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Nationally-Significant Gathering of Dan Gurney Race Cars Set For William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. Concours d'Elegance at the Newport Mansions

Newport, RI – At least eight of race driver Dan Gurney’s greatest cars have been committed for the William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. Concours d’Elegance from July 27 to 29, and several more are pending, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Gurney’s back–to–back record–setting victories at Le Mans and Spa in the summer of 1967.

The cars include the winning Gurney Eagle from Spa, a team car from the winning 1967 Ford Le Mans campaign, and the legendary Moss–Gurney Birdcage Maserati chassis #2461 from Nurburgring. Also on display will be the 1975 AAR Gurney Eagle 755, the 1968 McLaren Eagle "McLeagle" M6B, the 1970 AAR Plymouth Barracuda #42, and more.

Gurney and his former teammate and competitor Sir Stirling Moss will be honored with the first annual William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Awards during the Concours. The awards celebrate “Willie K” Vanderbilt’s contributions to American motor sport as a world land speed record holder, his 1904 creation of the Vanderbilt Cup, and his conferring the sanctioning authority for the trophy on AAA.

Gurney is the only U.S. citizen to win a Grand Prix in a car of his own construction. Over his 15 year racing career, he raced in 303 events in 20 countries with 25 different makes of cars. He won 48 races and finished on the podium an additional 41 times. Among his most important victories were seven Formula One races (four Grand Prix World Championship events), seven Indy Car races, and five NASCAR Winston Cup stock car races. He claimed 37 career pole positions and started on the front row of the grid an additional 58 times. He was the first driver ever to win races in the four major categories of motor sports–Grand Prix, Indy Car, NASCAR and Sports Can–Am achievement accomplished by only one other driver in history, Mario Andretti. His spontaneous gesture of spraying champagne into the crowd from the victory podium in Le Mans 40 years ago has been emulated by winners worldwide ever since.

The collection of Gurney cars to be displayed at the William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. Concours d’Elegance is believed to be one of the largest gatherings of such cars ever assembled in one place for public viewing.

The William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. Concours d’Elegance weekend will begin on Friday, July 27 with a Tour d'Elegance along the scenic roadways of Portsmouth, Middletown and Newport. The Concours will open on Friday afternoon, with the Showfield on the lawn of Chateau–sur–Mer (1852) and an exhibition class of legendary competition cars on display on the lawn of The Breakers (1895). Gurney and Moss will receive their awards during a Racing Legends Dinner at The Breakers, which will be attended by more than a dozen of their racing contemporaries, including Janet Guthrie, Johnny Rutherford, and David Hobbs. The Concours continues on Saturday and Sunday, with a Black and White Ball on Saturday night at Willie K’s childhood summer home, Marble House (1892). Concours judging will take place on Sunday at Chateau–sur–Mer.

Additional information and tickets for the Concours, the Legends Dinner and the Black and White Ball are available online at www.vanderbiltConcours.org

The proceeds of the weekend will benefit The Preservation Society of Newport County, a non–profit educational organization accredited by the American Association of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts. Its 11 historic properties–seven of them National Historic Landmarks–span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

Andrea Carneiro, Communications Manager
The Preservation Society of Newport County
424 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI 02840
Tel: (401) 847–1000 ext 131
Fax: (401) 841–0556