1. 1969 All American Racers Eagle-Santa Ana Indianapolis 500 Racecar

  2. 1969 All American Racers Eagle-Santa Ana Indianapolis 500 Racecar

  3. 1969 All American Racers Eagle-Santa Ana Indianapolis 500 Racecar

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  31. 1969 All American Racers Eagle-Santa Ana Indianapolis 500 Racecar

Lot Number
31
1969 All American Racers Eagle-Santa Ana Indianapolis 500 Racecar
Scottsdale Auction

ESTIMATE: $275,000 - $350,000
CHASSIS NO: 69-703
• Driven by Joe Leonard to 6th Place at 1969 Indianapolis 500
• 1 of only 4 examples built by Dan Gurney’s All American Racers
• The sole Eagle-Santa Ana sold new to a customer
• Retained by Mr. Yunick for over 30 years
• Extensively profiled in Karl Ludvigsen’s book, “Gurney’s Eagles”
• Restored during the 2000s by experts including A.J. Watson
• Numerous appearances include 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed
• 800 HP turbocharged, fuel-injected Ford DOHC V-8 racing engine

159 cid DOHC turbocharged Ford V-8 engine, Hilborn fuel injection, 800+ HP, four-speed Hewland LG500 gearbox, rack-and-pinion steering, four-wheel independent wishbone suspension with adjustable coil-over dampers, four-wheel Airheart hydraulic ventilated disc brakes; wheelbase: 99.9”


Founded in 1964 and rooted in a late-1962 London cab ride shared by Dan Gurney and Carroll Shelby, All American Racers (AAR) immediately went from strength to strength with a rapid succession of team and customer cars dubbed “Eagles” for USAC/Indianapolis and Grand Prix competition. While Gurney was AAR’s most successful driver during the early years, Joe Leonard won the 1965 Milwaukee 150 for the team with a Halibrand Shrike, setting the stage for the AAR-designed and built cars and the brilliant successes yet to come. Crucially, Gurney built a ‘dream team’ of the era’s best designers, engineers, fabricators, and mechanics, forming the human capital essential for victory. The 1967 racing season was particularly fertile, with Gurney and AAR rewriting motorsports history as the first all-American racing team to score a Grand Prix victory (the Belgian GP at Spa-Francorchamps) since 1921, when the Duesenberg brothers and Jimmy Murphy took the French GP. The growing success of Gurney’s Eagles soon caught the eye of Henry “Smokey” Yunick, the innovative and already legendary team owner and proprietor of “The Best Damn Garage” from Daytona Beach, whose Jim Rathmann-driven roadster won the 1960 Indianapolis 500. For 1967, “Smokey” returned to Gasoline Alley after a couple of years of mining and adventure in Ecuador that could fill an entire book. “Smokey’s” Indianapolis return was highly successful, with fast-rising Kiwi driver Denis Hulme piloting the Ford V-8 powered “City of Daytona Beach” Indy Eagle to 4th Place and garnering “Rookie of the Year” honors in the process. The 1968 season was definitive for AAR, with Bobby Unser winning at Indianapolis, followed by Gurney in second and Hulme fourth in their Eagles.

Suitably encouraged, “Smokey” once again chose an AAR Indy Eagle for the 1969 Indianapolis 500. An engineering tour de force, the 1969 Indy Eagle from AAR was designed by young racing engineer Tony Southgate, formerly of Lola and Brabham. The 1969 Indy Eagle was a hybrid of influences, including “wedge” shape of the prior year’s Lotus 56 turbine car and the suspension layout of Brabham’s cars, with the built-in ability to accommodate either the big, time-honored “Offy” (now turbocharged) ‘four’ or Ford-based V-8 powerplants. Dubbed the ‘Eagle-Santa Ana’ in honor of AAR’s home city in California, which declared April 25, 1969 as Dan Gurney Day, the ’69 Indy cars were once again the class of the field that May at Indianapolis. However, AAR’s four 1969 Indianapolis cars were still untested at the time. Just one customer car – Eagle-Santa Ana 69-703 – was sold from AAR to Yunick, with an exotic Turbo-Ford quad-cam V-8 powering it. Aerodynamic challenges reduced top speeds on the Speedway’s long straights, but were relentlessly improved in time for the race. Three Eagles would contest the ’69 Indy 500, plus one backup car. Gurney finished second behind winner Mario Andretti, after Gurney and Hulme swapped second and third for part of the race before the latter’s ultimate retirement with clutch trouble. Yunick’s #44 “City of Daytona Beach” Eagle, driven by Indy veteran and future two-time USAC Champion Joe Leonard, finished sixth and solidly in the money. However, Leonard had been running as high as second and was challenging for the race lead when a piece of racecar debris – a humble hose clamp – holed his car’s radiator core, forcing a pit stop for a radiator change. As best described by Karl Ludvigsen in his 1976 book “Gurney’s Eagles,” “…that Yunick was able to get him (Leonard) back in the race to finish sixth is one clue to why they call Smokey’s shop in Daytona Beach “The Best Damn Garage in Town.”

Interestingly, after its debut at Indianapolis, Eagle-Santa Ana 703 never turned another wheel in anger; instead, it remained with “Smokey” Yunick until very shortly before his eventual passing in 2001. After the ’69 race, the hose clamp that holed the car’s radiator was framed and hung on a nearby wall by “Smokey” with the legend, “$200,000 hose clamp,” in his inimitable fashion. A full restoration was completed by Indianapolis legend A.J. Watson and Willie Davis, among others. The consignor acquired 69-703 in 2007 and ran the car up the hill at Lord March’s estate during the world-famous invitational Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2008. Properly stored and maintained ever since, the Eagle-Santa Ana was sold to another collection for several years and subsequently repurchased and reunited with all four of the ’69 Eagles for photographs with Dan Gurney at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2015. Eagle-Santa Ana 69-703 is exceptionally engaging in its period-correct livery and configuration, and awaits further historic racing duty and display.

1969 All American Racers Eagle-Santa Ana Indianapolis 500 Racecar
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