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Today we have a special guest article from our own Jamie Rathjen. I’ll have more stuff after the lede — PH
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Williams Returns Gulf Oil to F1 Grid by Jamie Rathjen
Earlier this year, the Williams Formula One team signed an advertising deal with Gulf Oil. A few months into the season, they announced a fan vote on which one of four designs based on the distinctive light blue and orange Gulf Oil livery they would use for three races in Singapore, Japan, and Qatar, in September and October.
The Gulf Oil livery has a long history in motorsport, although largely in sports car racing where it appeared prominently on Ford and Porsche cars in the 1960s and ’70s. You might know it from the movie Le Mans, where it appears on Steve McQueen’s car.
As a company, Gulf Oil was an independent oil company in its heyday of motorsport advertising through 1985, when it was part of a merger to form what is now Chevron. It now seems to exist as a brand of motor oil, but one that also puts its logo on things for the nostalgia effect. (If anyone knows more than that, please tell us in the comments.)
In Formula One, Gulf Oil had a deal with McLaren that expired after last season before signing one with Williams. The livery last appeared in F1 in May 2021 at the Monaco Grand Prix, shown below.
McLaren also has a long history with Gulf. The partnership started in 1968 in both F1 and sports cars for a few years, returning to sports cars in the ’90s, and most recently with their F1 deal through last season.
The livery’s classic appearance was primarily light blue with an orange stripe down the center. That was recreated for McLaren’s livery in 2021, but this time was on the choice that ultimately finished second.
All four designs have a light blue base and orange accents, but vary in the use of orange, black, and other colors, and how and where they are used. They’re all strong departures from Williams’s normal livery for this season, which is dark blue.
The winning design was called “Bolder than Bold,” which is supposed to have a camo pattern and orange shapes in various places. It beat out the three others in a short knockout tournament. All four designs are shown below.
Additionally, Williams’s pit crew has already been wearing helmets based on the Gulf color scheme with black firesuits. It’s hard to find a lot of pictures and Williams’s pit stops don’t tend to get on TV as they’re perpetually near the back of the field, so I first noticed the crew’s look at the Hungarian Grand Prix last month. It appears they’ve been wearing those helmets for most of the season, though.
I hope you guys like this feature and will want to continue to submit your concepts and tweaks to me. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).
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Today’s concepts come from Walter Helfer.
Enclosed please find two insignias for the NHL Blue Jackets. The expansion teams of the 1990s were a mixed bag: Logo design was not as coherent as it was in the ’70s, which I consider a Golden Age. The worst offenders– the Panthers and Lightning– eventually changed to improved, simpler crests. And then there’s Columbus: I admit there’s not much about this team that I like, certainly with respect to Ohio’s Crusaders, Stingers and even the short-lived Barons, whose logo fu were superior to the Jackets in nearly every way. The cannon is their best insignia, but that’s because the curly flag, the insect, the hat and the star-spangled ribbon were so bad.
One logo is plainly a tribute to the Barons, a team that deserved better, based on their looks. The second is a riff on the 1970s aesthetic that informed some of the NHL’s best uniforms. Both insignias are red, to make them better stand out against the blue sweater.
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OK readers (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.
And Now a Few Words from Paul
Paul here, letting you know that my Premium article over on Substack this week is a Uni Watch Power Rankings rundown of all 30 MLB teams, from worst to first.
You can access the first part of the article here. In order to read the entire thing, you’ll need to become a paying subscriber to my Substack (which will also get you access to my complete Substack archives, and will also get you my upcoming NFL Season Preview, which will be published on Sept. 5). My thanks, as always, for your consideration and support!
Okay, now back to Phil.
Guess the Game from the Uniform
Based on the suggestion of long-time reader/contributor Jimmy Corcoran, we’ve introduced a new “game” on Uni Watch, which is similar to the popular “Guess the Game from the Scoreboard” (GTGFTS), only this one asked readers to identify the game based on the uniforms worn by teams.
Like GTGFTS, readers will be asked to guess the date, location and final score of the game from the clues provided in the photo. Sometimes the game should be somewhat easy to ascertain, while in other instances, it might be quite difficult. There will usually be a visual clue (something odd or unique to one or both of the uniforms) that will make a positive identification of one and only one game possible. Other times, there may be something significant about the game in question, like the last time a particular uniform was ever worn (one of Jimmy’s original suggestions). It’s up to YOU to figure out the game and date.
Today’s GTGFTU comes from Jimmy Corcoran himself.
Good luck and please post your guess/answer in the comments below.
…that’s it for the early morning article — big thanks to our own Jamie Rathjen for that!
In case you missed it, there was some fairly big uni news late(r) yesterday you may not have seen or commented on: the Bengals basically confirmed they’ll be wearing their white helmets with their primary white jersey, and the Minnesota Vikings will be honoring their long-time coach and legend Bud Grant with a jersey patch in Week 1 (when they will be wearing their throwbacks), and a helmet decal to be worn all season long.
Also, Cincinnati Bearcats football did unveil one new uniform yesterday (an all-black get-up), and I’ll have more on that later today.
Please keep checking back throughout the day as I’ll try to have any breaking news covered.