Designers – Gordon Murray

The Colin Chapman F1 Design Peers Series

Gordon Murray CBE – the Gordon Bleu of Performance car Design

Murray Walker:-

“……….One of these uncompromising and furiously clever individuals who is a gentle, cultured and thoroughly approachable human being is Gordon Murray “


The A&R considers that Colin Chapman’s design career in FI embraced two periods:-

  1. From the inception of Lotus cars to the late 1960’s early 1970’s
  2. The mature period covering the wings/ ground effect and turbo era until his sad and early death in 1982

We don’t know what he might have achieved had he lived beyond this.

The FI designs of Colin Chapman were considerable not least because of his relatively low budget .He did not have the resources of a multinational to cross-subsidize its racing programme against publicity and a means of developing its engineers.

In order to evaluate Colin Chapman better the A&R is committing to a series of benchmarking exercises analyzing the design achievements of his peers.

These design studies are a natural complement to our series on Design Heroes that gives priority to Industrial and Product Designers.

Gordon Murray is one of the greatest performance and diverse application transport designer of the 20th &21st. century.He has displayed extraordinary talent across the broadest range conceivable being a designer, race strategist and consultant.

He will probably be recorded as one of a handful of the greatest car designers of all time.

He has displayed the highest level of technological, aesthetic and sculptural qualities in his design.

He has been compared with Colin Chapman and in many respects this is deserved.

Gordon Murray was born in 1946 and is 74 years old in 2020.

The Designers

We offer the list below and would be interested to hear from our subscribers if they would like to make other recommendation for inclusion and also if they have priority/ preference in our selection.

We appreciate that some of these designers were colleagues of Colin Chapman at Lotus at some point in their careers but went onto achieve success in their own right.

As a prompt subscribers might like to use the list to pencil in those cars they associate with the designers.

Designer Marque Model

Len Bailey
Dave Baldwin
Ralph Ballamy
John Barnard
Michel Beaujos
Nigel Bennett
Eric Broadley
Gustav Brunner
Rory Bryne
Paul Carillo
Colin Chapman
Carlo Chiti
John Clark
Peter Connew
Gordon Coppuck
Andre de Cortanze
Frank Dernie
Richard Divila
Gerrard Ducarouge
Geoffrey Ferns
Mauro Forghieri
Derek Gardner
John Gentry
Chuck Graemiger
Herve Guilpin
Patrick Head
Robin Herd
Jean-Pierre Jabouille
Ray Jessop
Georges Martin
Tico Martini
Alan McCall
Arturio Merzario
Kenij Mimura
Robert Morin
Vic Morris
Gordon Murray
Morris Nunn
Martin Ogilivie
Masa Ono
Enzo Osella
Luciano Pederzani
Maurice Phillippe
Mike Pilbeam
Harvey Postlethwaite
Adrian Reynard
Franco Rochi
Ken Sears
Tony Southgate
Giorgio Stirano
Ray Stokoe
Nigel Stroud
John Surtees
Andy Swallman
Ron Tauranac
Len Terry
Michel Tetu
Antonio Tomaini
Martin Walter
Tim Wardrop
Dave Wass
Peter Wright
Edy Wyss

Each of the assessments will adopt a set format for a degree of uniformity and fairer evaluation. The assessment criteria as follows [but again we are happy to take suggestions from our subscribers]:-

    • Brief biography and design methodology
    • FI car design
    • Sport / sports racing car design
    • Road car design
    • Consultancy and any other product design
    • Legacy or design influence

The editors have been influenced by “The Art of the Formula 1 Car” but aesthetics alone will not influence inclusion.


Studied mechanical engineering at Natal Technical College (now Durban University of Technology).
Built and raced his own car, the IGM Ford, in the South African National Class during 1967 and 1968


  • 1969-1986 Joined Brabham as junior designer and appointed chief designer four years later. Between 1973 and 1985 Murray’s Brabhams won 22 Grand Prix races and twice came second in the Constructors’ Championship
  • 1987-2006 McLaren technical director.
  • Murray’s 1988 Honda-powered McLaren MP4/4 won 15 of the 16 Grands Prix and gave Ayrton Senna his first Drivers’ Championship
  • 1988-91 McLaren won four Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships
  • 1991-2004, Murray headed up the off-shoot McLaren Cars team to design road-going supercars: the McLaren F1 and the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
  • 2007 Established Gordon Murray Design, developed T25 prototype city car, the T27 electric-powered version and the iStream manufacturing process

The Mechanic‘s friend

Stan Collier:-

“Gordon was a nice, down to earth bloke.when he was going to alter something on the car he would come round and ask if it would make life easier for us, which most designers didn’t even think about “

Hughie Absalom also identified Murray as a designer who gave a lot of thought to how easy it would be for mechanics to work on his designs………..they realized that the easier you made it to work on , the more reliable the car becomes……….”

