Two Automotive Icons, Including Ford GT Designer, Pass Away


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The auto industry lost two very influential people early this week, coming right on the heels of the death of Sergio Marchionne.

Christopher Svensson – Ford Designer

Monday we learned that Christopher Svensson (pictured), a Ford engineer who retired very recently had lost his battle with cancer at just 53 years old. Svensson was credited with designing the iconic Ford GT and many other Ford products.

“Chris was a talented designer, an inspiring leader and a friend to many people,” Ford said in a statement. “He made countless contributions to Ford during his 26-year career and he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”


He is survived by a wife and two daughters.

Davinder “Dave” Maraj – Champion Racing Team Owner

We also found out Monday that Pompano Beach, Florida sports car team owner and automobile dealership owner Davinder “Dave” Maraj died Saturday or early Sunday morning in an apparent drowning in Florida after a boating accident. Dave owned Champion Motors (Audi) and Champion Porsche in Pompano Beach.

Best known as the founder of the Le Mans 24 Hours-winning Champion Racing team, Dave was a legend as a dealership owner, and his Champion Racing teams won five consecutive American Le Mans Series championships from 2004 through 2008, and also captured the overall win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2005, the last American team to do so in the iconic sports car race.

Dave Maraj was 65 and single.

Photo Credit: Ford
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