Anytime, anyplace anywhere – Martini & Gulf racers head to concours

Gulf Porsche

Anytime, anyplace anywhere – Some of the iconic Martini and Gulf liveried racers of the 1970s are heading to Hampton Court Palace for the Concours of Elegance…

If the 70s float your boat you’ll be pleased to learn that many of the world’s finest examples of 1970s period race cars wearing the iconic Gulf and Martini racing liveries will be on show at this year’s ‘Main Concours’ display at Hampton Court Palace.

It was back in 1958 when Martini racing was sponsored by the Italian company Martini & Rossi, a distillery producing Martini vermouth in Turin. The livery was instantly recognisable by the distinctive dark blue, light blue and red stripes on white, red or silver cars.

Martini Porsche RSR R6

Martini Racing Porsche 911 Carrera RSR prototype

Leading the pack of Martini cars is the 1973 Targa Florio-winning Martini Racing Porsche 911 Carrera RSR prototype. This car is chassis #911 360 0588, otherwise known as R6 by the internal numbering system used within the Porsche Racing Department at Weissach – the car started life in Group 4 spec, and after having been modified to Group 5 spec for later seasons, was restored to its original 1973 Targa Florio-winning specification, in which it remains today.

Martini Porsche RSR R6

Alongside it sits a later 1974 911 Carrera RSR Turbo – immediately recognisable due to its huge rear wing and flared rear arches. Let’s not forget 1977 and the iconic Le Mans winning Porsche 936 which was built to compete in Group 6 of the World Sportscar Championship.

Gulf

The Gulf liveried cars begin with the legend that is the Porsche 917K – the car on display being the 1970 car most notably campaigned by Jo Siffert and Derek Bell at Sebring and Richard Attwood and Herbert Müller at Le Mans, where it finished second. As the result of an FIA loophole, the 917 used a mammoth 5-litre flat-12 engine and boasted a coupé body, which was 15ft 6in in length for high-speed stability.

Gulf Porsche

Also in Gulf livery is the 917’s smaller sibling, a 1971 Porsche 308/3. This car worked in conjunction with the 917 during the 1971 season where the ultra-lightweight 908/3 was used for winding courses such as the Nürburgring and the Targa Florio while the 917 was used at power circuits such as Monza.

Gulf Porsche

The final Gulf car on display is a 1975 Gulf Mirage GR8. A much more aerodynamically efficient design than its predecessor the GR7, the GR8 featured the well-known Ford DFV V8 engine.

Transporters

Alongside the Gulf cars, also on display will be the original Mercedes-Benz transporter. This vehicle has lived as colourful a life as the cars, having at one time worn a Gulf livery and later a Martini livery.

By far the largest liveried vehicle in the display, this transporter was the transporter for the Gulf-JW Automotive team in 1971 – and was the vehicle that carried the Gulf-JWA Porsche 917s to Le Mans that year – including chassis ‘026’ which is also on display at the show.

Gulf Porsche 908

The transporter went on to be re-liveried in Martini, Essex and Rothmans colours and used right through to the 962 era. It has since been restored to its Gulf Livery – at which point the various colour schemes were re-discovered under the layers of old paint.

There will also be a period-correct Martini-liveried Mercedes transporter present at the show.

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