Gordon Murray offers virtual tour of 50 years of F1 car design

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This is a 1975 Brabham BG44B, but wait until you see what's just around the corner... | Gordon Murray Design Limited photos

For the first time in several years, I didn’t get to attend Dana Mecum’s Original Spring Classic collector car auction in Indianapolis earlier this month. One of the things I like about that sale is its setting, several of the buildings at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. 

Those buildings present something of a maze that provides a challenge to navigate but also a delightful reward as you turn a corner or go through a doorway and discover yet another trove of collector vehicles.

While I didn’t get to Indy this year, I did do some exploring in a new website launched by genius car designer/engineer Gordon Murray, who invites you to discover 50 years of his designs in a site set up so you are encouraged to wander from room to room to see what awaits.

The online exhibition includes 40 road and racing cars, and is based on the private “One Formula” exhibition Murray staged in 2017. 

1993 McLaren F1

“Motorsport fans can ‘walk’ among cars driven by legends including Piquet, Senna and Prost, and even ‘sit’ in the cockpits for a driver’s-eye view,” Murray’s news release notes. “Among the grand prix cars featured are the Brabham BT46B ‘Fan Car’, the BT49C that won the 1981 World Drivers’ Championship in the hands of Nelson Piquet, and the McLaren MP4/4, which Ayrton Senna drove to his first Drivers’ Championship victory in 1988.”

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And it’s not all racing cars. 

“Visitors can also explore the McLaren F1 – still the world’s fastest naturally aspirated road car, and its celebrated Le Mans racing siblings. Other famed Murray projects showcased include the OX flat pack truck, the TVR Griffith and the revolutionary iStream platform manufacturing technologies.”

Sample pages in the two-volume ‘One Formula’ book

The website launch coincides with the publication of Murray’s One Formula book, a two-volume, 900-page tome that covers his career in automotive design.

Murray, a native of South Africa, studied mechanical engineering, designed his own sports car, the IGM Ford, and moved to England in 1969 to work for the Brabham F1 team as technical director. After two championships, he joined McLaren, won 50 F1 races and three consecutive championships. He also designed McLaren road cars and in 2005 established Gordon Murray Design Limited.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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