Elf Sponsorship on Toy Racing Cars
by Doug Breithaupt and François Rivierre

Tyrrell F1
produced exclusively for Elf
manufacturer unknown

The French petro-chemical company Elf-Aquataine has been a major sponsor of racing programs for many years. This sponsorship is clearly represented on many 1:64 scale racing cars. Elf has also produced at least one small-scale model, the famous six-wheeled Tyrrell F1 car of the mid-1970's. In addition, Elf's many gasoline stations have offered a variety of special-packaged models including models like the 'Club Cadeaux Elf' Formula 1 race car by Majorette.

Elf has a long history in motor racing as a partner and sponsor. Elf has been, for example, the partner of Renault since at least 1966. Promotional formulas of Renault, such as the Renault 8 Gordini Cup, and after that, the Renault 5 Cup, were sponsored by Elf. Elf has also played a major role in support of Formula Renault, F3, F2 and obviously in Formula 1. This support extends to rally cars as well, including the fabulous Alpine A110, the Renault 5 turbo and Maxi 5 turbo. Sport cars were also sponsored with the Renault A442 that won Le Mans. Some small constructors that have a partnership with Renault for engines are also sponsored by Elf. A good example is the Team Schlesser, who for several years built their Paris-Dakar Rally cars with Renault engines. Clearly, if your race car carries a Renault engine, Elf must be your gas and oil partner

Club Cadeaux Elf
Formula 1 Race Car

Over the years, Elf has signed some other interesting contracts. From 1967 to 1971, Elf was the sponsor of Matra. The F3 and F2 cars of the firm were supported, during this period. Matra prepared for its arrival in Formula 1 with these cars. After that, Elf signed with Tyrrell. During this period, many drivers, such as Jackie Stewart, François Cevert, Patrick Depailler and Didier Pironi ran for the team. In later years, Elf was a sponsor/partner for all the teams that used Renault engines in Formula 1, Including Lotus, Benetton, Ligier and Williams. Elf is a primary sponsor of the new Renault F1 team.

Elf is also the creator of a contest called "volant Elf" (translation: "Steering wheel Elf"), which introduced many French drivers, such has Alain Prost, Eric Bernard, and Olivier Panis. Elf also has on occasion sponsored other French marques including Talbot and Citroen. Since the early 1990's, non-French manufacturers have also been supported, an example being the partnership contract that was signed with Toyota in 1992 for sport cars.

The following are samples of different toy racing cars carrying Elf sponsorship. There are certainly many more not shown here.

1982 Renault F1 - Polistil

Tyrrell F1 - Champion

Citroen Dyane - Majorette

1978 Renault A442 - Tomica

Tyrrell F1 - Tomica

Talbot Racer - Guisval

Renault 5 Turbo - Tomica

Tyrrell F1 - Elf

Renault 5 - Majorette (Elf promo)

Renault 5 Turbo - Corgi

Tyrrell F1 - Polistil

Renault 5 Turbo - Corgi

Porsche 935 - Matchbox

Porsche 935 - Matchbox

1989 Ferrari F1 - Guisval