Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Dan Gurney

Veloce were saddened to hear news of the passing of a another motorsport legend, Dan Gurney, on the 14th January, aged 86.

Dan Gurney, Netherlands GP, 1970
By Joost Evers / Anefo (Nationaal Archief)
via Wikimedia Commons
Daniel Sexton Gurney was born in Port Jefferson, New Jersey, on April 13 1931. He moved to California with his family when he was 16, and by the time he was just 19 years old, he built and ran a car that attained 138mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. His interests quickly moved-on to dragsters and sports cars.

With the ability to wrest even less-than-competitive, pre aero-era cars to a podium finish, he was said to be the only driver that Jim Clark feared on track. Gurney’s racing record reads like a hall of fame of championship series and cars, and he leaves a legacy that future drivers, constructors, and team owners alike, may never again attain. His career saw a string of high-profile wins and podium places in the world’s top racing series, from F1 and Le Mans, to Indy and NASCAR.

But it wasn't only racing where Gurney made his considerable mark. Constructor and team owner are also prominent on his CV, and his Eagle-Weslake cars are still considered as one of the most visually stunning F1 cars of all time.

A comprehensive look at Dan Gurney’s life and career in motorsport appears in Motor Racing Heroes – The Stories of 100 Greats, by Robert Newman.

Daniel Sexton Gurney, 13 April 1931 – 14 January 2018