What made Dan stand out from his compatriots is that he built his own car – the beautiful Anglo American Racers Eagle – and won in it.
Motor racing ambitions were temporarily delayed when he was called up to serve in the Korean War, but he returned home after service and bought himself a Triumph TR2 to race.
As his experience improved, so too did the range of cars in which he competed, and by 1959 he found himself making his F1 debut for Ferrari, impressively finishing twice on the podium in his first three outings for the Scuderia.
Indeed, the French circuit was a happy hunting ground for Gurney, as he won there again two years later driving a Brabham, ending the 1964 season with another win at the season-closing Mexican Grand Prix.
His tenure with Brabham saw him challenge the great Jim Clark, but unable to take the title on any occasion.
So in 1966 he set up his own team with the beautiful dark blue Eagle, and by 1967 the Weslake-powered T1G had powered him to victory at Spa Francorchamps. In many respects, it was one of the few highlights with his eponymous team in F1, with the car breaking down far too often.
Despite a couple of brief appearances for McLaren after Bruce McLaren’s untimely death, his F1 racing days were sadly over, and he concentrated on competing in the American motor racing series’ for a further decade.
[Images via The Cahier Archive]
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