Eagle 1968/69 Formula A 'Mk 5' car-by-car histories
Based on AAR's 1968 Indy car, the Formula 5000 Eagle won the first two US 5-litre Formula A championships, with Lou Sell in 1968 and Tony Adamowicz in 1969.
After the red herring of the 3-litre Formula A, the real Formula A started in 1968. The first manufacturers included Lola, McKee and LeGrand but the firm taking the most high-tech approach was Dan Gurney's AAR. The 1968 Indy Eagle was the obvious basis for a Formula A car and Gurney had designer Tony Southgate make the few necessary changes. The monocoque was slightly slimmer and made from mild steel, instead of the chrome-moly required by USAC. The Indy car was already equipped with new all outboard front suspension, ideal for road courses, and the wheelbase was retained at the USAC's mandatory ninety-six inch minimum. According to a Doug Nye interview with Tony Southgate which appeared in Autosport (28 Jan 1971 pp18-20), this car is said to have been denoted the Eagle Mk 5. John Zimmerman has seen Southgate's drawings and these are also denoted Mk 5.
Only two cars appeared in 1968, for Lou Sell and George Wintersteen, but these two dominated that first season, Sell winning five races, and Wintersteen two, with only Jerry Hansen's Lola T140 breaking the stranglehold with an inherited win at Road America. In 1969, five more cars would appear and, although production ceased after 1969, several more cars appeared in 1970 and 1971. However, 1969 was a much more competitive season; the Eagle won five of the first six races but then the McLaren M10A and Surtees TS5 started to take over. With no further development coming from AAR, the Eagle faded into history.
Tracing the 14 1968/69 Formula A Eagles has proved exceptionally difficult and only nine cars have been traced, one of which is a complete resurrection. One or two more were wrecked but that leaves up to four still missing. Please email Allen at email@example.com if you can add anything.
The material that provided the original basis for this research has been provided by Wolfgang Klopfer and his efforts are very gratefully acknowledged. I'm also very grateful to Kathy Weida at AAR, to Eagle historian John Zimmermann, who kindly provided details from AAR files identifying the first owner of each chassis, and to 1969 Formula A Champion Tony Adamowicz for his recollections. Further information has come from Chris Townsend and ex-Eagle owners/racers Dave Jordan, Phil Henny, Jim Mapson, Steve Davis, Doug Magnon, Jim Larkin, Neil Ohrdorf, Trina Schoellhamer and John Hughes.
Lou Sell 1968 (won championship); advertised by Roy Campbell Feb 1969 - Lew Florence 1969 - to Posey to replace the car wrecked at R1. Florence well up in practice before selling car. Posey did not start the race as the car was "not to his liking".
Won at Laguna Seca 4 May 1969, second at Continental Divide 8 Jun 1969, crashed after starting from pole at Sears Point 22 Jun 1969 and second again at Seattle 6 Jul 1969. Wrecked in a transporter accident after the Seattle race and replaced by a McLaren M10A.
The Eagle went to Gerard Raney for the 1970 season.
Driven by: Lou Sell, Lew Florence and Sam Posey. First race: Continental Divide (US R1), 26 May 1968. Total of 12 recorded races.
George Wintersteen 1968 - Milestone Racing 1969 for Tony Adamowicz. Crashed in testing at Willow Springs April 1969 and not repaired (despite Autoweek reporting Tony's car as ex-Wintersteen during the 1969 season). Wreck advertised by Carroll Smith of Milestone Racing 4 April 1970 (NB Round 1 was 20 Apr at Riverside). Sold to Phil Henny (Van Nuys, CA) and rebuilt. Adv 17 Oct 1970 "1968 Eagle F/A. Brand new, rebuild, never raced, immaculate". Phil recalls racing it once at Riverside. Sold to Roy Woods and John Fort of American Racing Associates (Northridge, CA). Raced by Woods in a SoPac Division National at Riverside on 13 Feb 1971. Adv 12 Jun 1971 "Bartz ... serious enquiries". Photo shows #69. (Note that ARA had a Lola T192 for Adamowicz at the Questor GP, presumably the car Woods later rolled end over end in practice at R1 Riverside 1971. Woods broke his right leg.) The Eagle was advertised again by ARA (Northridge, CA) on 11 Dec 1971, showing a picture of the car racing and bearing #69.
