Forty-eight years ago, Dan Gurney qualified his All American Racers Eagle-Ford in the middle of the front row for the 1967 Indianapolis 500, then managed to lead that race briefly before being sidelined by an engine problem. Later that year the car (chassis 212) was sold to A.J. Foyt who maintained it in his stable for several years before passing it on to safety pioneer Bill Simpson. Simpson subsequently sold it to a Michigan supermodified racer named Marv Carmen, but one fateful day a welding spark ignited a garage fire that all but burned the car to a crisp.
The remains of the basic tub were then purchased by Richard Bible, in whose possession it remained, untouched for some 25 years before he sold it to Bill Wiswedel. Some four years ago, AAR CEO Justin Gurney tracked it down and upon verifying its identity, bought the car back and the rebuild was begun, entrusted to John Mueller and Jerry Wise of Entrepreneur Motorsports Restorations.
A four-cam Indy Ford V8 was acquired from Tom Malloy, and various other parts were sourced from AAR’s stock on hand. Although his Dad’s birthday wasn’t the original target, everything came together and with one final push the car was finished in time for its reintroduction at Dan’s 84th birthday celebration on April 13th.
With several hundreds friends and family looking on, Dan’s signature grin grew very wide when the sparkling Indy Eagle #74 was rolled out into the courtyard. After a bit of fiddling with fuel and spark, the four-cam was fired up and everyone took a welcome step back in time courtesy of what has to be one of the best birthday presents ever.