One of America's Most Important F1 Cars Is Headed to Auction
Dan Gurney's All American Racers produced a number of extraordinary race cars over the decades, and it all started here. This is AAR Eagle Mk1, chassis #101. As far as American race cars are concerned, it doesn't get much better.
All American Racers was formed in 1965 with the aim of winning the biggest races in the world. In Europe, AAR raced as Anglo American Racers, first entering Formula 1 in 1966 with this car, the Mk1. The most famous Eagle Mk1 is chassis #104, the one Gurney drove to victory in the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix, becoming the first and only American car to win an F1 grand prix at the hands of an American driver. The '67 car was powered by a 3.0-liter Weslake V-12 and used an innovative chassis made partly of titanium and magnesium. This earlier Mk1 was powered by a Coventry-Climax 2.7-liter four-cylinder paired with the de rigueur Hewland transaxle.
Chassis #101 was used by AAR in the 1966 and 1967 F1 seasons before making way for the V-12 car. With Gurney at the wheel, it managed 5th place finishes at the French and Mexican Grands Prix and a 7th at the German Grand Prix. Also of note, Phil Hill and Bob Bondurant both raced the car for AAR. After its time with AAR, the car was sold and campaigned by Al Pease, a Canadian who holds the ignominious distinction of being the only driver disqualified for a Grand Prix for being too slow. (In Pease's defense, he had much success elsewhere in Canadian motorsport.)
AAR built just four examples of the Mk1 and it was its only F1 car, as the team switched its concentration to American open-wheel racing. This car comes with its original Climax engine, though the consignor has installed another engine for competition use. Gooding and Company notes that chassis #101 was treated to a "sympathetic" restoration by racing shop J&L Fabricators in Puyallup, Washington, and comes with a trove of documents dating back to its time as a team car. Since new, it's only had four owners, and Gooding and Company estimates that it will sell for between $3 and 4 million. A ton of money to be sure, but this is one of the most significant American race cars of all time. This particular chassis may only have a few F1 top-tens to its name, but it also marked the beginning of one of the world's greatest race constructors.
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