Dan Gurney, a leading player during one of auto racing’s most intriguing eras and, in the judgment of many, the best driver never to have won the Indianapolis 500, has died of complications from pneumonia. He was 86.
His wife, Evi, announced his death in a statement Sunday distributed by All American Racers Inc.
Gurney, tall and blond and, with his sharply chiseled features and movie star smile, the living idea of a young — albeit transplanted — Southern Californian going places in a hurry, had multiple claims to fame:
Successful Formula One driver when few Americans even considered the prestigious international circuit.
Facilitator of the rear-engine revolution,...