1969 AAR Eagle Mk 5 F5000 #7
RM | Sotheby's - MONTEREY 2016 - The Riverside International Automotive Museum Collection
- Offered from the Riverside International Automotive Museum Collection
- Driven by Tony Adamowicz to Formula 5000 Championships in 1969 and 2009
- Only campaigned by Tony Adamowicz both in period and in vintage racing
- The only Formula 5000 car to win period and historic racing championships with the same driver
When Formula A offered a 5-liter engine class in 1968, the series took off in the United States as the “American Grand Prix.” The springboard was the adoption of the Chevrolet V-8 fitted to the Camaro Z28, and tuned by Traco to deliver more than 400 brake horsepower. Dan Gurney instructed All American Racers designer Tony Southwick to modify the 1968 Eagle Indy chassis for the new series.
Other competing manufacturers included Lola, McKee, and LaGrande, but Gurney’s Eagle was more sophisticated. All American Racers viewed Formula A as a privateer series and charged $11,500 for a chassis. For 1969, Formula A was renamed the Continental Championship, and the series was expanded to 13 races. Five Eagle Mk 5s were sold in 1969 and a few more in 1970 and ’71, for a total of 14 altogether.
For the 1969 series Eagles won six races, with Tony Adamowicz beating Surtees-mounted David Hobbs to the championship thanks to a string of podium finishes in the middle of the season, along with two wins. Formula A Eagle chassis number 510, the chassis presented here, was sold to privateer Carroll Smith of Milestone Racing in 1969 and would become Tony Adamowicz’s championship-winning ride. After Gurney Eagles won the championship for the second straight year, chassis number 510 was fitted with a Ford engine for its final race of 1969 and then advertised for sale on 4 April 1970, two weeks before the start of the new season. George Boscoff bought it for John Morton to drive, but the deal fell through, and chassis number 510 was stored in a closed trailer at Milestone Racing for 25 years.
Finally, in 1995, Boscoff sold it to Joe Cavaglieri of San Fernando, who was also a Brock Racing Enterprises alumni from the 1970s. Cavaglieri left it unrestored, in the livery it last ran in 1969, until he was convinced to sell the car to Doug Magnon, and it was transferred to the Riverside International Automotive Museum. The car was immaculately restored by Bill Losee in 2007, and restored to Chevrolet power.
However, chassis number 510 would not sit dormant as a static display in the museum. Bill Losee completely restored the car and would act as its chief mechanic throughout its upcoming vintage racing career. The museum reunited Tony Adamowicz with the car and took to the track for the Historic Formula 5000 Championship and the 40th anniversary races of the 1969 season in 2009. Once again, Adamowicz and his AAR Eagle proved to be a winning combination, winning not only the first race of the season at Fontana after starting in last place, but securing the entire championship, 40 years after he won the same championship in the same car in 1969. Such a feat is almost unheard of in motorsport and has certainly never happened before in the Formula 5000 series.
This championship, however, would prove to be just the tip of the iceberg for car and driver, and the museum would campaign the car for another two vintage championships and raced it at a variety of events throughout the next several years. Even into his 70s, Adamowicz proved to be just as skilled as he was over four decades ago. At an event at Road America in 2012, his times were within one second of his times from 1969, proving that neither car nor driver had lost their edge. Chassis number 510 has proven to be highly successful both in period and in vintage racing, and it will surely continue to be successful for the next owner. Following a recent engine rebuild, it remains in race-ready condition. Coming from a significant museum collection with a genuine connection with Dan Gurney, the opportunity to acquire the only dual–championship-winning F5000 racer cannot be understated.
|CHASSIS NUMBER 510 – PERIOD RACE RESULTS|
|April 20, 1969||Riverside Grand Prix||Tony Adamowicz||3rd OA|
|May 4, 1969||Monterey Grand Prix, Laguna Seca||Tony Adamowicz||DNF|
|June 8, 1969||Colorado Grand Prix, Continental Divide||Tony Adamowicz||DNF|
|June 22, 1969||Continental 49'er, Sears Point||Tony Adamowicz||DNF|
|July 6, 1969||Seattle Grand Prix||Tony Adamowicz||1st OA|
|July 20, 1969||Badger "200," Road America||Tony Adamowicz||1st OA|
|August 2, 1969||Schaefer Grand Prix, Lime Rock||Tony Adamowicz||5th OA|
|August 10, 1969||Minnesota Grand Prix, Brainerd||Tony Adamowicz||2nd OA|
|August 23, 1969||Mosport Continental, Mosport||Tony Adamowicz||2nd OA|
|September 1, 1969||Lime Rock Grand Prix||Tony Adamowicz||4th OA|
|September 7, 1969||Le Circuit Continental, Mont-Tremblant||Tony Adamowicz||3rd OA|
|September 21, 1969||Thompson Grand Prix, Thompson||Tony Adamowicz||3rd OA|
|December 28, 1969||L&M F5000 Championship Race, Sebring||Tony Adamowicz||22nd OA|