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 Post subject: Dan Gurney... RIP
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:50 am 
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The racing world lost one of it's greatest today as Dan Gurney passed away at the age of 86.

There is so much that could be said of Gurney, and I seem to recall a thread years ago on Gurney, his reputation and his accomplishments. For those who are not of the 60s and follow only F1, he may be only a name that you have heard, but to those of us who were fortunate enough to live in the era when he was still racing, his name is like magic. Gurney, only won 4 F1 races, yet a driver as great as Jimmy Clark reportedly said that Dan Gurney was the only driver he feared (and not in a push him off the tract way). Gurney as a bit of a Stirling Moss in that he seldom drove truly competitive cars.
Gurney also gave Porsche their first F1 win (yes, they actually had an F1 team at one time) and he won at Spa in his own car, the beautiful Gurney-Weslake Eagle, considered by many to be the most beautiful of F1 cars.

What many may not know, or remember, is that Gurney won in many other forms of racing as well. He, along with Mario Andretti and JPM are the only ones to have won races in F!, Indy, NASCAR and Sports cars. In addition to having fielded his own F1 team, Gurney also built many Indy 500 winning Eagles which dominated for several years, and created the AAR racing team that fielded the beautiful Barracudas in Trans Am racing. Gurney also teamed with another legend, A.J.Foyt, to take the overall victory in a Ford GT40 at LeMans in 1967.

Some other things that thinking of Gurney brings to mind is the Gurney flap for aerodynamics and it is Gurney who is often given credit for the now common place celebration of spraying the champagne by race winners.

There is so much more to be said of Gurney and his career. The one thing I can tell you personally, is that Dan Gurney was a class act who treated a young college kid at a Trans-Am race at a now defunct race track in Colorado with a incredible kindness and generosity... a story I have told here before and one that some of you might remember.

Thank you, Dan, for all you have given to the sport of racing and for what you have meant over decades to this sad forumite. May you rest in peace and condolences to your family.

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 Post subject: Re: Dan Gurney... RIP
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:06 am 
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Sad news - a true legend of the sport (and motor racing in general).

I wasn't alive in the 60s (or even close), but I like to think that I'm a true student of the sport and I have a healthy respect for all the pioneers from his era who were possibly the last to be able to really both race and engineer their own machinery. Gurney was yet another example that the stats don't paint the full picture of the driver.

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 Post subject: Re: Dan Gurney... RIP
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:41 am 
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This icon did it all. He will be deeply missed.


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 Post subject: Re: Dan Gurney... RIP
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:48 am 
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Blake wrote:
The racing world lost one of it's greatest today as Dan Gurney passed away at the age of 86.

There is so much that could be said of Gurney, and I seem to recall a thread years ago on Gurney, his reputation and his accomplishments. For those who are not of the 60s and follow only F1, he may be only a name that you have heard, but to those of us who were fortunate enough to live in the era when he was still racing, his name is like magic. Gurney, only won 4 F1 races, yet a driver as great as Jimmy Clark reportedly said that Dan Gurney was the only driver he feared (and not in a push him off the tract way). Gurney as a bit of a Stirling Moss in that he seldom drove truly competitive cars.
Gurney also gave Porsche their first F1 win (yes, they actually had an F1 team at one time) and he won at Spa in his own car, the beautiful Gurney-Weslake Eagle, considered by many to be the most beautiful of F1 cars.

What many may not know, or remember, is that Gurney won in many other forms of racing as well. He, along with Mario Andretti and JPM are the only ones to have won races in F!, Indy, NASCAR and Sports cars. In addition to having fielded his own F1 team, Gurney also built many Indy 500 winning Eagles which dominated for several years, and created the AAR racing team that fielded the beautiful Barracudas in Trans Am racing. Gurney also teamed with another legend, A.J.Foyt, to take the overall victory in a Ford GT40 at LeMans in 1967.

Some other things that thinking of Gurney brings to mind is the Gurney flap for aerodynamics and it is Gurney who is often given credit for the now common place celebration of spraying the champagne by race winners.

There is so much more to be said of Gurney and his career. The one thing I can tell you personally, is that Dan Gurney was a class act who treated a young college kid at a Trans-Am race at a now defunct race track in Colorado with a incredible kindness and generosity... a story I have told here before and one that some of you might remember.

Thank you, Dan, for all you have given to the sport of racing and for what you have meant over decades to this sad forumite. May you rest in peace and condolences to your family.


:thumbup: Well said Blake. Fitting words to a motorsport legend and gentleman.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:23 pm 
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A Winner in all the major forms of motor racing, including F1... in a car he built himself. Not many know he invented the wicker bill (aka Gurney Flap)...

http://www.espn.co.uk/racing/story/_/id ... ns-dies-86

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Last edited by MB-BOB on Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dan Gurney... RIP
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:40 pm 
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How many drivers, as good as Mr Gurney, become successful constructors, and go on to produce one of the finest looking race cars of all time? R.I.P. Mr Gurney.