Sold to Bob Allen and raced at the Riverside Regionals in April 1972 where Finish Line called it "the ex-Roy Woods Eagle". Then in the US 1972 (#49): R1 Laguna Seca 7 May 1972 only; SCCA Nationals 1972; US 1973: R2 Laguna Seca 6 May 1973 only; SCCA Nationals 1973 (won at Portland 10 Jun 1973 and 22 Jul 1973, 2nd at Seattle 12 Aug 1973, 1st at Sears Point 16 Sep 1973) and SCCA Regionals (1st at Laguna Seca 29 Sep 1973). Crashed in practice for a SCCA Regional on 14 Oct 1973 when he touched wheels with Craig Munschy's Formula Ford Hawke DL2A during practice, and the Eagle was completely wrecked, leaving Allen with severe leg injuries. Munschy's photographs of the car after the accident show that it was beyond any chance of repair. Allen replaced it with a 1969 ex-Indy Eagle.
Driven by: George Wintersteen, Roy Woods and Bob Allen. First race: War Bonnet (US R2), 16 Jun 1968. Total of 20 recorded races.
Wayne Jones of Zeus Developments, fitted with a Plymouth engine, and raced as #97 in the US series with various drivers in 1969 and 1970. Bill Eve raced this car at R2 Laguna Seca in May 1969 but retired. Swede Savage then raced it at Sebring 28 Dec 1969, taking pole position but again retiring. Advertised 28 Feb 1970 with 504 "one never run, second only 2 races - pole at Sebring". The car was then entered by Jones for Hiroshi Fushida in 1970 (again as #97), starting four races before Fushida crashed during qualifying at Sears Point in June. Autoweek reported that the tub was possibly damaged beyond repair, and the team did not appear again. Both the team's car were advertised again 15 Aug 1970 "two damaged".
The ex-Savage/Fushida car was then sold to Jef Stevens (Miami, FL) and fitted with a Frank Schmidt-prepared Chevrolet engine for Stevens to drive at the Sebring race in October 1970. The car was supported by Ray Lore (Miami, FL), who then entered it for John Gunn from Mid-Ohio in July 1971 onwards (as #39, until it was crashed by Gunn at Lime Rock in September. It was advertised by Ray Lore as a rolling chassis in Autoweek 6 May 1972, but not seen again. Subsequent history unknown but see the Schlehlen car in July 1972 and the Walter Brown car in 1973.
Driven by: Bill Eve, Swede Savage, Hiroshi Fushida, Jef Stevens and John Gunn. First race: Laguna Seca (US R2), 4 May 1969. Total of 14 recorded races.
One of two cars owned by Wayne Jones of Zeus Developments, and fitted with a Plymouth V8 engine. This car was driven by Bob Williams (Santa Monica, CA) in the 1969 US series, but he crashed during the opening race at Riverside on 19 Apr 1970, and again in practice at the next race at Edmonton on 24 May 1970. This car was last seen when Wayne Jones advertised both his damaged Eagles in Autoweek 15 Aug 1970.
This car next appears in 1972, when Otto 'Sonny' Uecker of Uecker Racing (Monroe, MI) entered it for Chuck Parsons to drive in the 1972 US Formula 5000 series. It was entered at Watkins Glen 18 Jun 1972 (#42), Elkhart Lake 16 Jul 1972 (#42), Donnybrook 30 Jul 1972 and Road Atlanta 20 Aug 1972 but its only certain appearance was the last race where Parsons retired. At Road Atlanta it was described in Autoweek as a Eagle-Chev, and was advertised later that year as a "Gurney Eagle 1968". Otto Uecker died in March 2007.
Subsequent history unknown, but at some point the car was acquired by Jack Conely (Brighton, MI), and was retained by him for many years, still wearing the #42 used by Parsons in 1972. Conely died in May 2017, and his cars, including the Eagle, were auctioned in September 2018. The Eagle sold, for $60,000 plus commission, to Ray Skillman Classic Cars (Greenwood, IN). In March 2020, the car was starting its restoration.