List of Formula One designs from wiki:-

The list of cars that were designed by Gordon Murray and actually raced in Formula One is:

McLaren Cars from wiki:-

From 1991 to 2004, Murray headed the offshoot McLaren Cars team to design road-going supercars: the McLaren F1 and the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.

Gordon Murray Design

In July 2007 the Gordon Murray Design consultancy was established, and released initial details regarding its upcoming T.25 (Type 25) prototype city car along with mention of a future lightweight, economical supercar project.[10] [11] The T25 will be smaller than a Smart Fortwo.[12] In November 2009 Gordon Murray Design and Zytek Automotive announced plans to develop an electric-powered version, the T.27.[13]

On 17 November 2008 Gordon Murray won the ‘Idea of the Year’ accolade at Autocar magazine’s annual awards ceremony for the manufacturing process proposed for the T.25.[14]

The car, dubbed T27, will be the product of a partnership between Murray’s company and British technology company Zytek, which will build the powertrain.[15]

A celebration of 50 years of Murray’s involvement in the car industry was held called One Formula. Every one of Murray’s F1 designs was on display along with the McLaren F1 road car and examples from his personal car collection, along with hundreds of rock band T-shirts that Murray had amassed over the years. [citation needed] The book One Formula – 50 years of car design details Murray’s designs.[16]

Other projects

In 1981, Murray was involved in improvements for Midas Cars.

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Light Car Company ‘Rocket’

Murray independently designed the Rocket, an ultra-lightweight, open cockpit roadster powered by a 1-litre motorcycle engine, which has an appearance similar to that of a 60’s era Grand Prix car. Looking like a single-seater, it could accommodate a passenger in tandem with the driver, the second seat located beneath a removable cover. The Rocket was built by former racing driver Chris Craft at the Light Car Company. Murray is a contributing editor for American Road & Track.[17]

In September 2016 it was announced that Murray had been appointed to develop the Ox, a flat pack low-cost vehicle, for the British charity Global Vehicle Trust.[18]

Gordon Murray –innovations and race strategies

  • In board Pull-rod suspension
  • Dry sump transmissions
  • Underbody ground effect “V” shaped skirt
  • Carbon brakes
  • Carbon composite panels in aluminium monocoque
  • Variable ride heights
  • Crash test composites
  • On board air jacks
  • Surface cooling panels
  • Fan car [BT46B]
  • Tire and half full fuel tanks race strategies
  • Pit stop strategies


This Lotus Seven type car GM built and raced in South Africa.

See Evo magazine article for a thorough description.

Its work noting that GM did considerable self-tuning on the engine.

Duckham’s Ford Le Mans car

This was of GM earliest professional designs .It was commissioned by Alan de Cadenet

See internet etc. for details

The 1975 Racing Season: Brabham BT 44 v Lotus 72

Subscribers are invited to interrogate the net to explore the competition between these marques and designers.

The BT 44 from the net

“The Brabham BT44 was a Formula One racing car designed by Gordon Murray, Brabham‘s chief designer.[1] An update of the partially successful BT42 of 1973, the BT44 was a simple design with a standard Ford DFV/Hewland gearbox combination, but was very clean aerodynamically. Murray had an eye for clean lines, and the BT44 was particularly graceful. He was also a forward thinker, and tinkered with side skirts and air dams on the car, a precursor to ground effects aerodynamics. Sponsorship came from Martini.”

