On Tuesday a group of motoring journalists gathered at the prestigious Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall for the launch of legendary automotive designer Gordon Murray’s beautiful two-volume blockbuster book simply entitled ‘One Formula’ which covers in great detail his extraordinary and impressive 50 years of car design.
‘One Formula’ has taken almost two and a half years to put together and has been a detailed collaboration with award-winning author Philip Porter, who acted as interviewer on Tuesday, asking Gordon Murray pertinent questions about his long and illustrious career in the world of automotive design.
Gordon Murray has designed a wide range of vehicles in the last 50 years, two of which were on display in the Rotunda of the RAC, from World Championship-winning Formula One cars to his rather amazing flat-packed vehicle for Africa, named the OX, which Murray tells us he is the most proud of, as it has the potential to change thousands of lives in a positive way.
Some of the cars featured in these wonderful two tomes include his 35+ Formula One cars he designed, the unique Brabham BT46B fan car, the Duckhams Ford Le Mans car built for Alain de Cadenet, the McLaren F1 and GTR versions, the Rocket, the McLaren MP4/4 and the new TVR which he designed in 2017 and which was launched last year.
What is most interesting about Gordon Murray, and perhaps best highlights his attention to detail, is that there was no shortage of material for the book as he tells us he kept every single note, fact, correspondence and sketch going back 50 years and that trying to fit some 80 car designs into one book proved to be a much bigger challenge than anyone expected. Hence the net result of two volumes packed with wonderful old behind-the-scenes photographs, illustrations and archives, which even include pages from Murray’s notebooks. These are supplemented by some stunning full-page period racing shots taken by many leading motoring photographers of the time. As Murray said, if you’re going to undertake a project like this, then you need to do it properly and it has been a “great journey” for him.
This beautifully presented First Edition is published by Porter Press International and consists of two volumes and 948 pages, with over 1,200 illustrations and comes in a slipcase with cloth binding and priced at £225.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Gary Harman