Katharine's Legge is in the gravel!--Jenks
12-7-1941 Never, Never Forget 9-11-2001
Racing perfection-almost-if there ever was such. Noticed that the second fuel filler opening was filled in,but still detectable. Whatever happened to the original Mystery/Olsonite Eagle #48? I know that a replica was built from chassis #7229 or 7230,which was never raced,within the past couple of years.
I hate to say this but while this might be 72-01, the Bobby Unser car in 1972 with which he won 4 races, was 74-03.
This car as shown in the video is a real 1972/1973 Eagle but I believe not a works car, but one of the 26 customer cars produced between 1972 and 1973. It has a Hewland gearbox and a different engine mounting system than the works cars. The works cars (2 chassis in 1972, two new cars used in 1973 and two chassis in 1974 used again through 1976) always had a Weisman 4-speed, a different rear lower suspension mounts and a different engine front cover that meant a completely different engine mounting using no mounting plates like this car has. There was also a fuel cell venting system different from the one used on this car. There are plenty of other details that are simply not correct to be the right car. The decor was also wrongly applied, with incorrect patterns from the eagle graphics to the lettering.
72-01 according to the existing records was not a works car, it was car # 9 sold to MVS racing for by Sam Sessions, but fitted with a Foyt engine, then later driven by Denny Zimmerman. While it bore serial #1, it was also not the first completed car. 72-03 was, and that was the one that Bobby drove at Ontario and set some speed records, then won the Phoenix race before going to Indy. The car was then converted to the "wide" suspension components.
I have seen this car on the video several times since 2002 including the year when it was at Amelia Island and already was amazed that it had been painted in the works colors.
72-03 is the one that won 4 races, and after racing in 1973 under a different paint scheme along with the newer, wider 73 chassis, it remained and is still in AAR's hands, now restored in 1972 guise.
I have to say that these gentlemen talking on this video are mixing a lot of facts, including saying that their car won the Riverside F5000/Indy race in 1974. First, it is not true and second, Bobby Unser led the race with a completely different car, the updated 1974 model (74-03) and while he handily led the race, he also DNFed after a fumbled first pit stop.
That same 1974 chassi then won the USAC championship, finished 2nd at Indy and won the California 500 and the very same car repainted in pale blue, won the 1975 Indy 500. So the car on the video is real, but which one of the customer cars remains in question in my opinion.
The remains of this car (72-05), in very poor condition and likely unrestorable, are in the hands of Crower. The replica was built for the Dan Gurney museum in Santa Ana in full collaboration with AAR from a NOS tub with many of the parts that were spares for the car, and one of the actual engines that it used in 1972.Whatever happened to the original Mystery/Olsonite Eagle #48? I know that a replica was built from chassis #7229 or 7230,which was never raced,within the past couple of years.
Last edited by coopert54; 06-10-2012 at 05:47 PM.
I'm not one to know or not know the history of each chassis and subchassis.......as I listened to this guy I started to wonder if this car wasn't either 1) the most amazing non crashed Indy Car ever to race 2) The most important single car in speedway history 3) possibly confused with another car 4) the generic history of all cars to the era.........as he started listing all it's accomplishments it seemed a bit of a long list, but of course anything is possible one way or another. So it's either a nice story, or some combination of facts and history......but I'll leave that for those who follow it such as yourself. I enjoy reading all the information available, it keeps history in focus.
I have confirmed with Bobby Unser today that the only car he drove in 1972 was 72-03. 72-05 was the "Mystery Eagle" driven by Jerry Grant.
This confirms what I believe, that the car shown on the video is not and never was Bobby's car. Those guys have their history very mixed.
for the top-rate Eagle talk, coopert54, and thanks for another enjoyable thread, Neshaminy.
Did I hear correctly.......trap speed record at Indy 242 mph ?
coopert54, can you elaborate on the incorrect eagle graphics and lettering? I watched the above video a couple of time and didn't pick up on this...
