Happy Birthday, Dan Gurney!

Matthew Little

Points Scorer
Speed Channel: Celebrating Dan Gurney At 80

Hard to believe, but one of America's legendary racers turned 80 years old Wednesday; here are some highlights of Gurney's racing career, as quoted in the above article.............

Running his Bonneville car over 138 mph.
o Dan in a power slide in his Ferrari in 1959.
o Celebrating his first F1 win in 1962 with the Porsche people.
o Riding a motorcycle in a 150-mile grind across the desert (he finished 21st out of 300 riders).
o Standing pensively with fellow American Phil Hill before the start of the German G.P.
o Wheeling Jack Brabham's car to victory Rouen in 1964.
o He and Stirling Moss all smiles following their triumph in a sports car enduro at Spa.
o Kneeling next to Jim Clark and Colin Chapman at Indianapolis in 1963.
o Smoking the NASCAR boys at Riverside for his first stock car win in 1963.
o He, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart and Moss racing slot cars on the Ed Sullivan Show.
o Roger Penske talking with DSG before the start of the 1962 Indy 500.
o Holding a whopping lead over A.J. Foyt in the VW race at Nassau.
o Standing proudly by his Eagle in the pits at Indianapolis during practice in 1966.
o The famous champagne spray scene at Le Mans after he and Foyt won for Ford in 1967.
o Talking shop with Joe Leonard, the motorcycle/Indy car champion who drove for Dan before getting hooked up with Andy Granatelli.
o At speed in his Eagle/Weslake on his way to the landmark win at the Belgium GP in '67.

o Giving a thumbs up to Bobby Unser following the Eagle's initial Indy win in 1968.
o Saluting Mario in '69 after the checkered flag, Gurney was second.
o Giving some pointers to Swede Savage before a Trans Am race in 1970.
o He and Hill posing with an 5-year-old kid named Willy T. Ribbs, who would later drive his sports cars.
o Parnelli and Gurney lining up for a Trans Am battle.
o Soaked and smiling in Victory Lane at Indy in 1975 with Uncle Bobby.
o Congratulating Mike Mosley, who stormed from last to first at Milwaukee in 1981 in Gurney's beautiful, sleek Eagle.

Among American F1 competitors, Dan Gurney ranks with the best of them; his 86 starts are 3rd amongst the Red, White & Blue and his four wins place him second to Mario Andretti. In addition, Gurney is still, as of 2011, the only F1 competitor to score maiden wins for three different competitors: Porsche in 1962, Brabham in 1964 and his own Anglo-American Racers' team in 1967. However, the biggest compliment anyone ever paid him in the F1 world came from the father of world champion Jim Clark, who took Gurney aside at his son's funeral in 1968 and told Gurney that he was the only driver his son ever feared on the track.

In North American motorsports, Gurney is most well known for his 1978 White Paper, in which was born the seeds of what would eventually become the Championship Auto Racing Teams series, better known as CART, a series which would supplant the then-dominant USAC National Championship and be supplanted itself by the Indy Racing League, which is now known as IndyCar. On the racing side of the ledger, his All-American Racers' team would compete in multiple North American series, winning a total of 78 races(including the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and numerous IMSA and Trans-Am races)............


Happy Birthday, Dan! :birthday::birthday:8-)
Speed Channel: Dan Gurney Retrospective Photo Gallery

Interesting photo gallery.........some highlights:


--photo of Gurney alongside competitors Gordon Johncock & Mario Andretti


---1967 Belgian Grand Prix


---1960 Nurburgring 1000km; Gurney alongside Stirling Moss


---1967 24 Hours of LeMans; one of the iconic champagne photos taken following the race


---Gurney & fellow F1 competitor Denny Hulme converse prior to a race


---Collection of cars raced by Dan Gurney during the course of his career(photo taken during the 2010 Monterey Historics' at Laguna Seca)
Dan was one of the most versatile drivers I ever saw, able to race and win in everything from Formula 1 cars to NASCAR stockers. Of course, his was an era when drivers were allowed to drive in more than one series, as they generally had no contractual requirements prohibiting it.
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