Car Culture

Gordon Murray, designer of the McLaren F1, is now a Commander of the British Empire

Murray was presented with the honor by Prince William for his 50 years of contributions to motorsport.

Gordon Murray was presented with a CBE for his contributions to motorsport and car design.

Gordon Murray Design

Gordon Murray -- aka the man who made both Brabham and McLaren into Formula One powerhouses and designed the world's greatest-ever road car -- was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by Prince William for his motoring accomplishments according to an article published Thursday by Petrolicious.

Before you ask, no, this doesn't mean he's now Sir Gordon Murray. He wasn't knighted. Still, a CBE is a pretty big deal.

"Receiving a CBE from Prince William is one of the highlights of my life – right up there with Formula One World Championship wins or creating the world's fastest production car," said Gordon Murray, in a statement. "The Gordon Murray Group is about to embark on an exciting new chapter, with ground-breaking innovation once again driving our growth. Energized by this accolade I can't wait to continue the journey, supported by a dedicated and hugely talented team."

In case you're still not totally sure who Gordon Murray is at this point, beyond what we mentioned earlier, he is one of the world's most celebrated living automotive designers and engineers. His single-minded approach to weight reduction spawned the McLaren F1, still regarded by many experts (including yours truly) as possibly the greatest car ever conceived by man.

He is also the brain behind the iStream vehicle construction method that uses a tubular frame and lightweight honeycomb panels to build the structure of a car. The forthcoming TVR Griffith will be the first production vehicle to use the system.

Finally, he did a significant amount of work developing the OX flat-pack vehicle for the developing world. The OX is designed to be shipped to a third-world country, assembled by someone with minimal training and last for years in harsh conditions. It also looks super-cool.