Dan, driving Frank Arciero’s 4.9 Ferrari, chases Carroll Shelby in John Edgar’s 4.9 at Riverside on November 17, 1957. Although Shelby won, Gurney led at times and was only five seconds behind Shelby at the finish. This was truly the first time Dan came to everyone’s attention.
Photo: Allen Kuhn
A number of those among us stood head and shoulder above all others during the Golden Age of Motorsports. Juan Fangio, Stirling Moss, Carroll Shelby, John Fitch, Dan Gurney and Phil Hill immediately come to mind. Only one from that exhalted group, however, was proposed for President of the United States: Daniel Sexton Gurney. Of course it was all in fun, but I seem to remember unbounded enthusiasm among young ladies of the time, including my then girlfriend, the daughter of an SCCA official.
It seemed as if Dan could do anything and everything. As a driver, he won in virtually every category: Formula One, Indycars, NASCAR, Can-Am, Trans-Am and World Championship sports car events. He even drove a car he himself created to a Formula One victory, the famed Gurney Eagle with a Gurney-Weslake V-12 engine. Not content with that, he constructed race-winning Indycars and was a team owner, but you probably know that story.
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