1975 Brabham BT44 F1 OW blueprint

Figure 1.1975 Brabham BT 44 designed by Gordon Murray.image from the net

TheBrabham BT 46 B “Fan Car” [1978]

1978 Brabham BT46 B F1 OW blueprint

Figure 2.1978 Brabham BT 46B [Alfa Romeo] “Fan Car “designed by Gordon Murray. Image from the net

Figure 3.Editors sketch of down force generation via fan

1970 Lotus 72D F1 OW blueprint

Figure 4.The Lotus 72 –image from the net- see A&R dedicated pieces and illustrations

McLaren FI

Possibly one of the best routes into this car and indeed Gordon Murray’s design methodology can be found in Driving Ambition.

See bibliography/references below for details.

1989 McLaren F1 Coupe blueprint

Figure 5. Image from car blue prints, see net

Evenden in “Moving Forward” states:-

The McLaren FI designed by Gordon Murray and Peter Stephens’s considered by many to be the ultimate road car. A vechicle hailed by the industry as a holistic design concept breathtaking in its clarity of purpose” [quote from D.Nye in “Driving Ambition” 1999.

Considered by many as the ultimate road going sports car- a tour-de-force.

“The F1 will be remembered as one of the great events in the history of the car” Autocar.

It was hugely uncompromised but it was hugely expensive as a result.

From the net:-

Gordon Murray, designer of the McLaren F1 (which for many years was the fastest production car ever built) said the following about the Bugatti Veyron in UK auto magazine Evo during its development period:

The most pointless exercise on the planet has got to be this four-wheel-drive thousand-horsepower Bugatti. I think it’s incredibly childish this thing people have about just one element – top speed or standing kilometre or 0–60. It’s about as narrow minded as you can get as a car designer to pick on one element. It’s like saying we’re going to beat the original Mini because we’re going to make a car 10mph faster on its top speed – but its two foot longer and 200 kilos heavier. That’s not car designing – that just reeks of a company who are paranoid…

—Gordon Murray [95]

Frank Stephenson writing in Form and Function observed:-

“It was designed to be tight, and I think that’s a common factor in the really great supercars. They’re more believable if they are less styled .Like military aircraft –nobody comes in and tries to make them look beautiful, they just try to make them perform in the best possible way. There isn’t any piece of superfluous design on the F1: form= function”

Aesthetics & Observation in Art of the FI Race Car & Form and Function the Art of the Super Car

Within these important contributions to performance car design we can witness that Colin Chapman/ Lotus is mentioned on 2 occasions relating to the types 49 and 72.

Also included is the McLaren MP4/4 which Gordon co designed with Steve Nichols.

Gordon said of this car:-

“It was a very simple car, but we found a massive improvement in the aerodynamics. And it handled very well,

I have always loved simple things.I wanted to bring the driver back down to Chapman level………….

Professor Gordon Murray & Columnist for Evo magazine

Gordon Murray has been recognized academically and he writes for several magazines and written support material in several recent books examining performance car design.

Gordon Murrays: Million Pound Garage

GM owns a selection of inspirational cars.Others he has observed are significant.


“GM still finds the Lotus Seven and the Elan are two of the most perfect cars ever conceived………… not much as production cars-too many design and development faults- but finds them conceptually brilliant………….

Murray has never ceased to admire Chapman, and, as for many others in and around racing the Lotus 25 is for Murray the essence of Chapman’s genius Its simplicity-indeed the way it brought simplicity-was extremely elegant and as a solution to the problem facing the gp car designer at the time it was well-nigh perfect “

GM favourite Lotus include: 16, 23, 25, 33, 49, Elite and Elan S3 coupe.

  • 1968 Fiat 500
  • 1968 Lotus Elan Coupe SE
  • IGM Ford 1966
  • Ducati 916 SP3
  • Honda Pan Am 1300 V4
  • Porsche Spyder 550
  • Ford Thunderbird 1957
  • Renault Kangoo
  • TBA [ his city car]

Figure 6. GM city car image from the net

Shell Concept Car

Top Gear edition 290.

“This isn’t a car, it’s a rolling treatise on energy reduction, its Gordon Murray’s T25 city car although no marque has stepped forward to turn it into production reality since it appeared in 2012 development has no stopped and gm has partnered with Shell and engine specialist Geo Technology to explore more ways to reduce emissions……

Andy Jones , design director at GMDesign ,calls it the weight waterfall –removing weight from one area means you can take more from another .so no stone has been left unturned , body , suspension ,brakes , steering ,exhaust , cooling , interior .there practically no NVH materials in it .weight has come down from 627 kg to 550kg .so no power steering needed to turn the 145/70 R13 tyres and outputs of 43 bhp and 47lb ft. are enough to push it along at up to 100mph………..

