Dan Gurney's Eagles once dominated Indy
All American Racers is proud of the contribution their drivers, team and Eagle racing cars have made to the world's most famous race and the part they played in the history of the 500 in the 1960's and 1970's.
Eagles won the race in 1968 (No. 3 with Bobby Unser, Leader Card/Rislone team), in 1973 (No. 20 with Gordon Johncock, Pat Patrick/STP Team) and in 1975 (No. 48 with Bobby Unser, Gurney-AAR Jorgensen team).
Dan Gurney came to the Speedway for the first time in 1962 driving Mickey Thompsons' Buick Special. He invited Colin Chapman, the most gifted designer of his era, to visit the track and look over the existing technology. Dan paid Mr. Chapman's round trip plane ticket and introduced him to Ford Motor Company in Detroit. This led to the Lotus Ford/Indy effort with Dan and Jim Clark as team mates for the next three years and ushered in the rear engine revolution at the Speedway in a big way.
With the help of Goodyear, Dan Gurney's company All American Racers started to build Indy cars in late 1965 and managed to put five Eagles on the grid in 1966. Dan's day was cut short by a multi-car accident that happened in front of him on the starting line, which eliminated 11 machines. The very first dark blue AAR Eagle No. 31 only covered a distance of barely 150 yards. (It is beautifully restored and part of the Riverside/ Magnon Museum collection today).
Dan went on to a stellar Indy car career as a driver putting an Eagle twice on the front row and finishing 2nd, 2nd and 3rd in 1968,1969 and 1970. While a win eluded him as a driver, three victories as a manufacturer and team owner made up for it.
The following drivers drove for the AAR factory team: Dan Gurney, Joe Leonard, Roger McCluskey, Lloyd Ruby, Jochen Rindt, Jerry Grant, Denis Hulme, Bobby Unser, Jim Malloy, Wally Dallenbach, Pancho Carter, Vern Schuppan, LeeRoy Yarbrough, Mike Mosley, Kevin Cogan, Tom Sneva and Ed Pimm.
53 drivers put customer Eagles into the field of the Indy 500. They came from a variety of different motorsports series: Donnie Allison, Mario Andretti, Gary Bettenhausen, Tom Bigelow, Ronnie Bucknum, Larry Cannon, Pancho Carter, Jimmy Caruthers, Michael Chandler, Steve Chassey, Wally Dallenbach, Mark Donohue, Chet Fillip, Dennis Firestone, Spike Gehlhausen, Jerry Grant, Pete Halsmer, Bob Harkey, Mike Hiss, David Hobbs, Gordon Johncock, Herm Johnson, Bubby Jones, Jerry Karl, Mel Kenyon, Steve Krisiloff, Joe Leonard, Lee Kunzman, John Mahler, Jim McElreath, Roger McCluskey, Graham McRae, Mike Mosley, Rick Muther, Jan Opperman, Johnny Parsons Jr., Sam Posey, Bill Puterbaugh, Lloyd Ruby, Johnny Rutherford, Joe Saldana, Swede Savage, Billy Scott, Sam Sessions, Dick Simon, Bill Simpson, George Snider, Bobby Unser, Al Unser Jr., Al Unser Sr., Billy Vukovich, Bentley Warren and Carl Williams.
Out of the 33 fastest qualifiers at the 1973 race 21 were Eagles built in Santa Ana - this at a time when competition among manufacturers was as fierce as among drivers.
Indy 500 winning Eagles in front of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.