Journal: Dan Gurney's Eagles Have Landed At The Petersen

Dan Gurney’s Eagles Have Landed At The Petersen

By Benjamin Shahrabani
January 19, 2017

When it comes to racing drivers, perhaps none could be considered more rounded than Daniel Sexton Gurney. More commonly known as Dan, he boasted an incredible versatility behind the wheel that is surely unrepeatable today, competing successfully in motorsport series as diverse as Grand Prix, Indycar, NASCAR, and Sports Car, as well as winning the 1971 running of the “Cannonball Run” across the United States with co-pilot Brock Yates in a Ferrari Daytona.

If that wasn’t enough, Gurney was also an inventor and pioneer, and the first to fit a small strip of material – now known as the Gurney Flap – onto the wing of a racing car in order to increase downforce, while also introducing the modern full-face helmet to Indycar and Grand Prix racing, and starting the tradition of spraying – rather than drinking – champagne on the podium.

Images courtesy of All American Racers

Naturally, any telling of Dan Gurney’s story must also include his famous All American Racers. Starting in 1967, and continuing well beyond his retirement from active competition in 1970, Gurney’s Eagle often innovative race cars helped establish him as one of America’s premiere race car constructors. With their patriotic racing liveries, Gurney’s AAR would notch up podiums in Formula 1, Indycar, and Sport Car competition.

Courtesy of the Petersen Automotive Museum

Open to the public later this month, The Petersen Automotive Museum will celebrate the racing legend and his race cars in their newest exhibit, “The Eagles Have Landed”. Presenting a selection of the cars built and driven by Gurney over his career, the exhibition will include 1967 Gurney Eagle (Weslake: Formula One), 1968 Gurney Eagle McLaren “McLeagle” (Can-Am), 1993 Toyota Eagle GTP (Mark III: IMSA) and 1999 Gurney Eagle (CART).

The exhibition will be open to the public on Saturday, January 28th, 2017. Tickets can be purchased at

Photo by Zach Todd, Courtesy of Canepa

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Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay
7 years ago

Gurney for president?

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay
7 years ago

In my opinion, Dan Gurney was one of the best racing drivers of all-time. And his race car designs are some of the most innovative, beautiful, and well-constructed machines in the history of motorsport.

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