Driven by: Bob Williams and Chuck Parsons. First race: Riverside (US R1), 19 Apr 1970. Total of 2 recorded races.
Fred Corbett (Portland, OR) US and SCCA Nationals 1969; then a single race at Seattle in 1971. Borrowed by Jerry Hansen for Donnybrook (Brainerd) 1969. To Monte Shelton (Portland, OR) who advertised it 19 Dec 1970 as "1969 FA Eagle ... Fresh Bartz ... completely updated and race ready". Shelton raced this car in West Coast Pro races, SCCA Nationals and in the USAC Road Racing event at Seattle during 1971. To Bill Gregg (a Portland native then living in Spokane, WA) 1972 and raced in Oregon Region events at Portland in 1972 and 1974. Back to Monte Shelton 1974. To Ron Brown (Portland, OR) 1980 and retained for many years. Still owned by Ron in March 2012, when he was still threatening to restore it. Still with him in January 2017.
Driven by: Fred Corbett, Jerry Hansen, Monte Shelton, Bill Gregg and Don Hanna. First race: Seattle, 15 Jun 1969. Total of 18 recorded races.
Bobby Brown (Huntingdon, Long Island, NY). Damaged in Firestone tyre testing April 1969 and Firestone bought Brown another car (see 508 below). This is presumably the damaged ex-Brown car sold by Roy Campbell to Gerard Raney (see the Raney car below). Bobby Brown's recollection is that this car was repaired by Campbell and was sold to Raney.
Sam Posey US 1969. Well tested before R1 (AS 2 May 1969 p31). Wrecked in practice at first round of 1969 series and replaced by Lew Florence's ex-Sell 501. This is probably the car referred to in an article about Ray Caldwell in Autosport 21 Mar 1969 pp22-23. Caldwell withdrew his de Dion suspension Caldwell D8 from FA at the end of 1968 and Sam Posey was due to have an Eagle and a McLaren for 1969. It is mentioned that a "gleaming new Eagle fuselage" was at Autodynamics' Marblehead, MA workshops at the time of Pete Lyons' visit. This car is presumably one of the pair bought by Gerard Raney from Sam Posey for the 1970 season.
Driven by: Sam Posey. First appearance: Riverside (US R1), 20 Apr 1969.
AAR records show that this went to Ernie Kanzler for Skip Scott to drive. Kanzler, the son of pre-war Ford production head Ernest Kanzler who had died in 1967, set up Autocoast in Costa Mesa, CA, in 1968, initially to build boats. He soon moved into racing car projects, including a steam-powered speed record car, and Pete Bryant would design and build the Ti-22 Can-Am car for Autocoast later that year. The Eagle was sold to Firestone for Bobby Brown (Huntingdon, Long Island, NY), to replace the car he wrecked in tyre testing. Brown US 1969 (10 races; best finish 2nd at R4 Sears Point 22 Jun 1969).
The car was sold to Dick Smothers' Echelli Ignition team for 1970, and Smothers raced it in SCCA Nationals 1970 (Smothers won at Riverside in Feb 1970) and in the Pro series (entered for Lou Sell at R4 but DNA; for Dick Smothers (#10) at R6). Sold then to Charlie Hayes Racing Equipment (Santa Ana, CA) and entered by him for Mike Brockman (Orlando, FL) in two Pro series races, R2 Laguna Seca 2 May and R3 Seattle 23 May. Hayes advertised the car from 31 July to 23 October 1971.
To Mike Koslosky (Upland, CA) for Skeeter McKitterick. Only seen once during 1972, at R1 Laguna Seca on 7 May 1972 (#43) but presumably the #42 Pacific Developments Eagle for Skeeter McKitterick US 1973: (Riverside and a DNS at Elkhart Lake only), SCCA Nationals 1973 (2nd at Riverside May 1973) - Jim Law (El Segundo, CA) entered at Ontario F5000 Sep 1974 by Moody/Law Racing; adv 10 Jan 1976 "Eagle F5000/USAC. Ex-Skeeter McKitterick". Law recalls selling it to someone in the LA area. Also advertised by Dick Moody (Manhattan Beach, CA) Jan 1975 to Oct 1976. Advertised by Mark Pivec Racing Services (Costa Mesa, CA) from Oct 1977 to Jan 1978, presumably on Moody's behalf, as bought from Moody by Warren Scoville, a Pacific Palisades realtor in 1978, and raced in west coast SCCA events. To John Schoellhamer (Hamilton, OH) 1979, and raced until the 1980s. Stored until after Schoellhamer's death in 2012, and later sold by the family to John Hughes (London) in August 2016.