The 3 cylinder engine started life in a kei car but aside from head and block everything else is altered and the lubrication designed to match the engine …………

The packaging is amazing –three adults plus a 160 litre boot that extends to 720 litres with rear seats folded .yet is small enough to fit on a table tennis table. The central driving position is easy to adapt to, the only curiosity the tall, upright, van like driving position due to the packaging.

Specification Gordon Murray Shell Concept/T25
Mechanics 660cc,3 cylinder,RWD
Output 43bhp.47lb.ft.
Fuel Consumption 107 mpgn/a g/kmco2
Performance 0-62mph in 15.8 secs.100mph
Weight 550kg
Top Gear estimation 8out10


“The OX truck can be unboxed and assembled by three people in not more than 12 hours! Six such trucks can be shipped in a single 40 foot container.

The main considerations for design are: the vehicle should be affordable, easy to ship, easy to service & maintain, durable & reliable, all terrain capable and economical to run. Striking balance between all these parameters isn’t that easy as few parameters are inversely proportional to each other. Achieving an optimal balance between all these parameters is a commendable job.”


Figure 7.image from the net

“The fully-assembled truck is a highly capable off-roader despite lacking all-wheel drive. Powered by a 2.2-liter 16v Ford PT22 diesel engine producing 100 HP and 385Nm of torque, the OX can carry more than 1900kg of cargo, with a load volume of 247 cubic feet. It can also be configured to seat up to 13 people, or carry eight 44-gallon drums or three Euro-pallets. The driver sits in the center of the cab like in McLaren F1, with a passenger seat on either side. The center-steer configuration means the truck can be used in right-hand drive or left-hand drive nations without any mechanical changes.

Gordon Murray says the OX program is “undoubtedly one of the most interesting and challenging” projects he has undertaken in his 45 years of career, including his years in F1. Given the cost, durability and capacity requirements and the flat-pack design of the OX design mandate, we can understand why Murray calls it “a fascinating and stimulating journey from concept to prototype”.

IStream lightweight seat

“The iStream lightweight seat is the product of a research-based project, part-funded through the Innovate UK framework – the Manufacturability of Advanced Passenger Seats (MAPS) – with the objective to develop lightweight automotive seat structures and production methods.

The newly-developed seat can be modified to suit all types of vehicle. Its advanced composite panels and tubular frame construction dramatically reduces structural weight, while maintaining the high-volume, low-cost benefits of Gordon Murray Design’s original iStream technology.

Key advantages of the iStream lightweight seat include:

  • Lightweight composite structure (sub 12kg)
  • 30% weight saving vs conventional modern seat
  • Suitable for high- and low-volume applications
  • Ultra-low tooling and development costs
  • Simple, high-speed assembly
  • Low part count
  • Competitive piece cost
  • Satisfies all applicable European automotive requirements (UN ECE), including luggage retention requirements
  • Can achieve low seating position
  • Anti-submarining design
  • Full four-way adjustment “

About Gordon Murray Design

Gordon Murray Design is a visionary design and engineering company with its headquarters in Shalford in Surrey. It was established in 2007 with a focus on developing an innovative and disruptive manufacturing technology trademarked iStream®, and has since built a global reputation as one of the finest automotive design teams in the world.

The company’s unique approach and truly creative thinking enables Gordon Murray Design to deliver complete car programmes in a highly efficient and innovative way from concept and design, through to prototype and development for production.

About iStream

Rather than the traditional method of combining hundreds of panels of stamped metal, iStream uses tubular metal with 10 – 15 structural composite panels. IStream Superlight® is the ultimate automotive light weighting technology as it maximises the iStream approach by using cored honeycomb carbon fibre composite and an aluminium frame to save almost 50% in weight against a standard stamped metal chassis.

IStream is an acronym for iS = Stabilised; T = Tube; R = Reinforced; E = Exo-frame; A = Advanced; M = Manufacturing.


Murray is collaborating with TVR to design the upcoming TVR models.

