Professor Gordon Murray, the world famous race car and road car designer was honoured with the John Bolster Award at the Autosport Awards for Technical Achievement, 40 years after his first grand prix victory.
Murray built and raced his first home-built car (IGM Ford) in Durban in the late 1960s and as a youngster he developed a passion for fast cars through the influence of his motor mechanic father and in 1969 his dreams led him to England.
Murray designed a series of new Brabham F1 racing cars and over the next 15 years won 22 grand prix wins enabling Nelson Piquet to win the world championship in 1981 and 1983. In 1986, he joined McLaren International as Technical Director and two years later his Honda powered McLaren won 15 out of the 16 grand prix races and gave Ayrton Senna his first driver’s championship.
From 1991-2004, Murray headed McLaren Cars to design the company’s first project, the McLaren F1 Road Car and a racing version that 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 with Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. During this time, he also designed the Rocket, an ultra- lightweight roadster, as an independent project with The Light Car Company.
Murray set-up his own company, Gordon Murray Design Limited, in 2007 to develop an innovative and disruptive automotive manufacturing technology trademarked iStream – a complete rethink and redesign of the traditional manufacturing process that promises to revolutionise the future of automotive production and the impact that personal transportation has on the environment.
Murray said “It was a privilege to receive the John Bolster award for Technical Achievements. For me personally, I’ve always enjoyed a challenge and in particular the problem solving that follows. My current challenge is to bring Formula One technology to the everyday motorist, helping to solve some of the issues we face around mobility, energy resources and the environment. iStream is designed to replace capital and energy intensive stamped steel car construction. iStream also adds safety and reduces weight – innovation meets commercialism”.
The iStream assembly process is a complete rethink and redesign of the traditional automotive manufacturing process and could potentially be the biggest revolution in high volume manufacture since the Model T. Development of the process began over 15 years ago and it has already won the prestigious ‘Idea of the Year’ award from Autocar UK.
The simplified assembly process means that the manufacturing plant can be designed to be 20 percent of the size of a conventional factory. This could reduce capital investment in the assembly plant by approximately 80 percent. Yet the flexibility of this assembly process means that the same factory could be used to manufacture different variants. The iStream design process is a complete re-think on high volume materials, as well as the manufacturing process and will lead to a significant reduction in full lifecycle CO2. For more information please visit www.iStreamtechnology.co.uk.