Saga of Audacity: Eagle F1

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Page 3, In Dan's own words: A saga of audacity: the AAR Eagle Formula 1 Story

The Italian Grand Prix in Monza, a month later, was to be the last Grand Prix for this car. After that our budget did not allow us to continue our Formula One effort anymore. I took the Eagle out of circulation and closed down our facility in England with a heavy heart, but with the knowledge that we had put the Europeans on notice and that we had put an American Grand Prix victory in the history books for all time.

The car has found a home in the Miles Collier museum in Florida, a fact I am very happy about. Due to the enormous escalation of costs and the way formula 1 racing has developed over the last three decades, it is getting more and more unlikely that an American driver will ever be able again to build his own Formula One car and drive it to victory himself. No '36' hopefully will enable future racing enthusiasts to briefly delve back into the era of the Sixties, a very special time in motor racing, when idealistic individuals, without a fortune, could still make an impact. It will forever be an inspiring and humbling thought to me that companies like Goodyear, Castrol and Mobil, as well as many Eagle fans in America took a chance to support this effort based on nothing more than the belief in me and my people's abilities.


Where have all the people gone?

Dan Gurney (Coventry Climax 4 cyl) and Bob Bondurant (Eagle Weslake V 12) in their Eagle formula 1 cars at the Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City 1966. Dan finished fifth, Bondurant DNF (fuel injection problems)

From left to right: Team Manager Bill Dunne, never without his cowboy hat, moved to Europe from Florida, traveling with the team all over the world (After 1968 Bill vanished from the motor racing scene . He is reputed to have received a PhD in marine history and to have entered the academic world, as a professor at a big American university). Mike Lowman, F1 Eagle mechanic from England, came to AAR in Santa Ana for a few years in the early Seventies, then went back to England and now works at G Force. He was part of the Noble World Speed Effort. Joaquin "Jo" Ramirez, originally from Mexico, also came back with Dan to AAR after 1968 for a few years and then went back to England, he became F1 mechanic to Ayrton Senna and is today the team coordinator for the McLaren F1 team. Crew chief Tim Wall went home to Australia where he succumbed to lung cancer some 15 years ago. Carroll Shelby was bought out as partner of AAR by Dan in 1970 and went on to great fame and fortune with his Cobra empire. Bob Bondurant went on to found the meanwhile world famous Bondurant Driver’s School.

Part of the team, but not in the picture: Mechanic Rouem ("Haff") Haffenden came back to Santa Ana and worked on the AAR Indianapolis effort. (He died of cancer about 10 years ago.) AAR General Manager Max Muhleman went on to fame and fortune by starting his own sports marketing company in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is now part of IMG, the world’s largest sports marketing conglomerate. He directed the campaign to bring NFL and NBA Teams to North Carolina. Harry Weslake passed away of a heart attack in his Eighties sitting in the grandstands in Wembley Stadium in London, watching a Championship motorcycle race featuring Weslake powered bikes. His stepson Michael Daniels, who was technical director of Weslake Engineering, is still involved in engine consulting work and lives close to Rye, in Southern England. Aubrey Woods and Len Terry both live in retirement in England today.