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Gurney, Gurney & Gurney


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#1 fines

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Posted 04 October 2001 - 15:39

Maybe someone can help me here, and tell me if these racing drivers are related in any form to Dan the Man, maybe Justin himself?

Chuck Gurney from Hayward (Ca.), successful Midget, Sprint Car and Silver Crown (1989 champion) driver, occasional Indycar driver and also once National Supermodifieds champion (1985)

Gene Gurney, also from Hayward (Ca.), Midget driver in the 50s and 60s

James Gurney, tried to qualify for first round of Japanese Formula 3 Championship in 1990 (Mar 4, Suzuka) in a Ralt/Toyota RT33, #12, entered by Zytek Racing Team, sponsored by ICM Racing Associates. In a field of 40 cars trying to qualify for 32 places on the grid, he failed despite being 31st, for he was 18th in the faster practice group and only the 16 fastest per group qualified. Was then replaced by Hideo Fukuyama, a former race winner

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#2 Barry Boor

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Posted 04 October 2001 - 18:40

The first two - I think not.

But IIRC Dan had 4 kids with his first wife Arleo and and I have it buried somewhere in my memory that they were called Danny, Johnny, Jimmy and Lindy!!!!! So Jimmy could be your F3 driver.

I'm sure someone will confirm or otherwise my vague recollections.

#3 Justin Gurney

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Posted 05 October 2001 - 18:46

Yes, Jimmy as I call him is my half brother. That was a very tough situation for him. He actually went straight from driving a Celica in Firehawk to try to qualify for an F3 race. By the way he had a Toyota engine....make your own conclusions. The other Gurneys are not related. There is another famous Gurney who is related though and a very good artist. Have you ever seen or read the books called Dinotopia. His name is James Gurney as well and he is my cousin.

#4 fines

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Posted 05 October 2001 - 19:09

Thanx Justin! Now can you tell us a bit more about Jimmy's career? What other racing did he do, I have to admit I never heard of him elsewhere. Is he still racing? And, for my database, what's his birth date?

And yes, Dinotopia rings a bell: that's those fantasy dinosaur stories, right? AFAIK, there's a German production company trying to secure a budget to make a movie of it.

#5 Justin Gurney

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Posted 06 October 2001 - 01:41

Well I don't know much about his driving career. I think he might have won a couple Firehawk races. I know he did some Kart races (125's) and won a couple of those but the money just wasn't there to move on. He is a hell of a motorcycle rider (actually all the Gurneys are, well I don't know about me); but he and Alex really stands out.

#6 FEV

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Posted 16 October 2001 - 14:26

Gene Gurney was Chuck Gurney's father. They were both midget drivers of the BCRA series. Gene competed from 1952 to 1965, winning 10 features during that time. He died some years ago. His grandson Chuck Jr also races in the series nowadays.

#7 fines

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Posted 16 October 2001 - 18:38

Thanx Frank! :) :) :) :)

#8 FEV

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Posted 16 October 2001 - 19:24

Prego Michael ! I found the ifo searching for stuff on the 77 Indy 500 dnq drivers of Richie's thread.

#9 Jim Thurman

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Posted 18 October 2001 - 06:28

Originally posted by FEV
Gene Gurney was Chuck Gurney's father. They were both midget drivers of the BCRA series. Gene competed from 1952 to 1965, winning 10 features during that time. He died some years ago. His grandson Chuck Jr also races in the series nowadays.


Very good FEV. That's my area and you pipped me on it :)

Chuck Gurney raced Sprints, Midgets, Silver Crown (Dirt Cars) and dabbled in Champ Car racing. He raced until just a few years ago (c. mid-90's).

I saw Chuck race several times. He was a real "up and comer" in U.S. oval racing at one time. Never really got a great opportunity in Champ Cars, but at least got *a* shot.

I still remember one time at Ascot in a CRA Sprint race, he had the first colored driving suit I'd seen. It was all red...which looked completely out of place in the lavendar car he was driving at the time :)


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#10 FEV

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Posted 18 October 2001 - 16:23

Jim,
About Chuck Gurney's 8 ChampCar starts (well races attented I should say) the last three were with a Crower powered Eagle. What was the Crower engine ? All his ChampCar appearances were with the Crower team (and the various names it took : Crower V4, Crower cams...). My guess is the Crower engine was a stock-block (rebadged Chevy ?). Or was it a proper engine ? Thanks.

About BCRA: that looked like a great midget championship untill at least the 60s. Having names like Fred Agabashian, Bob Sweikert, Johnny Boyd, Johnny Baldwin, Bob Cortner, Bob Veith, Dick Atkins and Billy Vukovich Jr for champions sure is impressive ! And that gives us a good idea of Gene Gurney's abilities, too !

#11 fines

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Posted 18 October 2001 - 16:27

Crower Cams was the sponsor for a USAC team in the seventies, running Chevrolet powered Eagles. It's possible these engines had special camshafts, hence the Crower designation for the engine.

#12 fines

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Posted 18 October 2001 - 16:28

BTW, the Chevy was a V8, not a V4...

#13 FEV

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Posted 18 October 2001 - 17:36

Thanks Michael.

BTW, the Chevy was a V8, not a V4...

Yes of course, by Crower V4 I just ment the team's name. In 1975 the official name of Gurney's entries was Crower V4 Kit. :)

#14 Jim Thurman

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Posted 19 October 2001 - 04:45

Originally posted by FEV
Jim,
About Chuck Gurney's 8 ChampCar starts (well races attented I should say) the last three were with a Crower powered Eagle. What was the Crower engine ? All his ChampCar appearances were with the Crower team (and the various names it took : Crower V4, Crower cams...). My guess is the Crower engine was a stock-block (rebadged Chevy ?). Or was it a proper engine ? Thanks.


Essentially it was. I'll have to dig around to see if I have anything on the particulars. I'm not so sure I have any details on what specific mods made their Chevrolet stock-block a "Crower".

About BCRA: that looked like a great midget championship untill at least the 60s. Having names like Fred Agabashian, Bob Sweikert, Johnny Boyd, Johnny Baldwin, Bob Cortner, Bob Veith, Dick Atkins and Billy Vukovich Jr for champions sure is impressive ! And that gives us a good idea of Gene Gurney's abilities, too !


Yes, BCRA (which still survives as a regional Midget group) was a very competitive group during that era and graduated several drivers of note to Champ Car racing.

Interestingly, a few years ago, Phil Hill was found at the occasional BCRA race, watching and supporting the son of a longtime friend.


Jim Thurman

#15 Gerr

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 06:24

I was stumbling around looking for info on Bruce Crower and ran across this forgotten thread. If anyone is still interested:

The early engine(s), were highly modified 209 c.i. turbo-charged Chevy small-block V8s. One version had the heads modified, with the intake ports moved outside the Vee along side the exhaust.

The 1977/78 Crower engine was a home-built turbo-charged flat eight using a pair of cylinder heads from a Chevrolet Cosworth-Vega.

The Crower V4 kit was marketed during the fuel crisis in the 70s for normal everyday cars. It was a conversion to make a Chev V8 run smoothly with only four pistons and give improved gas mileage.

There is more info and some pictures on the Crower Cams web-site.

#16 fines

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 16:43

Thanks for the info, Gerr! :up: :up: I never knew that Crower built his own engines, too - I always assumed them to be Chevys...