This is likely to be the modern interpretation of the Griffith [see dedicated A&R piece]

Gordon Murray V12 T.50 Super car

This is an incredible and complex design-for this reason and brevity we direct subscribers to the net:-

In particular we noted that:-

“The fan and its associated ducting system improve on conventional ground-effect systems by actively managing both underbody and over body airflow. This boundary layer control ensures the most effective interaction of airflow on top of, and below the car, balancing drag and downforce at all speeds. This helps to increase downforce by 50%; reduce drag by 12.5%; add around 50PS to the car’s output, in combination with ram-air induction; and cut braking distance by 10m from 150mph.”

Archive & Resource Materials

The A&R holds a small collection of items pertaining to GM including:-

  • UT 1:18th scale McLaren F1
  • Books including biography of the F1
  • Books on McLaren
  • Magazine articles on GM and the F1

Learning Opportunities

Our learning /educational opportunities are intended to be challenging thought provoking and requiring additional research and/or analysis.

These opportunities are particularly designed for a museum/education centre location where visitors would be able to enjoy access to all the structured resources available in conjunction with any concurrent exhibition.

In this instance we suggest the following might be appropriate:-

  • Which other car marques have produced F1 and road cars?
  • How does road car production sit with F1 teams?
  • Was the McLaren F1 value for money? Explain and Give examples
  • Compare and contrast the Brabham fan car with the Chaparral
  • Why does it seem that the GM City car was not had wider adoption?
  • Study the IGM and extract GM design methodology
  • Compare and contrast the McLaren F1 & T50 with iconic super cars of the 1960’s what are their respective aesthetics and impacts?
  • No compromise and no expense spared –the best way to design a performance car? Debate
  • Gordon Murray seems to possess elements of Colin Chapman, Ettore Bugatti and Giogetto Giugiaro -Debate
  • Use spread sheet in appendix and record respective engines, drivers and Championships won

Education. Entertainment, Economics and Exhibitions

The proposed museum believes that commercial considerations are both necessary and complementary with its educational objectives.

For these reasons our Business Plan includes provision for promoting products and services which share Chapman’s ideals of mechanical efficiency and sustainability. In addition we propose merchandising that explain and interprets the social and cultural context of Chapman’s designs in period. It’s suggested there will be catalogue for on line purchasing.

In particular in this instance we consider the following exhibition titles appropriate:-

  • Murray on Murray
  • Hitting the fan
  • Gordon Murray: Design Maverick
  • Murray Sprints
  • Flash Gordon
  • Murray’s Mermaids
  • Gordon Murray: Son of the Sixties
  • Gordon Murray –the Gordon Bleu of Performance car Design

Conclusion and brief Comparison of Murray and Chapman

There was an age difference between these two men.GM was 18 years yonger.In the mid 1960’s when he arrived in the UK, he was in his twenties, CC was approaching mid age.

The age gap was significant in many respects as it related to technology, F1, sponsorship and finance.

CC had innovations under his belt along with driver and constructor Championships and International status; within the next decade he would launch his next major innovation [ground effect] and would have perhaps gone further if he had lived.

He part supported his racing programme by manufacturing his own brand of road cars.

GM was a hired designer.

GM has followed and has been respectfully compared with CC demonstrating achievement in F1 design, innovations, race conduct strategy, more recently consultancy.

Both have been involved in F1 politics: Murray with the “fan” car and Chapman-the twin chassis.

GM has been responsible for what might go down in history as two of the finest supercars ever conceived.

The generation gap makes direct comparison difficult.GM says he likes simplicity but his supercars are only affordable to the minority.

Murray Walker accords both men hero status. Of Chapman he stated:-

“Chapman was not only a design genius but also an inspirational leader, a supreme motivator and an ingenious and gifted business man who was always prepared to walk closer to the line of acceptable ethics than most of his peers.

He was possessed of an extraordinarily clear, analytical mind, a ferocious impatient spirit and an unbelievably good memory………….

Tough and demanding, ruthless and impatient, and willing to cut corners to satisfy his enormous ambitions, Colin Chapman had a greater influence on racing car design than anyone else in the history of Formula 1.For my money ,despite his shortcomings ,he was a real hero………… he was a flawed hero but a hero none the less”

Other assessments include:-


“at the time of writing the most successful racing car designer is Gordon Murray of McLaren and formerly of Brabham whose designs have dominated F1 for a dec\de winning multiple consecutive Constructors Championships……………

Had idolised Chapman and the Lotus cars he designed. He built his own Clubman class racer fairly close to the Lotus 7, but incorporating all his own ideas…………..

