The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William recently awarded Professor Gordon Murray, a renowned South African-born automotive designer and engineer a CBE award (Commander of the British Empire). The ceremony, held at Buckingham Palace, recognised the contributions made by Murray to the motorsport and automotive sectors over the past 50 years.
Gordon Murray said: “Receiving a CBE from Prince William is one of the highlights of my life – right up there with Formula One World Championship wins or creating the world’s fastest production car. The Gordon Murray Group is about to embark on an exciting new chapter, with ground-breaking innovation once again driving our growth. Energised by this accolade I can’t wait to continue the journey, supported by a dedicated and hugely talented team.”
50 years of service
Murray designed his first car in 1967 before moving to the UK to join the Brabham Formula One Team as technical director. There he won two world championships (1981 and 1983), before moving to McLaren International as technical director in 1988 where the team won three consecutive championships: 1988, 1989 and 1990.
After achieving 50 Formula One Grand Prix wins, Murray went on to establish a new company – McLaren Cars Limited. The company’s first project was the world-famous McLaren F1 Road Car. In 1995, a racing version won two world sports car championships and the Le Mans 24-hour race. Murray guided several other successful projects at McLaren Cars, culminating with the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren programme.
In 2007 Murray formed a new British company for the design, engineering, prototyping and development of vehicles – Gordon Murray Design Limited. The Surrey-based company has a global reputation as one of the finest automotive design teams in the world and is responsible for an innovative and disruptive manufacturing technology: iStream®.
In May, Gordon Murray will launch a new book titled ‘One Formula’, which charts in detail his career over the past 50 years. It includes extensive details about the plethora of vehicles he has designed and engineered over the years from Formula One icons to legendary road and race cars. Also, it covers many of the fascinating situations he’s encountered and the achievements he’s made during his long and distinguished career.
Gordon Murray – biography
Gordon Murray was born in Durban, South Africa in 1946 and gained a Mechanical Engineering Diploma from Natal Technical College. He designed, built and raced his own sports car (the IGM Ford) in the National Class in South Africa during 1967 and 1968.
In 1969 Gordon moved to the UK and joined the Brabham Formula One Team as Technical Director, winning two world championships (1981 and 1983) during his 17 years with the team. Gordon joined McLaren Racing as technical director in 1988 and three consecutive championship wins (1988, 1989 and 1990) followed. In 1990, Gordon moved away from Formula One – after 50 Grand Prix wins – to concentrate on establishing a new company for the group, McLaren Cars Limited.
The company’s first project, the F1 road car, is still regarded as one of the world’s best-engineered cars. A racing version won two world sports car championships and the Le Mans 24-hour race on its first attempt in 1995. McLaren Cars then completed several other successful projects culminating in the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren programme.
Gordon left McLaren in 2005 to set up his new company Gordon Murray Design Limited (in 2007), of which he is CEO and technical director. The innovative British company operates from Shalford in Surrey and aims to be the world leader in automotive design. It reverses the current industry trend for sub-contracting by having a complete in-house capability for design, prototyping and development.
In 2017, Gordon Murray Design celebrated the company’s 10-year anniversary along with that of the iStream manufacturing process. At a special event, named ‘One Formula’ Gordon Murray also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the McLaren F1 road car entering production, and his 50th year of car design and engineering.