The 2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition made its grand debut over the weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California, showing off a paint job reminiscent of another one of the automaker’s biggest successes in the world of auto racing.
According to LeftLane News, the new Heritage Edition comes with the same light blue-and-orange paint job found on the Gulf Oil sponsored Ford GT40 that emerged victorious in the 1968 and 1969 editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The new car also has a number of other old-school design features that pay tribute to the iconic Le Mans-winning GT40, including blue and orange contrast stitching on the steering wheel, orange calipers, and silver mirror caps.
The 2019 Heritage Edition has No. 9 graphics on the hood and doors, as that was the number Ford represented when the GT40 won the Le Mans in 1968. The 2020 model year, which is reportedly a specific tribute to the 1969 Le Mans-winning GT40, will sport No. 6 graphics, LeftLane News wrote.
As noted by Jalopnik, this isn’t the first time that Ford has unveiled a GT Heritage Edition that pays homage to a GT40 from the automaker’s dominant mid-to-late 1960s run in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2016, Ford launched a black and silver version of the supercar to match the paint job on the GT40 that won at Le Mans in 1966. One year later, the GT Heritage Edition was red and white, much like the GT40 that “thrashed” Ferrari in the 24-hour race’s 1967 edition.
“Many view the Gulf Oil paint scheme as the most famous in motorsports,” read a statement from Ford president of Global Operations Joe Hinrichs, as quoted by The Drive.
“The 1968 GT40 quickly became a global sensation after beating its European competitors on the track four times in a row, and in honor of the 50th anniversary of its win, we’re paying fresh tribute to the original with a new heritage limited edition.”
Gulf Oil Lubricants India President and CEO, Ravi Chawla, also issued a statement on the Ford GT Heritage Edition — referring to the new car as the “modern spiritual successor” to the Gulf-sponsored GT40 models that ruled Le Mans in the midst of the 20th century.
Information on the 2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition’s pricing and availability has yet to be confirmed, but Ford said that the 2020 model year will mark the last time it will be selling the GT with the Gulf Oil inspired paint job. Like the regular Ford GT, the Heritage Edition will come with the same twin-turbo, 3.5-liter V6 engine rated at 650 horsepower mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, according to Jalopnik.