Driven by: Bobby Brown, Dick Smothers, Michael Brockman, Skeeter McKitterick and Warren Scoville. First race: Riverside (US R1), 20 Apr 1969. Total of 23 recorded races.
Bought new by Malcolm Starr and entered by his Starr Racing (Clifton, NJ) for John Cannon US 1969 (12 starts + 1 DNS). He won at Riverside, Sears Point and Mosport Park, and also qualified on pole position at three of the first four races that he started. To Aero-Structures Developments for Rex Ramsey (Sherman Oaks, CA) US 1970 (11 races). Advertised by Aero-Structures Dev (Van Nuys, CA) in December 1970. Unknown during 1971 but bought from Ramsey by Kathy Wells for her future husband Michael Brayton (Newport Beach, CA) to race from 1972 onwards.
The car was raced by Brayton from 1972 to 1975, but primarily used in southern Californian SCCA racing. Also raced at three west coast Pro F5000 races in 1974 (Ontario, Laguna Seca and Riverside). Brayton was very successful in Cal Club SCCA events in 1974, winning the Falstaff Nationals at Riverside in May, and raced at the Long Beach and Riverside Pro races later in the season. The car was then retained by Brayton until 2016, when a restoration was entrusted to Graham Collins.
Driven by: John Cannon, Rex Ramsey and Michael Brayton. First race: Riverside (US R1), 20 Apr 1969. Total of 34 recorded races.
Milestone Racing US 1969 for Tony Adamowicz. Converted to Ford engine for final race. Advertised by Carroll Smith of Milestone Racing 4 April 1970, two weeks before the start of the new season. Sold to George Boscoff for John Morton to drive in 1970 but the deal fell through and the car was stored in the Milestone Racing closed trailer for many years, untouched. In 1995 Boscoff sold it to close friend Joe Cavaglieri (San Fernando valley, CA), another BRE alumni from the mid-1960s. Cavaglieri left it unrestored, still in the livery it last ran at the end of 1969. In April 2007, Cavaglieri was finally convinced to sell the car to Doug Magnon and it was transferred to his Riverside International Museum (Riverside, CA). Immaculately restored by Bill Losee during 2007 and restored to Chevy power. Raced in vintage racing by Tony Adamowicz 2008. Raced by Adamowicz at Road America July 2012. Doug Magnon died in February 2015 but the car remained in his Riverside International Museum until it was auctioned by RM Sotheby's at Monterey in August 2016.
Driven by: Tony Adamowicz. First race: Riverside (US R1), 20 Apr 1969. Total of 13 recorded races.
New in 1969 to American International Racing Inc, the team formed in January 1969 by actor James Garner and mobile home tycoon John C Crean (San Juan Capistrano, CA). The Eagle was intended for an AMC engine but AMC pulled out of the deal in August 1969, and the car remained unraced that season. Entered by AIR as their #21 car for Dave Jordan (Cypress, CA) in the Pro series in 1970 using BRE Chevy V8 engines but only appeared in the first five races. The car was fitted with a Bill Stroppe 305ci Ford V8 for testing at the end of the season. For the Questor GP in March 1971, the car was taken over by Junor-Tarozzi Engineering (Tustin, CA), led by former AAR Trans-Am project manager Robert L. Tarozzi, and fellow AAR crew member Bruce Junor, and fitted with a Keith Black Plymouth engine for Swede Savage to drive. Savage was well off the pace in qualifying and started from the back row. He crashed in the first heat when the #32 Eagle ran off the course and slammed into the concrete barrier. Savage suffered serious head injuries, and was unable to race for four months. The right side of the Eagle was heavily damaged.
