Brabham BT-52, Truck, Trailer And Spectators – British Grand Prix 1983

BT52.truck.spectators.silv83.signGordon Murray Interview: Introduction

1983 was a pivotal year in the design of Formula One race cars.  The under car aerodynamics of the ground effects era had been outlawed at the end of the 1982 season by the FIA, the organizing body of Formula One. I first saw Gordon Murray’s response to these new rules, the Brabham BT-52 in the paddock and pits of the 1983 British Grand Prix.  I was stunned by its elegant, slim shape.  The ponderous looking sidepods on earlier cars that had been necessary to support ground effects systems were gone.  Instead the BT-52 had a refined and reduced arrow like body that was like an updated version of the slender, graceful 1960’s rear engined Grand Prix cars. Simply stated, the BT-52 was beautiful.

I was in Europe researching the Passion and Precision exhibition on the history of Grand Prix Photography for the Long Beach Museum of Art and was attending grand prix races to interview key Formula One professionals.  Gordon Murray’s reputation for imaginative thinking had placed him at the forefront of race car innovation.   I introduced myself explaining my interest in his design process. He agreed to an interview and after practice took a few moments out of his intense schedule to talk. Removing his headset he guided me to a quiet spot in a Brabham trailer where he would be free from interruption for a few minutes…

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