I am the person who designed and applied the paint scheme on the original 72-03, with the help of a painter by the name of Ron Prevenslik. I did so for most, almost all works Indy Eagles until the day Toyota pulled the carpet under AAR. The very last ones were a collaboration between the late Molly and me. The car in the video has some of the right colors, but the actual design of the paint scheme is WAY off what it was on 72-03 and subsequent works cars, the same basic design applied to 73-01 (Bobby's car that year) and 74-04, Bobby's car in 1974 AND 1975.
I have some recollection that the people who restored the car in the video above, called me about the paint scheme quite a few years ago, and even then, I told the gentleman that I doubted seriously that he had Bobby's car, simply because the car had a well known history and we knew where it was. That apparently did not stop them, as they truly believe their own story.
The correct paint scheme is this:
If you begin checking the details of the layout, there is a vast difference, that of a well flowing design VS one that looks slapped on with little understanding.
The design above was applied to the 1974 car (# 48) but is exactly the same on the # 6, then # 8 cars in 1972 and 1973. The only variations were on the nose of the car, as some were painted with a more "squarish" look, other more curved as this one.
Also, Bobby Unser did not "choose" a car. 72-03 was his chassis for the year and the only one he used as well as the first to be completed. he did not have any choice as the other cars were sold as quickly as they could be built. Bobby did not drive any other Eagle chassis until 1973, when he was assigned 73-01, then in 1974 when he was assigned 73-04. In 1976, he left AAR and took Wayne Leary, the crew chief, with him. There never were "back up" cars, and during 1972, 1973 and 1974, Bobby never damaged his chassis. 74-04 (painted in 1975 "Indy 500" scheme, the Jorgensen Eagle) is now in Florida at the Collier's Museum in West Palm Beach.
Bobby does, and immediately told me when asked that the only one he remembers is 03. Jerry Grant also remembers his own mount, 72-05, because he set the first 200 MPH lap ever with it. This pretty much sticks in one's memory when something important has been achieved with a given car. You should ask Ferrari owners, they know "their" cars by its chassis numbers!Do drivers really remember car numbers (72-03 vs. 72-05) from that long ago? If so, why?
Here is a picture of 72-03 at Indy in 1972, with my late friend Wayne in the cockpit:
It never occurred to me that that's where Bobby came up with the eagle on his helmet, like Mario making the Viceroy stripe his own. Cool stuff.
Happiness is Friday morning, Road America, first session, rolling down pit lane, course is clear, we are green!
My friend Wayne had cancer. He passed away on June 10, 2010. A great loss for us all.
This is great stuff, I was born in 1970, I don't remember much racing from this era. The character of the cars in the 1970's was amazing.
I always found it interesting to compare the "British Invasion cars" with Gurneys.
The foreign cars were always fragile and light. Dan's cars were built very strong.
Nobody was ever concerned about getting into one of Dan's wagons..
"Doc, just set them fingers sose I can hold the wheel"
James Hurtubise, June, 1964
I was only 9 back in 72, but a huge fan already, and I remember one thing more than anything else, and that was the feeling that if Bobby's car was still running at the end there was a very good chance he would win the race. He was the guy to beat for a few years there for sure.
True indeed, but at the cost of weight. The Eagles were often overweight and it really hurt them during their 1974-1975 effort in F5000. The car was a real beauty but was 150 lbs overweight and the Lola T332s walked all over them...
Here is the original concept drawing of the Eagle 5000 I did in late 1973 for Dan, before the car even existed:
The car when finished, came out very close:
But... too heavy!
But, how much is the Confidence Factor worth? Probably not enough to compensate for 150lb, but maybe 50 or 75. Basically I think folks might drive a bit differently if they knew that they could beat the Hell out of the car and not have anything fall off. That said, the 332 design was legendary...
cooperT54, thank you for the thorough and informative answer to my question... fascinating stuff!
