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Although David Murray was a sometime Grand Prix driver during the early 1950s, it is as the founder of Ecurie Ecosse that he left a lasting impression on the sport. Trained as a chartered accountant, further pre-war businesses included a wine merchant, a garage (Merchiston Motors) and ownership of a bar in his native Edinburgh.
He was a late convert to motor racing and his only appearance in the Le Mans 24 Hours as a driver was not a happy occasion. Murray invited rising star Pat Fairfield to share his Frazer Nash in the 1937 race but his co-driver was killed early in the event.
It was with a Maserati 4CLT that Murray made his GP debut in the 1949 British GP at Silverstone. Another three GPs that year included a nasty crash at Monza from which Murray emerged unhurt.
Sixth in the non-championship 1950 Dutch GP, he retired the Scuderia Ambrosiana-entered car from the British and Italian GPs. He hired famed mechanic Wilkie Wilkinson in 1951 but his engine failed during the British GP. Worse was to come while practising for the German GP for Murray crashed heavily at the Nürburgring.
Persuaded to stop racing himself, he formed Ecurie Ecosse in 1952. Murray did make one final GP start with its navy blue Cooper T20-Bristol in that year’s British GP. It was at Le Mans that the team found fame with Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar D-types winning the 24-hour race in 1956 and 1957. Those were the highlights for the team never hit those heights again.
His wine company went into liquidation in the late 1960s and Murray moved to Tenerife in 1968 amid enquiries from the British tax authorities. He was involved in a road accident five years later and was admitted to hospital where he suffered a fatal heart attack shortly afterwards. He was remembered for the patriotic team he founded, for a ready wit and a passion for the sport.