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With flying colours: the VQ43 Mk2 Gulf Racing

After Henry Ford II tried to buy Ferrari in the 1960s and was rebuffed, Ford’s company pulled out all the stops to break Ferrari’s dominance of 24 Hours of Le Mans. After several failed attempts, the American company finally struck gold in 1966 with the legendary Ford GT40 as Ford vehicles took the top three spots in the legendary endurance race. The feat was repeated in 1968 and 1969, this time with the sponsorship of Gulf Oil. The fabled light blue and orange has remained possibly the most famous colour combination in car racing ever since.

VQ Yachts was proud to recently accept the assignment to build a VQ43 Mk2 Gulf Racing for an owner with his motoring heart in the right place. There was a special request: instead of a red wheel, VQ Yachts would fit an orange one.

Initially this felt like sacrilege: after all, isn’t the red wheel an iconic part of the VQ Yachts brand image? On the other hand, the designs showed that the light blue/orange colour combination did not look so great with a red wheel. Because our primary aim is to create beautiful sport boats, we complied with the client’s wish and an orange wheel it will be!

Recreating the exact Gulf Racing colour combination was a tougher challenge. One of the issues was to get the third colour right – there is a very discreet, but nonetheless crucial, navy blue stripe that always separates the light blue and orange (as explained, for instance, in this article.

You may be interested to know that the precise colour codes are Powder blue (PPG 12163), Topaz (orange) (PPG 60812) and Royal Blue for the thin stripe in-between (PPG 13126). Meanwhile, go back in time and relive motoring history with this fantastic documentary on the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1968 with commentary by Sir Stirling Moss.

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