CONSTRUCTORS: ANGLO AMERICAN RACERS LTD.
Name: Anglo American Racers Ltd.
In 1964 Dan Gurney established All American Racers in Santa Ana, California, to run sportscars for him to drive in the United States in between his Formula 1 commitments with the Brabham team. That year Carroll Shelby, who was running Goodyear tires on his Cobra sportscars, introduced Gurney to the Akron tiremaker because Goodyear wanted to take on Firestone at Indianapolis. A deal was struck and work began on an Indycar for 1966. Gurney hired Len Terry, the designer of the Indianapolis-winning Lotus in 1965 and he laid out an Eagle chassis which would serve for both Formula 1 and Indycar racing. The result was the Eagle-Ford T1G for the US and the Eagle-Climax T2G for Formula 1.
Gurney established Anglo American Racers Ltd. in Rye, Sussex, to run the Formula 1 operations and commissioned Weslake Engineering to build him a V12 engine, to be designed by Aubrey Woods. While this was being completed the team decided to run with Coventry Climax engines. Gurney debuted the Eagle-Climax at the Belgian GP in June 1966 and three weeks later at Reims he scored its first World Championship points with fifth place in the French GP. The new Weslake engine was not ready until September but Gurney ran it in the Italian GP. The rest of the year was spent trying to develop the engine with Bob Bondurant also involved.
The following year Gurney signed up Richie Ginther to be a second driver. Gurney started the year with victory at the Race of Champions. Ginther soon retired from racing and was replaced by a variety of different drivers. At Spa in June Gurney won, the first 'all-American' victory in a Grand Prix since Jimmy Murphy in 1921. The engines, however, remained unreliable and Gurney's efforts ran out of money. In 1968 the program stumbled on but towards the end of the year Gurney began driving a third McLaren. At the end of the year he went back to the United States to concentrate his efforts on the much more successful Indycar program which had seen Bobby Unser win the Indianapolis 500 and the Indycar championship in 1968.
Unser would win the title for Eagle again in 1974 and Eagles scored over 35 victories between 1969 and 1975, including another two Indianapolis 500 wins (for Gordon Johncock in 1973 and Bobby Unser in 1975). Towards the end of the 1970s the Eagles were less successful but Mike Mosley gave Gurney a final win at Milwaukee in 1981.
AAR withdrew from CART in 1986 but enjoyed enormous success with Toyota in IMSA before returning to CART as Toyota's factory team in 1996. That program was not a success and in 2000 Gurney withdrew again.