Monterey

15-16 August 2014

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Lot 102

1981 AAR Eagle Indianapolis

  • Chassis no. 8104

Sold for $38,500


Small block Chevrolet V-8 engine, heavy-duty manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension with coil springs, and four-wheel disc brakes.

  • Formerly of the Bob Pond Collection
  • Well-known provenance
  • Finished in 9th place at the 1982 Indianapolis 500, where it was driven by Herm Johnson
  • Formerly owned by Thomas Mittler


By 1981, Dan Gurney’s All American Racers had cemented their reputation at the fabled Brickyard in Indianapolis. Following Bobby Unser’s first win in an Eagle in 1968, Gordon Johncock finished 1st at the Indianapolis 500 in 1973, and Bobby Unser and AAR returned to the top of the podium in 1975. The 1981 year would signal a change for AAR Eagles, as the cars would boast naturally aspirated engines, from either Chevrolet or Cosworth, instead of the turbocharged engines of past.

The Chevrolet-powered 1981 example presented here, chassis 8104, was delivered new to retailing magnate and motorsports team owner John Menard, who campaigned it in the CART series. The car was first raced at Watkins Glen in 1981, where it was driven by Herm Johnson, the 1977 Formula Super-Vee champion. The following race was in Mexico City, where Johnson placed 8th, and he rounded out the season by finishing 9th in Phoenix. After racing again at Phoenix and Atlanta early in the 1982 season, the car’s last professional competition would be at the 1982 Indianapolis 500, where it wore #28 and was driven by Herm Johnson. Chassis 8104 qualified at a speed of 195.929 mph and was placed 14th on the grid for the start. By the end of the race, Johnson had worked his way up to 9th, which was a very respectable finish in a highly competitive race.

The car was purchased in 1989 by renowned sports car collector Thomas Mittler, of South Bend, Indiana, who lent the car to the Studebaker National Museum for display during the 1990 Studebaker festival. During Mittler’s ownership, the car was never raced and was always kept on static display.

By 1993, the car had become part of the famed Pond Collection, and like his 1969 AAR Eagle-Santa Ana, this car was campaigned in vintage racing under the banner of Bob Pond Racing. According to documentation with the car, it was driven in the final round of the American IndyCar Series at Willow Springs International Raceway by former Shelby American employee and Nissan factory driver John Morton. Morton finished 2nd overall in the car on Saturday, and in the subsequent race the following day, Morton placed 1st overall, in what would be the final time chassis 8104 was campaigned under Pond’s ownership.

This AAR Eagle features Indianapolis and CART series history and has proved to be competitive both when new and in historic racing. Following long-time storage and static display in the Pond Collection, this former Indianapolis racer is ready for its next owner.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 9... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. He is a life-long automobile enthusiast and ... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski

jonathan@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a Connecticut restoration shop as a teenager. He graduated with a... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. He att... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more