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DAN GURNEY has passed away

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DAN GURNEY has passed away

 
Old 01-14-2018, 04:00 PM
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Default DAN GURNEY has passed away

About an hour ago I got an email from Eagle Racing Cars USA that Dan Gurney has passed away.

"With one last smile on his handsome face, Dan drove off into the unknown just before noon today, January 14, 2018. 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.'

Evi Gurney, the Gurney family, and AAR teammates

"...Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic..."

"Dan passed away due to complications from pneumonia. According to his wishes, the funeral will be private. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Hoag Hospital Foundation in Newport Beach, CA. For those that want to express their sentiments, please write a note to [email protected]

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I first met this great American Racer in my optometry practice believe it or not! About 12 yrs ago, I was handed a chart by my staff to see my next patient. The staff had already seated him in the exam room. Door closed.

I saw the name and though to myself..."No way, this can't be THE Dan Gurney..."

I opened the door and there he was...his tall lanky frame sprawled out sort of on my exam chair. The guy was 6'4" (193cm) and because of some back issues he couldn't really sit upright.

I was floored. Anyway, it took a long time to finish the exam of course....90% of the time was talking...he told me about how proud he was to be an American F1 driver, in an American car, in an American team. He told me about his current pet project called the Alligator motorcycle...a 1 cylinder low slung bike..and alluded to the DeltaWing racing car sometime in the future. He didn't name it...just said something really cool is gonna be coming down the road.

When we got out of the exam room, I was getting the stink eye from my staff about why I was taking so long...they didn't know who he was.

He then introduced me to his wife, Evi. My god...they were both such nice, polite humble people.

I remember as we walked out, he called over to his wife..."Evi, this is Dr. Crandon! He's a racer also!! (Geez...I wasn't a racer, but just a track day guy). But, he said it's all the same, it's just some guys do it professionally, and some guys do it just for fun.

Anyway....

R.I.P Dan Gurney

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Gurney

The Gurney Bubble and Gurney's Bubbly - The Truth About Cars
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:43 PM
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Just saw this

The DeltaWing is/was the future of single seat race cars.
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:07 AM
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Just read the news and came here to post it. It may be the end of an era but his work and efforts will live on.

Dan Gurney, 1931 - 2018
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:57 AM
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Old 01-15-2018, 09:49 AM
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RIP Dan Gurney - one of the all time greats.
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:47 AM
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A true Wheelman and American hero.

RIP Dan Gurney
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Old 01-26-2018, 11:05 AM
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I've seen where the Rolex 24 will feature a tribute to Dan, and a number of the cars (maybe all of them) will be sporting decals honoring him. It seems so appropriate given his victories there both as a driver (the Continental precursor to the 24) and then later with the Toyota GTP.

During my previous life as a reporter I had the honor to interview Dan a number of times, and every time I seemed to be as nervous as the very first time. I had interviewed other drivers before, or tried to in some cases where they felt a small town media person didn't rate their time (I will mention no names). It would have been crushing for a hero to be one of the later. Dan always was gracious, making all the time I needed for the story I was doing. Meeting him for the first time was no different in spite of having already talked often by phone. That first meeting was at Mid-Ohio where AAR was doing some preliminary testing for the Toyota Indycar program. They were running Lolas with Judd engines. We were meeting to discuss me doing some research and writing for a project he was considering.

We chatted briefly, more polite conversation than anything else, and he said I was welcome to hang around until they were done for the day. He showed me a new watch he had, a Timex Triathalon, and how well the stopwatch function worked compared to what their precision timing and scoring watches were performing. He was like a kid with a new toy. When he noticed I had my 35mm camera and telephoto lenses, he asked if I could carefully try to snap a few pictures of the car Penske was also testing there. Again, it was like kids sneaking behind the school building for a smoke.

We agreed when the testing was over that we would meet up again for dinner at the hotel where everyone was staying. We drove separately, and Dan was no slouch on the two-lane roads from the track to the interstate. It was late afternoon and it had been raining, so I was taking it easy but I could see I would need to up my game or risk being hopelessly lost having no clue where the hotel was. By the time we got to the Interstate, Dan had backed off enough to let me catch up. We stayed together for the most part on the highway, although I could tell when passing opportunities came Dan would take them and I had better be ready to do the same or get stuck by traffic. At one point we were both passing a large truck and just as we made it by, Dan darts back over to the right. It was then I realized our exit was quickly approaching. I had two choices: get on the brakes and back way off falling in behind the truck, or I could gun it and pull in front of "the" Dan Gurney. Some stupid reason I chose the later and as I passed I looked over at him to see this big smile and a "thumbs up." Of course, as soon as we pulled off the highway I had to wave him by so he could lead me to the hotel, but he was still smiling ear to ear when he shot past.

That night at dinner he spent almost as much time asking about how I became a racing fan as I did asking question of him. When he found out that I (in my 40's) had injured an ankle racing karts, he got this wide grin on his face and giggled a bit. I thought it a bit odd, until I found out that he too had injured an ankle racing a go kart as part of a promotion for the sports car race in Nassau. I think this may have been about the time he was driving for Ferrari, and I questioned the wisdom of having done that with a professional driving job in his pocket. That broad smile came back and he said that things were different then and the challenge of racing something he'd never tried before was the attraction.

In a sad bit of irony, in all those opportunities I still never could bring myself to ask for his autograph.

Rest, no. Fly in Peace Big Eagle.

Rex
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:22 AM
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^ Enjoyed reading that post. Thanks for sharing your experience with Dan.
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