born: April 13, 1931
The popular son of an opera singer whose family moved to California after his father's retirement, Gurney began racing in West Coast sports car events before racing at Le Mans for the first time in 1958. By 1960 he had gained a place in the works Ferrari F1 team, but it was not until 1962 that he won his first F1 race with Porsche in the French Grand Prix. Between 1963 and 65, Gurney drove for Jack Brabham's F1 team, consistently proving himself a match for Clark and his Lotus but was let down by mechanical failures. For the 3-liter F1 regulations of '66 he started his own team, Anglo American Racers, and won the '67 Belgian Grand Prix at the wheel of his Eagle-Weslake. Gurney also won Le Mans in 1967, sharing his 7-liter Ford with Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt.
The AAR teams enjoyed success in the US but struggled in F1 with the Weslake V12 engine and in the middle of 1968 the F1 team was closed down. Gurney's Eagles went on winning in America until 1981. AAR withdrew from CART in 1986 but enjoyed enormous success with Toyota in IMSA before returning to CART as Toyota's factory team in 1996 a programme that has since been terminated.