Name: Bob Gurr
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, CA
Year, Make and Model of Your first car/truck: 1931 Model A Ford 3-Window Coupe
Occupation: Legendary Imagineer
Employer: Extremely retired, professional loafer actually
What did you think you wanted to be when you grew up? I had my heart set on aircraft engineering, but due to poor math grades, I figured car styling was a lot more interesting and did not require any math knowledge. After a full training at Art Center School, partly on a General Motors scholarship, I was spirited into Ford’s Advanced Styling at age 20 by the infamous Frank Hershey. You should have interviewed him!
How long have you worked in the auto industry? Two weeks at Ford was enough to see that Detroit in 1952, for a native Californian, was a drab dead end. After a few months, I was raided out of the Lincoln Studio by George Walker Industrial Design to work on the Lincoln MK II Project. But after a year and a day in Detroit, I returned to Southern California. For Disney I designed way more vehicles than I ever could have in Detroit. Autopia Cars, Main Street Vehicles, Monorail Trains, Streamlined Trains, plus King Kongs, Sinking Ships in Las Vegas, and even lighting EFX for Michael Jackson.
What do you drive now? 2003 Lexus SC430, 2002 Honda CR-V (for my mountain bikes)
Are you out at work? I supposed I was, maybe other folks caught on over several decades, never turned into a subject for discussion, since my projects were of way more interest to my co-workers than any sexual orientation. No one ever got around to asking.
Was being gay ever an issue at any of your jobs? I never noticed any treatment any different than anyone else. My partner was always a part of any business social stuff, it was always just Bob and Fred together. When I was Chairman of the Rolls~Royce Owner’s Club of Southern California, we never noticed any unkind attitudes.
If so, how did you deal with it? Well, the straight folks were always fun, and the gay folks enjoyed deeper conversations; the focus was always centered on the cars.
If you had one piece of advice to give to a gay person wanting to work in the auto industry, what would it be?
? Just forget that you are gay, most folks will just probably figure you out and say nothing. They probably don’t care anyway. You’re going in as a professional, concentrate on being one. Make sure cars are your true passion.
Ok, here is the fun part; if you had $25,000 and had to buy a new car, what would it be and why? Mazda 3 hands down. Nothing comes close to MPG with decent power, fabulous handling with a great ride. And you can load up the luxury items and still have money left over.
Same question but bigger budget; $50,000:
Out of (135) test cars I’ve driven, the Lexus GS450h was the one I loved the best. A tidy pussycat with punch out the gate. Almost all the Lexus luxury you need, but midsize, and plain old Toyota engineering. So you can plan on ultra reliability. Maybe get some greenie bragging points too.
If money was no object and you had to drive it every day:
2009 MB SL63AMG. This thing is a wild animal, but tame enough to trust it daily. Got to have the open fresh air and the hard roof. You’ll get the looks and the front valet spot. Since money is no object, you can afford the blemished MB frequency of repair stuff, if it happens.
What is your favorite car of all time and why?
1934 Type 59 Bugatti Grand Prix converted to street use. Proportions unexcelled, individual design details mechanical AND artistic. All the elements of speed and style. Utterly unique and sexy as hell!
If your car/truck could talk, what would it say about you?
Man, you got 300 HP, why don’t you use it, you wuss. I guess you like the occasional 25 mpg. You had a Ferrari Lusso once and you DROVE it. Why won’t you take me up in your German Motorglider and soar with the birds? You don’t use the engine even then!
Finally, why do you want to be featured on Gaywheels.com?
I’ve enjoyed a long career, received many honors, and grew up before and thru the Stonewall Age. Today, being gay is just one more human inherited characteristic. Folks should see that they can they can have a wonderful life no matter what.
Back to HEADLIGHTS