.....'Here's just an example of some of the inaccuracies that exists on some websites. The following info (below; #1 & #2) states that Bobby drove AAR Eagle chassis #7201 at both Phoenix races, both Trenton races and both Milwaukee races in 1972. And then, "switched" over to AAR Eagle chassis #7203 for Indy, Pocono, Ontario and Michigan.
Some of this information totally contradicts what info Philippe has supplied here. And coming straight from Bobby Unser, by way of his conversation with Philippe, it's not hard on who to believe. So, thank you, cooperT54.
And speaking of 1972, another glaring example of faulty info was the Phil Harms/motorsport.com site that had all members of the Vel's Parnelli Jones Super Team driving brand new "Parnelli" chassis' at the first race at Phoenix that year. When truthfully, they were all in 'year old PJ Colt (Lola) chassis.'
(1.) Eagle 72  (Bobby Unser): Identified by the AAR sales letter as 7201, this car was campaigned by Bobby Unser (with Offy) "on the mile tracks last year" (Hungness 1973 p61). That's presumably Trenton (both), Phoenix (both) and Milwaukee.
(2.) Eagle 72  (Bobby Unser): Bobby Unser's pole position car at Indy in 1973 and (given the known history of 7201), was almost certainly the car he used at Michigan, Pocono and Ontario. Raced by Wally Dallenbach at the 1973 Indy 500 (Hungness 1973 p59).
note: I would like to see a copy of that "All American Sales Letter"???
A couple of years ago while in southern California, I took a ride over to south Broadway in Santa Ana (on a Sunday) just to check it out. 'Peeked in the front office window and saw a lot of pics of the history of Dan Gurney and his All American Racers. Then, took a walk around the side of the building and looked around out back and just imagined what it must have been like back in the early 70's and the "buzz" that was going on in that shop.
If true that this car came with a Foyt/Ford engine in the bay...............
There were only a couple of Eagles I can recall with Foyt/Ford engines
One was the Travelodge Eagle of Dick Simon, the other raced by Mel Kenyon for Lindsey Hopkins.
"For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's future, and we are all mortal".
John Kennedy at American University 1963
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power"
Not intentionally to derail such a fine thread, but since it's the night before Milwaukee and I came across this old youtube, I thought I'd post it here.
This is Gurney Eagle #8103 - the stock-block Chevy Pepsi Challenger - winning the 1981 Gould Rex Mays 150 with Mike Mosley driving. The AAR boys and Mosley sat the same car in the middle of the front row at Indianapolis the race before, only to suffer from radiator/overheating issues which ended their 500 after only a little more than a dozen laps (if I remember correctly). The same issues would plague the Eagle during Milwaukee practice so much so that AAR missed the qualifying session and were only allowed to start 25th in the 26 car field as a promoter's option.
The Madison Courier's report on the race cites Mosley as running in 10th position by lap 5, taking the lead away from Sneva 45 from the end, and leading the rest of the way to the checkard, beating 2nd-place and rookie Kevin Coogan by more than a lap. The Courier also states that a crowd of 27,156 was in attendance, and that AAR won $16,050 for the win out of a total purse of $158,980 (Mike Mosley claims his 3rd Rex Mays triumph).
To me, 8301 was the symbolic last of the bad azz, southern California hot rod Indy cars...
...although one of the following 81 Eagles, which went to Ray whateverhislastnameis/was (the then-owner of Centerline Wheels), John Buttera and Ronnie Capps for driver Dennis Firestone, was just about as bad azz, imwo (potentially, at least ).
BTW: if I remember correctly, #8101 went to Chip Meade and John Barnes, and 8102 went to Jett Engineering and Steve Chassey (8102 was the first Eagle to ever use a whole bunch of titanium pieces - Jett was in the titanium biz). I do not know exactly how many Eagles off this same basic jig were constructed, but I do know that the tub of 8114 was finished in March of 1982.
This # 2 was "my number" when I was racing... pro-racing slot cars!
So since all this was at the same time, my drawings often had that number on it, using that same graphic. Please note that this recently restored car over the old newsprint showing it, bears the same colors as the 1972 Eagle!
Thanks for your reply.