The remnants of 511 were later picked up from John Crean's San Juan Capistrano ranch by ex-AAR fabricator Tom Beauchamp and acquired by Jim Larkin (Colorado Springs, CO) some time before 2005 for restoration. Many new parts would need to be made for the car and the restoration continued until October 2012.
The car made its vintage racing debut at an RMVR race late October at Pikes Peak International Raceway. The picture on the right was taken at about that time. Still with Jim in August 2016, having been unraced since its PPIR outing.
Driven by: Dave Jordan and Swede Savage. First race: Riverside (US R1), 19 Apr 1970. Total of 6 recorded races.
New in 1969 to American International Racing Inc, the team formed in January 1969 by actor James Garner and mobile home tycoon John C Crean (San Juan Capistrano, CA). The Eagle was intended for an AMC engine but AMC pulled out of the deal in August 1969, and the car remained unraced that season. Fitted with a Chevy V8 and entered by AIR for Bill Simpson Tasman 1970 (crashed at Warwick Farm). AIR for Dave Jordan US 1971 (R6, R7); 1972 (R1, R8). Advertised by Jordan on behalf of Crean from December 1972 to December 1974 when sold to Frank Schultz (Chicago), an African-American. Schultz raced the "N Dugo Eagle FA" in the Road Atlanta June Sprints on 4-6 June 1976 and at a Blackhawk Farms National in August 1976 (entrant Chuck Sturm). He would later acquire the one-off Eagle 755.
The subsequent history of 512 is unknown but it somehow returned to AAR, possibly bought with the intention of restoration. Sold by Mike Lang of AAR to someone in Monterey (northern California) and then on to Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) who bought it sight-unseen thinking it was a USAC car. To Jim Mapson (Santa Ana, CA) by early 1980s, restored and used in VARA races at Riverside. Sold to Steve Davis (Carmel, CA) 2006. Raced by Davis at Watkins Glen September 2008, and at Road America July 2012. Sold in November 2012 to Johnnie Crean, then of Oregon, the son of the original owner, John Crean, who died in 2007. Crean Jr returned the Eagle to red-and-white #35 livery. Run by Johnnie Crean (Kamuela, HI) as #35 entry at Monterey in August 2015, at Road America in July 2016, at Indianapolis in June 2017, and at COTA in November 2017. Raced at Monterey in August 2018.
Driven by: Bill Simpson, Dave Jordan and Frank Schultz. First race: Levin (Tasman R1), 3 Jan 1970. Total of 15 recorded races.
New in 1969 to American International Racing Inc, but remained unused. Unraced in 1969 or 1970. Advertised by Dave Jordan (Cypress, CA) in May 1971 and by Johnnie Crean (California) in June 1972 with both adverts stating that it was unused, and Jordan's saying it was the second to last built. Sold in 1972 to Terry Avery (Bridgeview, IL) and partner Lee Petsche (Hickory Hills, IL), fitted with a Traco Chevy and run a few times in 1972-73; crashed at IRP late 1973. Avery then shortened the chassis and modified the rear along the lines of the 1972 Indy Eagle. Raced again in 1974, winning a minor event at Road America ahead of Bobby Rahal's F/Atlantic. In 1976, the car was used as part of Avery's PhD thesis.
Subsequent history unknown until a Rick Lambrechts (Michigan) contacted Jim Mapson in the early 1990s saying he was restoring 513. In 2007, 513 was owned by Bryan Jedinak (Cleveland, OH). The monocoque restoration was completed in May 2011. In December 2014, the car was sold to Rick and Jacques Dresang. Sold to Paul Joyaux (Chicago, IL) in February 2020.
Driven by: Lee Petsche. First race: Road America, 29 Sep 1974. Only one recorded race.
Jim Busby (Newport Beach, CA) US 1970. Adv 18 Apr 1970 "brand new ... ready to race ... 2 hrs test time only"). DNS at Riverside April 1970 (where it appears on the entry list as 'Eagle 514 Chev') after crash in practice. Adv 11 Jul 1970 "needs front corner and tub repair". Sold to Floyd Sable (Anaheim, CA) and completely rebuilt. It was then sold to Larry Ohrdorf (Colorado Springs, CO) who ran it at Pikes Peak from 1974 to 1979, still numbered as 45 and using a 350 ci Chevrolet. It was sold to fellow Pikes Peak racer Bob Silvers (Colorado Springs, CO) some time in the late 1980s and is believed to have spent time in a museum.
