1972 AAR Eagle Drake Offy
In 1989, Dan Gurney, president of AAR Inc., entered in an agreement with former AAR consultant Philippe de Lespinay, for the assembly of the two unused 1972 AAR-Eagle spare chassis, with leftover components and engines from the very successful 1972-1973 works cars of Bobby Unser and Jerry Grant.
After several years and many difficulties resolved along the way, this agreement resulted in the production of two cars replicating the two former works cars, effectively no longer existing as intact original entities.
The last two chassis built in 1973 were 7229 and 7230, and were never completed in the day. Gurney chose to decorate 7230 in the famous Jerry Grant "Mystery Eagle" livery, while Philippe de Lespinay decorated 7229 in the Bobby Unser Olsonite livery while supervising the completion of both cars. This was achieved in 2012 and 7230 is now a part of the AAR museum in Santa Ana.
7229 is a NOS tub built in 1973, already partially assembled with fuel cell, steering rack, front suspension and braking system. The engine is a rare genuine AAR-Drake-Miller 2.6-liter (159 CI) "Twin Pump" turbo unit with correct "works" forward tub mounts (customer cars use side mounts) and correct Weismann 4-speed gearbox (customer cars were fitted with the Hewland LG 400) and assorted suspension components. All parts used to assemble the car are original AAR stock components and were used on the Bobby Unser car in 1972, replaced routinely after a given mileage regardless of wear. The engine has a documented track record showing that it won the 1974 "California 500" at Ontario Motor Speedway. Tires are recent Avon radials with only mileage gathered during the demonstrations of the 100th Anniversary of the "Indy 500" in 2016. All fluids are fresh. A common Offy crankshaft-seal leak has been dealt with a catch system, no other leaks exist.
After a first outing in 2012 revealed an engine problem, the car was again, completely disassembled and carefully reassembled by former TRD engineer Bill Losee and Philippe, the engine attended to by Stewart and Tres Van Dyne, while the gearbox was rebuilt as new by former Unser crew, Butch Wilson. This resulted in a fast, very reliable and great handling car. It has had since several successful outings at various venues and is presently in perfect condition, while needing as sole requirement for any future use, a fuel cell replacement. The fuel cell is very accessible and will be manufactured by Aerotech in California from the factory AAR print. The engine was properly pickled after each outing. The gearbox and all other systems are functioning perfectly as designed.
"7229" was featured in the May 2016 issue of Road & Track as one of the five "star cars" tested for an extensive story for the important anniversary issue.
The car was improved after each run, making fueling and maintenance a very easy process. It has reached a speed of over 200 mph at Auto Club Speedway at only 2/3rd throttle, and has been successfully driven by Kenton Koch, Aaron Lewis, Matthew Brabham and Philippe de Lespinay at various venues.
7229 is now offered for sale for the first time. It comes with a complete and freshly rebuilt starter cart and starter motor, featuring a rare NOS armature and new brushes, a new spare set of magnesium wheels, various servicing implements, approved methanol fuel jugs and a complete instruction manual for safe and successful operation.
Chassis number: 7229
Aluminum monocoque with steel bulkheads, built by Phil Remington.
Front suspension by profiled upper rocker arm and inboard Monroe adjustable coil over shock absorbers. Lower wishbones support cast-magnesium hub carriers.
Rear suspension by upper links, lower parallel arms and an anti-sway bar, linked to cast-magnesium hub carriers, outboard coil-over Monroe shock absorbers.
Schroeder rack & pinion steering.
A Goodyear 40-gallon rubber fuel cell sits inside left-side pod.
Side water radiators feature enclosing bodywork.
The fiberglass nose supports a pair of aluminum wings and connects to a cowl, the tub forming the car's body sides.
Liebeck designed Rear wing exclusively for AAR.
Cast magnesium wheel, 15" X 10" fronts, 15" X 14" rears, with Avon radial tires.
Car weight: 1600 lbs dry.
AAR-Drake-Miller Offenhauser 159 CI 4-cylinder IL turbocharged engine.
Aluminum crankcase with steel block and aluminum cam boxes.
Gear driven twin overhead camshafts, 4 valves per cylinder.
Forged crankshaft with brass counterweights and five bearing-supporting, bolted webs.
Pistons C&C machined from solid treated aluminum billet.
Drake tubular steel rods.
Twin-pump dry-sump scavenge system, camshaft driven external pressure pump.
Mallory electronic magneto ignition system
Garrett turbocharger to inconel exhaust header.
Power is 650 HP at 7500 rpm on 55", up to 1000 HP at 9500 rpm on 70" of turbo pressure. The engine happily goes to 9500 rpm and beyond.
Weismann 4-speed with built-in suspension brackets.