RIP – Dan Gurney 1931-2018

It is a sad day when one of our racing legends leaves us quietly!

I met Dan and son Alex several years ago at the 24 hours of Daytona and what a gentleman!

He just was everything you would want from a race legend and that he was!

The “Big Eagle”, at a height of 6’4″ was not only a race driver but an innovator, engineer, race car constructor, team owner, American race car driver.

He is one of the few that won in F1, Indy Car, NASCAR, Trans-Am(Sports Cars) and only Mario Andretti and Juan Pablo Montoya have accomplished this.

His first race was in 1962 in a triumph TR-2 and his 1st win was at Montgomery field track in a 1956 Porsche Super and that was the start of history after 2 years in the Army and the Korean War his first race he achieved a 4 th place at Torrey Pines and 4 years later driving for the Ferrari Factory team.

1962 he became the only driver to win a Grand Prix for Porsche as an F1 Constructor.

1963 formed AAR “All American Racer” with Carroll Shelby, building F1 and Indy car1993 AAR in a prototype Toyota powered eagle driven for Gurney by Juan Fangio II and PJ Jones win all 10 GTP races in the IMSA series.

To sum up his accomplishments is impossible but will list a few:

312 events in 20 countries with 51 different marques with more than 100 models winning 51 races and 47 podiums, 7 formula 1 races, 7 indy cars races, 5 NASCAR Winston Cup races and 2 2nd place finishes.

Along with his building of cars developed the Gurney Flap, that little angle at the end of wings, full face helmets with Bell and the rear engine indy car.

O yes that silly celebration at the end of the race, “The spraying of champagne” was started by Dan Gurney when he won at Le Mans.

The Gurney Bubble was on the 1967 Ford GT 40 for Dan Gurney to get into the Ford GT40 for the 24 hours of Le Mans as his height was a problem sitting in the car, so a bubble was built on the car top for him to fit and it worked as he won that year.

And the only AMERICAN to put a car of his own construction to win F1; Grand Prix of Belgum 1967, Gurney eagle.

And you thought Tom Brady was great?  He is but!