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 Post subject: Re: Dan Gurney... RIP
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:17 pm 
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an interesting response to Gurney's passing by arni sribhen....

"In a four week stretch of summer of 1967, Dan Gurney started on the front row of the Indy 500, won the 24 Hours of Le Mans (and invented the champagne spray) and then won the Belgian Grand Prix in a car he designed.
"


Pretty amazing when you think about it.

Image

Gurney image found at http://www.bangshift.com

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 Post subject: Re: Dan Gurney... RIP
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:46 pm 
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Posts: 528
Location: illinois
Blake wrote:
an interesting response to Gurney's passing by arni sribhen....

"In a four week stretch of summer of 1967, Dan Gurney started on the front row of the Indy 500, won the 24 Hours of Le Mans (and invented the champagne spray) and then won the Belgian Grand Prix in a car he designed.
"


Pretty amazing when you think about it.

Image

Gurney image found at http://www.bangshift.com



i think he won in two or three other series in 67 too. he certainly seemed to live life to it's fullest, and by all accounts was a really nice guy along the way


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 Post subject: Re: Dan Gurney... RIP
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:05 pm 
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A sad loss, but a full life. Agree with everything above.

Let's also remember the "Gurney White Paper" that started CART. Gurney wrote the plan that he, Penske, Patrick (and others) used to transform a relatively unknown USAC series, which existed only to support the Indy 500, into a world class open wheel racing series. There were times when I personally felt CART machinery was very close to, equal to, and even superior to F1. It was never that way before or after.

R.I.P. Condolences to the family.


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 Post subject: Re: Dan Gurney... RIP
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:20 pm 
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As a young man growing up in California in the 60's-70's not far from the old Riverside Raceway it was impossible to not know, and marvel, about Dan.

It's a loss of one of the greatest people in motorsports due to his impact in every aspect of racing.

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 Post subject: Re: Dan Gurney... RIP
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:13 pm 
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Sad news.

Thank you Blake for your words.

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 Post subject: Re: Dan Gurney... RIP
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:16 pm 
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Dan Gurney did it all, accomplished a lot, and did it with grace and class. I never met Dan in person, which is my loss. But I sure knew a lot about this fine gentleman. Dan's passing leaves a huge hole in the world of motorsports, but I take consolation that his name will be linked forever to a clever invention, the Gurney Flap. And just as pleasing to my sense of proportion, also the Gurney bubble, again an elegant and simple solution to a difficult problem. He was tall, he needed headroom.

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https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/d8/45/a2/d845a26d3a6199d551e0d004efc70d65.jpg

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 Post subject: Re: Dan Gurney... RIP
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:06 am 
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Having met and spoken to the man several times, I can honestly say the world has lost a true gentleman.

Gurney's contribution to motorsport spans a greater period of time than many manufacturers and teams. His dedication, hard work and ability to get things done carried over to as recent as the Deltawing project which would likely have remained a concept had it not been for Dan stepping in to volunteer himself, his resources and facilities to make it become a reality. And it proved to be an amazing performer, thanks in great part to Dan's input and guidance.

In the mid 90's I was fortunate enough to be gawking at both his Eagle Chassis in the paddock and after asking me a few questions to test my knowledge, he removed the wheel and told me to lower myself into the cockpit. It was a great experience that was completely unexpected but he got joy from seeing the look on my face. What happened next is what many people likely don't know and that's how FUNNY the man was. While I was sitting in the car Mario Andretti was walking past and he and Dan traded harsh friendly insults and laughed quite a bit. It was quite apparent they were good friends but when Mario left he looked at us and said THAT'S a race car driver. The best! and a pretty good guy too.

Although Gurney developed countless things, the one thing he's incorrectly given credit for was the Gurney Bubble. Dan's idea was to have the seat reclined a touch more or lift the roof but if neither of those was feasible, he'd just have to get used to driving with his head half cocked and deal with it which is lunacy. The idea to pound out the roof to provide Gurney the room he needed to drive comfortably came from one of the mechanics and the first couple of iterations were kind of crude. The idea was communicated to Carroll Shelby who immediately green lit the alteration.

A sad loss indeed, but he led a very full and fulfilling life and left a positively indelible mark on this world.

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Last edited by F1 MERCENARY on Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dan Gurney... RIP
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:34 am 
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Great story, Mercenary. Mine too was an unexpected meeting and somewhat similar in that I was looking over his two TransAm Cudas, when Dan came up to me and started visiting. I didn't get to sit in the car, instead he invited me to sit under the trailor canopy and have a Coke. Then he had Swede Savage pull up a chair and join us. As you said, Gurney was a true gentleman and a genuine njce guy. If you got to meet him more than once, I am quite jealous.
:)

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