NB A previous version of this page stated that the car was crashed; Larry Ohrdorf says that was not 514 that was crashed but a second Eagle that is still being researched. Also it was stated that Craig Pence bought the wheels and that was all that survived; it is true he bought the wheels but Larry says they were a spare set. In early 2019, the car was reported to be in a private collection in the Colorado area, together with other former Pikes Peak cars.
Driven by: Jim Busby and Larry Ohrdorf. First race: Pikes Peak, 4 Jul 1974. Total of 4 recorded races.
Other cars advertised late 1969 or early 1970.
'the Roy Campbell car'
Roy Campbell Racing (Santa Ana, CA) advertised a "1969 FA Eagle chassis. Needs some suspension parts. Complete otherwise. Will sell cheap." in Autoweek 22 Nov 1969. Note that Campbell had advertised the Sell 501 at the beginning of 1969 but, according to Chris Beebe, Campbell sold Gerard Raney a damaged ex-Brown Eagle. It seems likely that this is the ex-Brown car implying that it had been repaired but was still not complete.
'the Smith car'
Madeleine Smith (Los Angeles, CA) advertised a "1968 FA Eagle … less engine" for $10,000 in Autoweek 18 Apr 1970. Could this be someone at the AAR factory advertising the Wintersteen car?
The 1970 mystery cars
All of the Eagles can be accounted for at the beginning of 1970. The Raney car(s), the only other Eagle to appear from the start of 1970, is now known to be a car built from the remains of Brown's testing wreck and Posey's cars.
'the Smith car'
Madeleine Smith (Los Angeles, CA) advertised a "1968 FA Eagle … less engine" for $10,000 in Autoweek 18 Apr 1970. Could this be someone at the AAR factory advertising the Wintersteen car?
'the main Gerard Raney car'
Gerard Raney (#90, Redwood City, CA) bought one damaged car from Bobby Brown (via Roy Campbell) and another two damaged cars from Sam Posey ("01" and "03" according to his former mechanic), and used these to construct a single car and campaigned this for four seasons: US 1970 (7 races); SCCA 1971 (at least two Nationals + Runoffs); US 1971 (7 races); Seafair "200" 1971; US 1972 (6 races); SCCA 1972 (at least one National); US 1973 (5 races); and US 1974 (4 races). At some point the "01" car was loaned to a SCCA Region for marshall training and not returned. The other car, "03", spent many years on Raney's garage wall.
In 2007, the car was taken down and was on display at the 2007 Quail Lodge concours (Carmel, CA). Tony Adamowicz reports that Raney still had the car in early 2009.
Driven by: Gerard Raney. First race: Riverside (US R1), 19 Apr 1970. Total of 32 recorded races.
Full list of Eagles racing in 1970: #21 Dave Jordan (511), #22 Rex Ramsey (509), #47 Jim Busby (514), #90 Gerard Raney (501/506/507), #95 Bob Williams (504), #97 Hiroshi Fushida (503), Lou Sell (508), #10 Dick Smothers (508 at R6) and #3 Jeff Stevens (503) at Sebring. Also Phil Henny (502) in Nationals. George Boscoff's 510 remained unraced in 1970.
Other cars advertised late 1970 or early 1971.
'the Haas car'
Carl Haas Automobiles (Highland Park, IL). Adv 27 Mar to 29 May 1971 "1968 Formula 5000 Eagle complete ... immaculate". Possibly a car taken in part-exchange for a new Lola. Smothers Brothers ran a Lola T192 in 1971, the only 1970 Eagle runner to move to a new Lola in 1971. If this was the Brown/Smothers "508", it was with Charlie Hayes by July. But this can't be right as Haas says it was a 68 car. The only missing 68 cars are 503 and 504 but Ray Lore had one of these, maybe both, before these advert. Another person to have a Lola T192 in 1971, if only for the Questor GP, was Tony Adamowicz in American Racing Associates' car. Could Haas have taken the original 1968 Wintersteen/Adamowicz wreck in part exchange for ARA's new T192. If so, could it have returned to ARA after Woods wrecked the T192?
