If you’ve designed some of the world’s best supercars and F1 race winners over the past 50 years, why not bring examples of each together? That’s what British car designer Gordon Murray will do for a week in November to celebrate the opening of a new, bigger design studio for his Gordon Murray Design company.
Murray is also promising to make “an exciting announcement concerning an all-new, groundbreaking vehicle” at the opening.
Murray plans to put 40 iconic race and road cars on display at Dunsfold aerodrome in southern England, including a 1978 Brabham BT46B “Fan Car,” 1981 Brabham BT49C championship winner and 1988 McLaren MP4/4 championship winner. The latter was the car driven by Ayrton Senna to his first F1 title.
“It will be a very proud and emotional day to see all these cars brought together,” said Murray, “as they chart my professional life as well as my perspective over the decades on complex challenges in vehicle design and engineering.”
1978 Brabham BT46B ‘Fan Car’
Race versions of road cars in the exhibition will include at least two examples of the McLaren F1 — the 1995 GTR Le Mans winner and a 1996 LM — although it’s reasonable to expect a few other examples of the F1 surfacing from various collections.
“Making this event happen presents a huge logistical challenge, as many of the vehicles are in private collections all around the world, and I’m hugely appreciative of their owners,” admits Murray.
Car buffs hope an example of the tandem two-seat Light Car Company Rocket from 1991 will make a rare appearance at the exhibit.
Murray was born and studied engineering in South Africa and moved to the U.K. in 1969 in search of a job as a race-car designer.
He had already built and raced the IGM Ford, a car to his own design, a replica of which has just been completed. The 1967 IGM was the starting point for Murray’s 50-year career as a car designer.
1981 Brabham BT49C Championship Winner
The IGM was given the code-name T1, and Murray has given all his designs a T-number since. The MP4/4, for example, was T19 and the latest design, the flat-pack Global Vehicle Trust OX utility truck is T34.
The exhibition also marks the 10th anniversary of the creation of Gordon Murray Design, set up after Murray finished with the team that created the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.
GMD has designed a three-seat city car — the T25 — designed around a new low-cost manufacturing process called iStream.
The T25 and iStream have spawned a project with Yamaha for a compact city car, and the T26 concept will be at the exhibition.
Murray is also consulting on the revival of TVR and a two-seat sports car powered by a Cosworth-modified Ford Coyote V8. Although it’s unclear if the new TVR will be exhibited.
The location of the new studio is interesting, too — Dunsfold is also home to the Top Gear TV track and studio.
Once the exhibits return to their collections, GMD will install new design, development and production equipment.
1983 Brabham BMW BT52 World Championship Car
- 1967 IGM Ford Special (T1)
- 1978 Brabham BT46B “Fan Car” (T9)
- 1981 Brabham BT49C Championship Winner
- 1983 Brabham BMW BT52 World Championship Car (T15)
- 1988 McLaren MP4/4 Championship winner (T19)
- 1995 McLaren F1 GTR Le Mans Winning Car
- 1996 McLaren F1 LM
- 2013 Yamaha City Car (T26)
- 2016 GVT OX (T.34)
1988 McLaren MP4/4 Championship winner