When Ford of America wanted someone to run some cars, it turned to a British racing driver. He promptly turned up, beat the much bigger American Fords with his British Ford Cortinas, and went home. That is the story of how Alan Mann Racing was born, and pretty soon the team became the go-to place for Ford for help developing its racing cars. From the Cortina to the GT40 and F3L, they all went through Alan Mann racing and the driver roster is second to none, with Graham Hill, Jacky Ickx, Jackie Oliver, Jackie Stewart, Jack Sears, Jack Brabham and more all racing for the team. Now back out of a period of dormancy, Alan’s son Henry is keeping the AMR light going
In the latest part of our series of Goodwood Masters presented by Motul, looking at the people and firms behind some of the classic car industry’s greatest machines, we visited the modern Alan Mann Racing to find out about its history and how Henry and his team are keeping the legacy going.
Its career was brief and many many years ago, but it’s story is still being told thanks to Ed Foster.
The words “Chevy Impala” don’t tend to have motorsport connotations for most people, but that didn’t stop Dan Gurney from ordering one from the factory in police specification with an aim to take it racing in England. He’d been watching Jaguars dominate the British saloon car series and thought he could put the big Chevy above them on the podiums, so after rebuilding the motor to his liking Mr. Gurney sent his Impala across the Atlantic and proceeded to whoop the competition… for almost one full race. The Impala was leading in its debut before a wheel failure, and upon its return to the grid in the next race was banned from the series. It’s a lesser-known project from a man who earned a laundry list of racing success, but thanks to its current owner Ed Foster, its brief but inspiring underdog story is still being shared today.
Great series of articles from Ed Foster on the story of Dan Gurney’s Impala and it’s return to the UK and the completion of Dan’s final two laps at Silverstone
As with many projects, this one started with a passing remark from someone. Matt Hearn, the Event Content Manager here at Goodwood, mentioned ‘Dan Gurney’s Impala’ and, having never heard of it, I Googled the car.
Good news and bad news. It should be a strapline for motor racing, shouldn’t it? Some of you will remember a piece I wrote about buying Dan Gurney’s 1961 Chevrolet Impala SS in March. Since then the car has undergone a left-hand-drive conversion, has been shipped over to the UK and I have now finally seen it…