It's interesting to compare the 1971 Eagle to the 1971 McLaren M16. The McLaren is much more modern looking with the wedge nose, side mounted radiators and fairing over the engine. A year later the new Eagle arrived with much of the same features introduced by the McLaren. However, in 1972, the McLaren was the more tried and true of the two.
The actual cars that Bobby Unser and Jim Malloy ran in the 1971 500 did not have wings.
"In America, the winner goes to Victory Lane, everybody else goes to the garage and should soak their tears in their beer and figure out how to be faster next week."
Thanks for this, this particular Eagle incarnation was a personal favorite, must be the livery, that and the paint job.
"I'm a Rodeo-de-oh-deo-deo-de-Cowboy borderin on the Insane"
"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't lead a hortaculture"
"When The Going Get's Wierd, The Wierd Turn Pro"
Mark Donohue in his book "The Unfair Advantage" said the M16 McLaren was way ahead of the other cars in 1971 but Bobby Unser and the Eagle tried the hardest to catch them by trying wings all over the car. By the following year Bobby and Dan Gurney had caught and passed them big time. The picture of the Eagle below was taken at Pocono in 1971 note the wings behind the front wheels which the following year were replaced by radiators on the 72 Eagle.
The "wings" were added after Indianapolis, helping to lead to the glued down effect that has helped mess up the racing since.
The wickerbill was first tried at a "71 test at Phoenix, after the 500, not at Indy.
At Indy, Unser ran without a wicker, it hadn't been "invented" yet.
"Doc, just set them fingers sose I can hold the wheel"
James Hurtubise, June, 1964