Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The DeltaWing at LeMans

A new car design called the Delta Wing will race at LeMans in 2012.

The ultralight concept car has an unusual narrow front end, unlike the rectangular layout of most race cars.

The team behind it includes designer Ben Bowlby and builder Dan Gurney, who won The 24 Hours of LeMans with A.J. Foyt in 1967.

In this video, Dan says, “I think I do have a lot of curiosity.”

I never met my grandfather, another Dan Gurney, who was also a mechanical engineer. Grandpa Dan was the race driver’s uncle, and the namesake of two other Dans in the family (my son and my brother).

Grandpa Dan (the guy in the dark trunks at right) died before I was born, so I can only imagine what he was like. I’ve heard he had the same kind of curiosity, an interest in the unknown or in new discoveries, a quality of being easily amused. I like to believe that it’s a family trait. It certainly was a quality my Dad (the kid standing on the beach) had. He was an engineer too, and he was always taking things apart and enthusing about how to make a better machine. His interests ran more to wind-powered and human-powered machines.

Dan Gurney's All American Racers
24 Hours of LeMans on Wikipedia
More at Racer.com
Watch the video on YouTube
Books: Dan Gurney: The Ultimate Racer
Dan Gurneys Eagle Racing Cars
Previously: Alex Gurney, race driver
Goldsworthy Gurney's Steam Carriages


MrCachet said...

Fascinating. Not only the concept (front wheels, steering at speed, ultra-light, etc.), but the back story - about the Dans you are related to!

Unknown said...

Gorgeous! Looks sleek, but tough. Almost science-fictiony!

Nick said...

You have a really interesting family history by the sound of it! Wasn't there also a Gurney who created that potentially very dangerous but very interesting vehicle with the boiler right under where the passengers sat?