The 1971 mystery cars
The following Eagles can be accounted for at the start of 1971: Raney had his combination of 501, 506 and 507, Woods had 502, Ray Lore had 503, Monte Shelton had the ex-Fred Corbett 505, Hayes had the ex-Brown/Smothers 508; 509 was on its way from Rex Ramsey to Michael Brayton; the ex-Adamowicz 510 was in storage, 511 was just about to be wrecked by Savage, Jordan still had 512 and 513, and Floyd Sable had 514. That accounts for 13, so the only missing car at this point was 504, last seen with Ray Lore in 1970, and with Sonny Uecker by 1972.
'the Ronnie Bucknam car'
At the Seafair 200 USAC Road Racing Championship event at Seattle in August 1971, former Honda F1 driver Ronnie Bucknum raced an unidentified #51 Eagle. This might have been an Indy car, as Bucknum had driven Eagles in USAC in 1968 (winning at Brooklyn in October) and 1969, his last two outings being in an Eagle-Chev at Phoenix and Riverside at the end of 1969. He drove a Cecil-Ford in 1970 and failed to qualify at Indy in 1971. He had driven a Lola T190 in F5000 earlier in 1971, also entered as #51. 1971 had been a very poor season for Bucknum, and he would retire early the next year. His next employment after Seattle was in Marv Webster's #76 car during practice at Ontario in early September, so it is quite possible that he was driving Webster's backup car at Seattle, an old 1966 Indy Eagle.
Bucknum did not qualify for the first heat of the Seafair 200, but was allowed to start the second, retiring after a single lap. Nothing more known.
Driven by: Ronnie Bucknum. First race: Seattle, 7 Aug 1971. Only one recorded race.
Full list of Eagles racing in 1971: #28 Gerard Raney (501/506/507); #69 Roy Woods (502 SCCA races only); #39 John Gunn (503/504); #57 Monte Shelton (505); #87 Mike Brockman (508); #32 Swede Savage (511); and #21 Dave Jordan (512).
Also, Jerry Grant raced a #78 Eagle-Offy at the Seattle USAC road racing event in 1971. This was the #78 Farrell's Ice Cream Special, a 1968 Indy Eagle, in which Posey was bumped at the 1971 Indy 500.
The 1972 mystery cars
A few cars moved after the 1971 season. Raney presumably still had 501, 506 and 507; 502 was sold by Roy Woods to Bob Allen; 503 was with Ray Lore until May 1972, 504 was acquired by Sonny Uecker during 1972, 505 went to Bill Gregg, 508 passed to Mike Koslosky, 509 reappeared for Michael Brayton, 510 was still in storage, 511 had been destroyed at Questor, 512 and 513 were still being advertised by Dave Jordan, and 514 was probably still with Floyd Sable.
As well as these F5000 cars, Ludwig Heimrath brought out a 1966 ex-Indy Eagle at Round 2.
'the Erich Schiehlen car'
Erich Schiehlen (Kettering, OH) advertised a "F/A Eagle" in Autoweek 24 Jun-19 Aug 1972: ""one of the cleanest and finest in the country"". It had a fresh Chevrolet V8 engine, and a Hewland LG600 gearbox.
This is one of very few Formula A Eagles to have been owned east of the Rockies. One ex-Savage car, 503, was last seen when advertised in Florida in May 1972.
One curiosity in this period is an article in the Xenia Daily Gazette on Friday 30 June 1972 which stated that John Higgins, the executive vice president of the Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce, was the current SCCA Central Division "Regional Formula 5000 champion", and that he had won that title in "the Tom Wood owned Eagle". Tom Wood of Xenia had owned and raced a Vulcan Formula A car in 1970 and 1971, and may have acquired an Eagle at some point. The title must relate to 1971, so it's not obviuous which Formula A Eagle he could have had. Allen Costner of Kettering and sponsor Ken Cole Ford of Xenia were also mentioned in connected to Higgins' drive. The 24-year-old John E. Higgins was a local car salesman.
