Racing Legend Dan Gurney Dies at 86
In the world of auto racing, the word “legendary” is thrown around more than it probably should be. But for American race car driver Dan Gurney, the term accurately describes the man, his achievements, and his contributions to the sport. It is with great sadness that we report that Daniel Sexton Gurney has died at the age of 86, reportedly due to complications from pneumonia.
With a career that spanned decades and crossed multiple racing disciplines, Gurney was a true renaissance man. Between 1957 and 1980, he competed in Formula 1, IndyCar, NASCAR, CanAm, and numerous other series. Along with Carroll Shelby, Gurney founded the All American Racers team in 1964, which raced through the late ‘90s in open-wheel and sports car series. He won the 24 Hours of Le Mans behind the wheel of a Ford GT40 with A.J. Foyt in 1967, when he famously started the tradition of spraying champagne after a race victory. In addition to being a successful driver, Gurney was also a team owner and sometimes inventor, credited with designing the Gurney flap and Alligator motorcycle. Just a few years ago, he patented a new type of internal combustion engine. Being as prolific as he was in the racing and automotive worlds, Gurney’s name appeared numerous times in the pages of Motor Trend over the years. He was even featured on the cover of our January 1970 issue.
“With one last smile on his handsome face, Dan drove off into the unknown just before noon today, January 14, 2018,” Gurney’s family wrote in a statement. “In deepest sorrow, with gratitude in our hearts for the love and joy you have given us during your time on this earth, we say ‘Godspeed.’”
Our thoughts are with the Gurney family in this difficult time.