Through the Esses: Cunningham, Gurney & Hall
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© Andrew S. Hartwell

If you have been a sportscar-racing fan for many years, or are perhaps - unlike us - still a bit young but you have educated yourself on the history of sportscar racing in North America, then you will immediately recognize those names. No, this isn't a law firm we are talking about here. The names belong to three Americans who made their marks in the record books with automobiles they designed and built and raced in competition. Each was an innovator and brought forth some memorable automobiles, but one set a standard for innovation that few others have ever achieved.

Our trio of American racing legends includes Briggs Cunningham, Dan Gurney and Jim Hall. Hall will soon be honored for his innovative application of aerodynamic principles to the construction of some dynamic racecars. But we will come to that shortly. For now, let us take a brief look at two of his peers, American racers and constructors who share a common heritage of design and implementation that proved effective on the race track.

Perhaps more than any others - with the exception of Carroll Shelby, the man behind the legendary Cobras - Cunningham, Gurney & Hall represent the best of American spirit and determination when applied to the practice of building and racing fast sportscars. We are using this space this week to remember a bit about each of them, for they all were fundamental blocks in the foundation of traditional sportscar racing that continues in America today.

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