Now Reading
When Dan Gurney built an All American Formula 1
2023 Salon Privé: Pride of the Manceau
Here comes a 60-million Holy Grail
Festival of Speed Down Under
Ever seen a Dakar Porsche 959 strip?
Goodwood remembers Carroll Shelby
King of Gymkhana Ken Block (55) dies
In Tazio 6: Jimmie Johnson opens up
The first Tazio slipcase has arrived
Goodwood Members’ Meeting goes GT1
Masters Historic opens up to GT4 racers
And so, we bid farewell to Padova
Michael Andretti: like father, like son
When Mario saw Indy slip away again
One man, one car, one championship
Alfa Romeo celebrates 100 years of Monza
Bernina Gran Turismo shakes up the Alps
Get ready for Goodwood Revival
When the runway is not for taking off
On losing Chánh
Porsche Group C parade at Silverstone
Pebble Beach Concours on the move
Oldtimer GP is back in full force
Smokin’ the Festival of Speed
Impressions from the Mille Miglia
In Tazio 4: Walter by Christian
BRMs (and more) fly at Blyton Park
Retromobile 2022 is McLaren heaven
The Amelia praises Chip Ganassi
Now in Issue 2: Tazio’s hardest fight
Now in Issue 2: how Zagato met Ferrari
Keep it cool
Tazio 2, the limited one
Fuori Concorso: Stealing the light
See racing cars at the sea
Spa Six Hours: Thunder in the forest
Arriva Tazio: We drive the MG Metro 6R4
Group C roars at Jim Clark Memorial

When Dan Gurney built an All American Formula 1

View Gallery

Gooding & Company brings this unique piece of American race history to their Amelia Island auction on 2-3 March. This is the AAR Gurney Eagle Mk 1, the first car with which Dan Gurney proved Americans could build F1 cars all the same.

Formula 1 has always been a European affair on the constructor’s side; Ferrari, Maserati, Lotus, you name them. Lance Reventlow should be credited as the first American constructor to build a US-made car for F1, with the Scarab in 1960, but it remained an unsuccessful effort.

Dan Gurney and Carroll Shelby confer at Sebring 12 Hour Race, 1966. Photo Ford

Costa Mese

By 1966, Dan Gurney was a celebrated driver. He had success at Ferrari, gave Porsche their first win in F1 and was part of the Ford GT40 squad at Le Mans. But Gurney was more ambitious and encouraged by Carroll Shelby’s success, Gurney and Shelby set up All American Racers in Costa Mese, California in 1965. Their aim was the Indy 500 on the one hand, and Formula 1 on the other hand.

Photos Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding & Company

3-litre engines

Gurney’s effort to make it as a constructor in F1 was nothing out of the ordinary in those days; Jack Brabham did it before him and Bruce McLaren was on the same path at the same time. With a regulation change for the 1966 season, bringing engine capacity from 1.5-litre to 3-litres, the cards would be redistributed and Gurney wanted to be onboard.

Photos Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding & Company

Grand Prix, the movie

It took him until the Belgian Grand Prix before the Len Terry-designed Eagle Mk 1 was ready. Chassis 101 came equipped with a 2.7-litre Coventry Climax, the chosen V12 Weslake engine still being in development. At the Belgian Grand Prix, film crews made images of the race for the John Frankenheimer movie ‘Grand Prix’, and the Eagle Mk 1 features in these as well. Gurney finished the race but was not classified. At the next race, the French Grand Prix in Reims, already scored a first points finish for the Eagle Mk 1, crossing the line in fifth place. The next races brought struggles as mechanical problems compromised results, but the potential of the dark blue American F1 was clear.

Photos Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding & Company

Phil Hill

By the following race, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Gurney had a new chassis ready – the Eagle Mk 2 – and finally had the Weslake V12. Subsequently, chassis 101 went to Phil Hill, who could not qualify, handicapped by the lack of power from the Coventry Climax. At the US Grand Prix, it was Bob Bondurant’s turn in chassis 101, but he was disqualified after five laps after receiving a push start. Dan Gurney would take another fifth place behind the wheel of 101 in the Mexican Grand Prix.

See Also

Photos Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding & Company

Donington collection

For the 1967 season, Gurney sold chassis 101 to Canadian racer Al Pease, who drove it in the Canadian Grand Prix in ’67, ’68 and ’69. Tom Wheatcroft tracked the car down with Pease and bought it in 1971. It had both the Coventry Climax engine and the Hewland gearbox with which it was first tested at Goodwood in June 1966.

Photos Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding & Company

Wheatcroft kept the car in original condition in his Donington Collection for over 30 years. In 1999, it went to a new owner who had it restored in the US, carefully watching over the originality of the car. It now comes up for auction at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island sale on 2-3 March, carrying an estimate of 3 to 4 million dollars. More on the sale here.

What's Your Reaction?
In Love
Not Sure
View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2023 Tazio Publishing B.V., Wannegemstraat 18B 9750 Huise, Belgium. All Rights Reserved. No unauthorized copying is allowed.