He still finds that the Lotus Seven and the Elan are two of the most perfect cars ever conceived……………

Murray has never ceased to admire Chapman and, as for many others in and around racing, the Lotus 25 is for Murray the essence of Chapman’s genius………….

Murray is remembered also for the Brabham “fan” car of 1978.This was a desperate move on his part to compete with the then dominant Lotus 79 ground effect car………..

Murray has very few adverse points to make about Chapman…………… Chapman was one of the very few whole car designers to make his own place in history……….”

“One of Formula 1’s most brilliant free-thinkers, Gordon Murray’s renegade approach to the sport saw him push the technical boundaries to their very limit during his glittering career – with results that still influence F1 today.

The tactical pit stop? That was Murray’s idea. The Brabham BT46B fan car? That was his. The drag-lite McLaren MP4/4, the car with the highest win percentage in the history of the sport? Murray’s.

Like Colin Chapman before him, Murray’s lateral-thinking way of looking at the F1 rulebook provided a shining example to the engineers who would follow him, while it was arguably he who did more than anyone else to modernise aerodynamic design in the sport.”


“highly individualist in both character and work, Gordon Murray is one of the top GP car designers of his era and, like Colin Chapman, led where others followed……….

Murray’s first GP vary design was the BT42,of 1973,and thereafter he produced a whole string of individualist,origin designs which went on to win 22 GP ,give Piquet two world championships yet never won the Constructors title…………

Some of these designs were truly outstanding, yet none achieved the supremacy they deserved. This was due partly to Brabham changing component suppliers who did not live up to their promises……….”

“[Reference the McLaren F1] ……….since his favourite car is the Lotus Elan …… can bet Gordon will come up with a similar gem, and standard setter, that more than meets the highest expectation of today’s road cars……….”

“Perhaps though, GP racing really has advanced beyond the stage where one man can design a new car, and where a “design team” is essential. This will be a great shame, because it limits the role of such an individual as Gordon.”

“True, other designers have produced cars which have won more

races/championships, Patrick Head & John Barnard to name two but it was Gordon Murray who carried the torch of the individualist genius after Colin Chapman died, and his cars were always something special………….”

From Top Gear Magazine issue 290:-

“Cars designed by Gordon Murray have won 5 FI championships, he’s the engineering brain behind the McLaren FI, the Light Car Company Rocket, and the T25 City Car concept.

And yet this year he told us “I’m more proud of this than any other vehicle I’ve done “he’s talking about the OX, a simple cheap robust easily repairable assembly –from-flat-pack truck. It’s designed with the noble aim of providing transport to remoter poorer parts of the globe .its inventive and relevant –much like the man himself. Murray’s ceaseless innovation, his refusal to conform, his willingness to tackle the big issues [whether its speed, utility or efficiency] head on, and his dexterity in doing so is astonishing .the world needs pioneers, the world needs more men like Gordon Murray”

Subscribers might like to undertake a further benchmark with Colin Chapman using the check list/spread sheet below.

Colin Chapman’s Achievement
F1 Constructors & Drivers Championship
Le Mans
British Club level
Single seat formula below F1
Iconic Road cars
Technical /engineering innovations
Development of human talent
Facilitation & sponsorship
Aesthetic appreciation
Product Design
Design Methodology
Legacy, continuity, heritage
Impact on popular culture
Contribution to British economy
Significant Awards
Documentation, books & articles etc.

Appendix 1

From “Top Gear” magazine [issue 290, 2016.