Full list of Eagles racing in Formula 5000 in 1972: #21 Dave Jordan (512); #26 Gerard Raney (501/506/507); #28 Michael Brayton (509); #42 Chuck Parsons (504), #43 Skeeter McKitterick (508); #49 Bob Allen (502); and #74 Ludwig Heimrath (1966 ex-Indy Eagle).
The 1973-1975 mystery cars
Between 1973 and the beginning of 1976, the mystery cars are all in the neighbouring states of Kentucky and Tennessee, all were described as 1968 Eagles, and could all feasibly be the same car. If these are the same car, then this could well be chassis 503, last seen in Florida in early 1972, being used as a show car for several years before being refurbished for Pikes Peak.
'the Walter Brown car'
Walter Brown (Louisville, KY) advertised an "Ex-Savage Eagle 69 formula A" in Autoweek 14 Jul 1973. It was said to be "super clean" with "$8,500 invested". Could he have been a relation of Garvin Brown (also from Louisville)?
The only Formula A Eagles driven by Savage were 503, a 1968 car last seen in Florida in early 1972, and 511, which was wrecked at Ontario in 1971. It seems most likely that it was chassis 503, but it could be an ex-Savage 1969 Indianapolis Eagle converted to FA. Specifically, the ex-Bud Morley chassis 704 is a possibility.
'the Phil Kaelin car'
Advertised by Phil Kaelin (Louisville, KY) 11 Oct 1975 "Eagle "A" Car. Never wrecked … 1968 model". Given the location, and the rarity of Eagles east of the Rockies, it is highly likely that this is the car previously advertised by Walter Brown. Of the four 1968 cars, we can now account for the whereabouts of three of them, making it very likely that this is the fourth, chassis 503, despite the "never wrecked" comment in the advert. All four 1968 cars had been crashed, sometimes more than once, by the end of 1973.
'the Tennessee car'
A 1968 Eagle acquired by Larry Ohrdorf some time before 1976. According to Neil Ohrdorf, it was bought from Tennessee, and "had been used by Ashland Chemical as a promotional car for photoshoots, trade shows, state fairs, etc". It came with a dummy engine, and the nose was missing. It was prepared by Larry Ohrdorf with a 350 ci Chevrolet engine for use on the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, which then mandated a full roll cage structure, as Ohrdorf already used on his own 1969 Eagle, chassis 514. The ex-Tennessee car was driven by Bud Hoffpauir (Colorado Springs, CO) at Pikes Peak in 1976, but he went off the track during practice and rolled down the hillside, only coming to rest when the car hit a substantial boulder, It was described as "completely demolished", but there was an intention to rebuild it. According to Matthew Carpenter, writing on racingpastdevilsplayground.com in 2017, the car was rebuilt and is still owned in the Colorado area.
Driven by: Bud Hoffpauir. First appearance: Pikes Peak, 4 Jul 1976.
Later mystery cars
In 1975, Raney finally parked his car but Brayton returned in what was described as a 74A but is more likely to have been his older car. Jim Law maked a one-off appearance in 1974 with ex-McKitterick 508. Bob Allen moved up to ex-works Eagle 74A, and a second 74A was acquired by Mike Koslowski.
In 1976, Ross Hansel appeared in his ex-Bob Allen 1969 Indy Eagle, Frank Schultz raced his Eagle 755 in the June Sprints, and Chuck Bartlebaugh had a "1970 Eagle" at Riverside. Peter Papke had his Eagle 74A at Watkins Glen in June, and then Don Breidenbach and Ron Dykes both drove Eagle 74As at Riverside in October, Breidenbach in Papke's car and Dykes in Koslowski's. Previous versions of this page referred to Greg Hodges having an Eagle at Mosport Park in June, but a photograph has shown that he was racing his ex-Indy Lola T150.
Billy Scott ran a 1972 Indy Eagle owned by Marvin Webster (car #76) in one F5000 race. Another 1972 Indy Eagle was - probably - the 1974 Ruby entry.
Sources include an excellent FA preview in Autoweek 10 May 1969. Details were also provided by John Zimmerman from AAR records showing the first owner of each car.
These histories last updated on .