Dan Gurney's BiographyHide Text
Daniel Sexton Gurney, Shown here in the very foreground running toward his #3 Ford GT40 at the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, was born April 13, 1931, in Port Jefferson, Long Island, to John Gurney, a Metropolitan Opera star and his wife Roma Sexton.
From early on Dan liked music of a different kind. The sound of 12 cylinder racing engines were much sweeter to his ears than any aria. As the grandson of F.W. Gurney, manufacturing magnate and inventor of the Gurney ball bearing, it made perfect sense.
Following Dan’s graduation from Manhasset High school in Long Island, his family moved to Riverside, California, where Dan developed his driving skills by weaving through Southern California orange groves. He graduated from Menlo Junior college and served two years with the United States Army, most of that time overseas in the Korean War.
Dan has had 3 very successful careers, A) Racing Driver, B) Racecar Manufacturer / Inventor and C) long term team owner. He is the Chairman of his company All American Racers, with son Justin Gurney, age 45 the President & CEO in charge of day to day operations and his son Alex who is Senior Vice President. AAR is involved in designing, engineering and manufacturing projects for the car, motorcycle and aviation industry.
Dan's racing career, which started with a Triumph TR2 in 1955, spanned 15 years. During that time he became a top road racing star in America as well as one of the most popular F1 drivers of the era. He raced for the most prestigious Grand Prix teams of the time: Ferrari, BRM, Porsche, Brabham and later EAGLE bringing a maiden F1 win to Porsche, Brabham (twice) and his own marque. Gurney etched himself a place in racing lore with exciting battles against drivers like Stirling Moss, Jimmy Clark, John Surtees, Jack Brabham, Graham Hill, Phil Hill, Jackie Stewart and many others on the classic European road racing circuits like the Nuerburgring, the Targa Florio, Monaco and Monza. He drove with equal success in Formula 1 and the Sports Car World Championship Series overseas and the Indianapolis, NASCAR, Can-Am and Trans-Am Series at home in the US, The cars he drove and the races he participated in are astonishing in their variety, more astonishing is the fact that most of the time he pursued these different venues within the same season which made him a busy international world traveler year after year.
With his success, the Dan Gurney fan club flourished, with a worldwide membership that included people from behind the Iron Curtain. His boyish grin, his handsome face graced countless magazine covers, in fact, at one point, Car and Driver magazine launched a "Dan Gurney for President" campaign that is periodically resurrected.