It’s difficult for me to grasp that an entire year has passed since I last updated this column! 2012 truly flew by for all of us here at Gordon Murray Design.
Over the past 12 months, we’ve been extremely busy developing relationships with five separate iStream® customers that we engaged with during the course of 2011/2012.
Highlights of 2012 saw the first screening of Mark Stewart Production’s ‘The Gordon Murray F1 Film - How To Go Faster And Influence People’ on BBC4 in July and although I thought they did a fantastic job of editing history and incorporating current developments, some of the early scenes with the dubious dress sense of the 70’s were truly embarrassing!
Top Gear pulled out all the stops and invited me back to Durban (my home town in South Africa), as part of the Top Gear Festival SA for a celebratory dinner in my honour – the weekend was excellent fun.
Official press drives were organised for the T.25 and T.27 exclusively with Autocar, Top Gear and Fifth Gear, and I’m delighted to report that everyone enjoyed their driving experience in our little cars. The T.25 and T.27 concept has now been sold to a customer and with a following wind a lot more drivers should be able to enjoy the centre drive experience in 2016!
On a personal, more social side, 2012 was the 20th Anniversary of our crazy Soapbox Grand Prix in the Dordogne. Tremendous fun as always, except I was beaten by our intrepid Senior Stylist Zachary Seward! Autocar published an excellent article covering highlights of the weekend – It’s a great read if you missed it the first time around! More recently, I was delighted to accept an Honorary Doctorate Award from Surrey University earlier this year. 2013 has certainly been the year that we’ve been working towards since the beginning of the company in 2007. We’ve recently signed 4 major contracts for iStream® products and we’re currently working on two non-iStream® projects, both of which we should be able to talk about later this year. It’s a pity that in most cases we cannot mention customers by name or to talk publically about the projects at this time, but I am hoping that we’ll have some exciting products and programmes to share with you very soon.
In order to manage the amount of the interest that we’ve received surrounding iStream®, we’ve recently employed 30 new team members and continue to increase headcount as we speak. We have recently acquired 2 additional buildings on the Broadford Business Park alongside Wharfside to help with our expansion - These buildings will be developed to house the new Company Management and to provide office space for customers who wish to build a support team for their projects, and in addition to accommodate extra prototype build area.
To assist with our ever increasing workload, we’ve recently created a new Operational Board to run the Design and Engineering side of the Company. Our long standing team members Frank Coppuck, Mark Lewis and Kevin Richards have taken on new roles within the Company; Frank is Technical Director, Mark has been appointed Operations Director and Kevin, Creative Director.
We’ve just celebrated our 6th Anniversary here at Gordon Murray Design and in the usual GMD style, boarded a boat from our very own Wharf and sailed down the River Wey into Guildford. The last six years have without a doubt been the most diverse, interesting and definitely the most challenging of my career so far. When I think that we have designed and built 4 completely different vehicles in that time it reminds me of what a talented team of people we have here. By the end of 2013 we will have 2 further prototypes running, bringing the total to 6 cars in 6 years!
The next challenge in the iStream® story is to develop one or more of our current programmes into a mass produced vehicle so that as many folks as possible can enjoy the benefits of low cost, low weight and very high levels of safety that iStream® provides - truly Formula One technology for the everyday motorist.
I am looking forward to our most exciting year so far and working with the very best team I have ever worked with. We all feel extremely proud to be a part of the UK's innovative push towards solutions for the new industrial revolution.
Last but not least, watch out for ‘Architects of F1 - Gordon Murray’ currently showing on Sky Sports F1 HD (Channel 406).