Museum which has to be on any car enthusiasts list of things to do. One of my all time favorite race cars is the Ford GT40 Mirage in the Gulf Oil livery. This is #10001 the first of the Gulf Oil cars. The description that follows is provided by the Blackhawk Museum.

The 1966 racing season saw a much-needed turnaround in Ford’s fortunes with domination by the GT40’s with top three finishes at the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours, wins at Spa and the Nurburgring and, at the third attempt, a Ford grand slam at the Le Mans 24 Hours. When Ford closed the UK based Ford Advanced Vehicles at the end of the season, famed team manager John Wyer, who was overseeing the launch of the GT40 racing program, and who had taken Aston Marin to their Le Mans 24 Hours win in 1959, launched J. W. Automotive to support private GT40 owners in international competition.

1966 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Black Hawk Automotive Museum.

1967 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum.

In 1966 Gulf Oil Company executive Grady Davis, a SCCA racer and a GT40 car owner, wanted to promote Gulf Oil by launching a motor race program. He contracted with John Wyer to build the Race team. That year, the FIA introduced a revised “Appendix J” to the rules that covered, amongst other things, minimum dimensions for the car and various components. This allowed Len Bailey, one of the GT40’s chief designers, to redraw the car with a slimmer roofline which reduced the frontal area. Gulf Oil wanted a car that looked a little different from the GT40, and John Wyer acquired the Len Bailey narrower roofline design as the basis for the 67 season car. The car would be named Mirage, and just three would be built.

1966 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Black Hawk Automotive Museum.

1967 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum.

In Mirage’s first season and, in the hands of Jacky Ickx, it was very quick but for 1967 it contested only five World Championship events. With drivers such as Jacky Ickx, Brian Redman, David Piper, Dickie Atwood and Jo Bonnier at the wheel, they would achieve a win at the championship race at Spa in their third race, and score a total of five wins overall during 1967.

1966 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Black Hawk Automotive Museum.

1967 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum.

 

 

Of the three original cars, 10001, 10002 and 10003, one was destroyed, one would be rebuilt into the new Gulf Team GT40 specs by JWA for the 1968 season, and the car on display is the only surviving example. It was driven by Jacky Ickx and Brian Redman to a win at the Kyalami 9 hours race in South Africa, and by Malcolm Guthrie and Mike Hailwood to win at the 1968 3 Hours Lourenco Marques race.

1966 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Black Hawk Automotive Museum.

1967 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum.

The Davis-Wyer partnership/friendship that was Gulf Racing would last nine years, and perhaps become endurance racing’s most successful commercial partnership in the golden years of sports car racing. All of which started with the Mirage-Ford M #10001 – the very first race car to be liveried in the now famous powder blue and orange colors.

1966 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Black Hawk Automotive Museum.

1967 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum.

1966 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Black Hawk Automotive Museum.

1967 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum.

1966 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Black Hawk Automotive Museum.

1967 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum.

1966 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Black Hawk Automotive Museum.

1967 Ford GT40 Mirage in Gulf Oil livery at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum.

Filed Under: Feature CarsFeaturedMuseumsVintage Racing

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About the Author: I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California and now live in Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check our our www.TalladegaSpoilerRegistry.com page) As long as it has four wheels on it I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife Katriana is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out with our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.

Comments (4)

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  1. stanley LeBlanc says:

    Good evening
    I’m curious about the Ford GT 40 mirage #M10001 with #14 on it.
    I’ve heard that it’s the only remaining Gulf Mirage. But I’ve seem pictures of another Ford-Gulf Mirage with the number of #6 on it at the Pebble Beach Concours in 2016 were they suppose to have had most of the Ford GT’s present. I’d like to see if you could please find out what is it’s chassis number and it’s history
    Thanking You in advance
    Stanley Le’Blanc

  2. Richard says:

    You will need to contact the Blackhawk Museum directly for any information on this GT40.

  3. stanley LeBlanc says:

    PS
    They had both cars there
    the # 14 #M10001 and another Gulf Mirage with # 6 on it at Pebble Beach.
    TIA
    Stanley Le’Blanc

  4. Terry Clark says:

    I owned this 14 Mirage for 5 years. The term ‘Mirage’ was used for the all Gulf GT-40s initially ( as in the ’68-’69 LeMans winner). However, the Mirages M10001 & M10002 ( M for Mirage)had a very different cockpit configuration, with the cockpit being very rounded rather than sort of a squared-off cockpit in the other ‘Mirages'( S.N. 1074, 75 and 76). Compare the two and you will see the difference. Hope this helps. Incidentally, M10002 was converted back to the more squared off GT-40 and given SN 1074.
    .

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