Most motorsport enthusiasts will have attended historic races, events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed or Revival, or similar events in the USA, where the familiar and much-admired Gulf orange and blue race cars have competed or been on display. The chances are that at least some of those would be the cars from the ROFGO Collection.
The mastermind behind this specialist, Gulf-themed collection, is the German Roald Goethe, an accomplished racing driver and lifelong enthusiast of the Gulf cars. A committed collector of historic race cars, he is now the custodian of perhaps the world’s greatest themed collection, which also just happens to be a favourite theme of many motorsport enthusiasts around the world.
The ROFGO Collection comprises some of the most evocative and successful race cars of all time covering categories such as endurance racing, Formula One, Indy cars and the no-holds-barred Can-Am series. Due to the broad spectrum of racing categories included in the collection, there will be something there for most motorsport enthusiasts. And the collection doesn’t just cover race cars from the good old days, the timespan ranges from the 1960s right up to the 2016 season, where Goethe co-drove the Aston Martin Vantage GTE which now resides in the collection. With this car, Goethe, together with Stuart Hall and Jamie Campbell-Walter, won the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship in 2013 in the GTE-Am class, that’s some pedigree!
Acquiring such a collection does not just require deep pockets, although that is one requirement, but it also needs extensive knowledge of the racing scene over a long period of time. Added to that, you need to know where the cars are located around the world that are sought for the collection. It is here that renowned historic car specialist, Adrian Hamilton, comes into play. With his many years in the business, Hamilton has been able to pinpoint where certain important race cars are residing, and to successfully acquire these for the collection.
The result is today one of the foremost collections of important and in many ways, the unique status, of not only race winning cars but also memorable cars that have enthralled enthusiasts around the world. It could be imagined that such a collection would be warmly wrapped up and kept under lock and key for the enjoyment of the owner, and never to see the light of day. But far from being a static collection, these cars are to be seen out and about, competing in events for which each of the cars was originally intended. For example, the Collection’s Gulf GR7 was a race winner in the 2018 Le Mans Classic in the hands of the owner and Stuart Hall.
This marvellous collection of important historic race cars has now been assembled in the pages of book by author Doug Nye. The author, Nye, has the credentials and experience to know most of the cars personally as he is the author of more than 70 books on motorsport history. Titled simply, ROFGO Collection, each car is described in detail by the author, who not only charts its development and racing career, but also includes quotes from drivers, team principals and mechanics.
The book is divided into four parts covering the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and beyond, and a competition history of every car. Spanning the golden years of motorsport, the collection includes such cars as: Gulf Mirage MI, Brabham-Repco BT25, Ford GT40, McLaren-Chevrolet M8D, Porsche 917, Porsche 908/03, Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7, Kremer-Porsche K8, McLaren F1 GTR ‘short tail and ‘long tail’, Audi R8 LMP900, Aston Martin DBR9, Lamborghini Gallardo GT3…, and many more. The collection encompasses almost 50 years of motorsport history.
Despite covering an impressive 35 iconic race cars in detail, plus a healthy section carrying period race history and full specifications for every car, the book is not ‘busy’ and is clearly presented for easy reading. There is also a section devoted to the car’s continued racing life in modern-day historic events. The images include a combination of a specially commissioned photoshoot of each car together with superb archive images, which all adds up to a fitting celebration of this fabulous collection.
This a superb record comprising some of the most iconic and successful race cars spanning almost five decades across a wide range of categories. The narrative is well presented, and as is befitting of a writer of Doug Nye’s standing, very well researched and written. As a collection of Gulf-liveried race cars, it doesn’t get much better, and this book comes highly recommended. Get your copy while they are still to be had.
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