Top Ten light cars 2016

  1. Renault Twizy 474kg
  2. Caterham Seven 160 490kg
  3. Ariel Atom 520kg
  4. BAC Mono 580kg
  5. Ariel Nomad 670kg
  6. Zenos E10 700kg
  7. Lotus Elise 723kg
  8. Morgan Roadster 1.6 795kg
  9. Suzuki Celerio 835kg
  10. Citroen C1/Peugeot 108 840kg

Appendix 2:F1 cars

The list of cars that were designed by Gordon Murray and or actually raced in Formula One is:

Dates Car design, Code/type
1964-67 IMG -Ford Special
1970 Brabham
1972 Duckhams Le Mans car
1973 Brabham BT42
1974 Brabham BT44
1975 Brabham BT44B
1977 Brabham BT45B
1978 Brabham BT46B
1979 Brabham BT48
1980 Brabham BT49
1981 Brabham BT49C
1,982 Brabham BT49D
1983 Brabham BT52
1984 Brabham BT53
1986 Brabham BT55
1988 McLaren MP4/4

Appendix 3.F1 summary achievements

  • 17 seasons as top F1 designer [20 years approx…]
  • 56 Grand Prix’s
  • 5 World Drivers Championships
  • 3 World Constructor Championships


Driving Ambition.Nye.Dennis&Murray.Virgin.2003.

ISBN: 1853278412

Form Follows Function-The art of the super car.Codling.Motorbooks.

ISBN: 9780760341162

Grand Prix Motor Racing.Cimarosti

A-Z of Formula Racing Cars. Hodges.Bayview.1990.

ISBN: 1870979168

The Art of the Formula I Race Car.Codling.Motorbooks.2010.

ISBN: 9780760337318

Moving Forward: New Directions in Transport Design.Evenden.V&A

ISBN: 978185774913

McLaren: A Racing history.Williams.Crowood.1991


The Perfect Car. The biography of John Barnard.Skeens.Evro.2018.

ISBN: 978

Grand Prix Motor racing.Cimarosti.Arum.1997.

ISBN: 1854105000

History of the Grand Prix Car.Nye.Hazelton.1992.

ISBN: 0905138955

Famous Racing cars.Nye.Guild.1989.

A-Z of Formula Racing cars.Hodges.Bayview.1990.

ISBN: 1870979168

Murray Walker’s F1 Heroes.Walker&Taylor.Ted Smart.2001.

ISBN: 1862270322

Motor sports Greats in Conversation.Taylor.Haynes.2013.

ISBN: 9780957332509

Driving Ambition The official inside story of the McLaren F1.Nye, Dennis & Murray.McLaren Cars/Virgin.1999.

ISBN: 1852278412

One Formula 50 Years of car design.Murray/Porter.

ISBN: [British Library]

This two-volume blockbuster collaboration between Gordon Murray and Philip Porter has been two years in the making. The books cover every single design Murray has created in his amazing 50-year career – from Formula 1 to the McLaren F1 to more recent ground-breaking motor vehicles of all types. This is truly a landmark publication.

A close collaboration between the legendary automotive designer Gordon Murray and award winning author Philip Porter, One Formula is a two-volume blockbuster that has taken more than two years to complete. Covering in detail every one of Murray’s 70+ designs, including those he never built, the books are comprehensive, detailed, punchy and fascinating.

Apart from the design story – much of it in Murray’s own words – the books are packed with illustrations from his extraordinary archives, including pages from his notebooks, original sketches, correspondence, drawings and behind-the-scenes photographs. These are supplemented by stunning period racing shots by many leading motoring photographers.

The range and breadth of Gordon Murray’s automotive designs is unique. From World Championship-winning Formula 1 cars to his extraordinary flat-packed vehicle for Africa, from his pre-eminent McLaren F1 supercar to brilliant tiny city cars, from the first sports car he built himself to his revolutionary iStream manufacturing system, it is all in these two heavy and ultra-stylish volumes.

Cars featured in detail include his 35+ Formula One cars, the unique Brabham BT46B fan car, the Duckhams Ford Le Mans car built for Alain de Cadenet, the McLaren F1, the GTR versions, the McLaren MP4/4, the OX, the new TVR, the Rocket, and many more.

The most detailed story concerns the $1m F1 – arguably the greatest road car of all time – and how Murray was persuaded to prepare several for Le Mans, where they remarkably finished first, third, fourth and fifth.

Murray’s versatility is revealed by his designs for the first pit lane trolley, Supertrac, RS200, the Batmobile, soapbox racers, the MinBug, the Toray Teewave and the Mercedes McLaren SLR.

Please note the editors of the A&R attempt to give the broadest spectrum of references but not all are available for consultation in an article. However by noting their existence it may assist students in their research.

*Items in italics non A&R library books.