The AAR Eagle Indy Car, the Historic Formula Car Driven by Dan Gurney, Wins the 2018 Gran Turismo Trophy
The 68th annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was held on August 26 (local time) at Pebble Beach in Monterey, California. In attendance was Gran Turismo Series Producer Kazunori Yamauchi who awarded the Gran Turismo Trophy to the AAR Eagle Indy Car (1966).
This formula machine was built by AAR (All American Racers), the racing constructor established by American racing legend Dan Gurney who competed in virtually every major racing category, including F1, Indy car, NASCAR, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ten of these cars were produced in 1966 to participate in both F1 and Indy car races, which at the time shared similar regulations. The No. 31 car shown here is said to be the one Dan Gurney drove in an Indy 500 race. Powered by a Coventry Climax V-8 producing 425hp, mated to a 4-speed gearbox, the sleek racecar features a front end that resembles the beak of an eagle, which inspired its name.
Other nominees for the Gran Turismo Trophy were as follows:
Cadillac 425A Pininfarina (1931)
While production cars, led by the Model T Ford, gained popularity in the Twenties, luxury cars were also the rage during the economic boom. The most popular of these were Cadillacs. This 1931 model came equipped with a 12- or 16-cylinder engine, and while most of these were fabricated with a robust Fleetwood body, this rare example came with a Pininfarina-designed body that included a European boat tail.
Ferrari 250TR (1958)
This car was created by Ferrari to participate in the FIA Sportscar Championships in the 3.0-liter-engine class in 1958. "TR" is an abbreviation for the Italian word “Testarossa,” which means "red head," a reference to its red cylinder heads. There were a total of 34 Testarossas built, and this car, one of the 19 commercial pieces, has a long recorded history of racing in Riverside, California, after being delivered to Dick Morgenson.
OSCA MT-4 Prototype (1952)
OSCA (Officina Specializzata Costruzione Automobili) was established by the Maserati brothers after they left the company bearing their own name. OSCA was good at creating lightweight spartan sports cars, which saw much success at races like the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, and the 12 Hours of Sebring. This example, which is a regular at the Concours d’Elegance, competed in the original Pebble Beach Grand Prix, which ran through a pine forest, in ’53, ’54, and ’55.
Tucker 48 (1948)
This unique car was the dream child of Preston Tucker, who was both an entrepreneur and engineer. It came powered by a rear-mounted 5.5-liter flat-6 engine (a rarity for American cars) and featured a number of safety considerations. The body style was penned by Alex Tremulis, who also worked with Cord Automobile and Duesenberg. Tremulis included many design cues that were ahead of their time into the Tucker, including triple headlights and doors that ran up into the roof. This was the very car that was featured in a 1988 Hollywood film about Tucker and is owned by the movie's director, Francis Ford Coppola.
The AAR Eagle Indy Car that won the Gran Turismo Trophy will be included in a future edition of Gran Turismo. The "Best of Show" award for 2018 went to the 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta.
(Car description supported by Hideo Kodama)