On Tuesday 7 November, members experienced an exclusive private tour of Professor Gordon Murray’s week-long exhibition at Dunsfold Park, celebrating 50 years of Gordon Murray Engineering and Design, which is to be enjoyed by the friends, colleagues and industry figures he has encountered throughout his career.
The landmark exhibition gathered – for the first and possibly the only time in one location – more than 40 iconic and historically significant race and road cars from Murray’s 50-year career. The collection on display encompassed almost every car that Murray has designed or influenced, including ground-breaking Brabham and McLaren Formula 1 cars, McLaren road-going supercars, lightweight concepts, advanced sports cars and one-off specials to his iStream® manufacturing technology.
Members were also treated to an insight into how these iconic cars have shaped the modern automotive world, the motorsport figures he’s worked alongside, such as Bernie Ecclestone, as well as the many cultural inspirations for Murray’s work over the decades, including the opportunity to view Murray’s personal drawing equipment. Ahead of the tour, and in addition to the many incredible Formula 1 machines on display, members were able to admire the many treasures taken from Murray’s private collection, including his wealth of music-themed tee-shirts, his very own record collection and 32 of his beloved classic vehicles, which includes one of the first thousand 1959 Austin Mini 850s to ever be built and a 1948 Ford Mercury Sprint.
Professor Gordon Murray said: ‘It was a very proud and emotional day to see all these cars brought together. They chart my professional life, as well as my perspective over the decades on complex challenges in vehicle design and engineering.
‘Making this event happen presented a huge logistical challenge, as many of the vehicles are in private collections and distributed all around the world. Added to that is the fact that almost all the cars are one-offs, and their value is greatly enhanced both by their rarity and, in many cases, by their race-winning pedigree. I am hugely appreciative of the generosity of those owners in granting us temporary custodianship of their cars for this unique event.’
He added: ‘It’s very unlikely that these cars will be brought together in this capacity again.’
The exhibition coincides with other notable anniversaries for Murray in 2017, including the 10th year of operation for Gordon Murray Design, 25 years since the McLaren F1 road car entered production and the 10th anniversary of the innovative automotive manufacturing technology, trademarked iStream®.
The prestigious vehicles on display included a 1967 IGM Ford Special, a 1981 Brabham BT49C championship winner, a 1983 Brabham BMW BT52 World Championship car, a 1988 McLaren MP4/4 Championship winner, and a 1995 McLaren F1 GTR Le Mans winning car.
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