Dan Gurney exhibit honors pioneer at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

James Raia

Dan Gurney exhibit honors pioneer at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 1Some of the most historically significant race cars ever associated with Dan Gurney will be presented together for the first time when the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion honors the motorsports pioneer.The exhibit: “Dan Gurney, the Cars He Built, the Cars He Drove” celebrates Gurney’s impacting role in shaping motorsports history. It will be held August 13-15 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Gurney drove more 50 types of cars in 312 events worldwide, and his All American Racers (AAR) Team designed, built and campaigned 157 racing cars with 66 different drivers during 35 years of competition.

Many of the cars are still in existence, owned by collectors or driven on the vintage circuits by racing enthusiasts.

Dan Gurney exhibit honors pioneer at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2
The exhibition will feature example of the cars built and driven by Gurney, including Formula 1, sports cars, NASCAR, Indy, Trans Am, Can-Am, Formula Ford and  Formula 5000. Highlights include:

* The dark blue Eagle Gurney-Weslake V-12 number 36, known as one of the most beautiful Grand Prix cars ever built, is the inspiration for the 2010 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion event poster.

Owned by The Collier Collection in Naples, Fla., it will be on display commemorating Gurney’s win at the Grand Prix of Belgium at Spa in 1967. It was the only victory for an American in an American Grand Prix car in the modern era.

* The red Number 1 Ford Mk IV which Gurney and A.J. Foyt drove to victory in the 1967 Le Mans 24 Hour Race. It remains the only All American win at Le Mans. It’s on loan from the Henry Ford Museum

* The aqua-blue 1975 Indy 500 winner, the Jorgensen Eagle owned today by the Collier Museum and driven into victory lane by Bobby Unser, will also be part of the show.

* The white Olsonite Number six Indy Eagle, which won the USAC Championship with Bobby Unser in 1974, will be there next restored lilac-colored 1972 Indy Eagle driven by Jerry Grant.

* Car Number 31, built in 1966, owned by Doug Magnon’s Riverside Museum, is the first Eagle built. It ran only 50 yards of the Indy 500 when it was hit by debris in a huge multi-car accident at the start of the race.

* The yellow unconventional 1981 Eagle with a Chevrolet stock block engine. Mike Mosley put this car, the Pepsi Challenger, on the front row at Indianapolis in 1981 and won from the back of the field at Milwaukee two weeks later.

* NASCAR racing is represented by the 1963 Riverside 500 winner: The Holman & Moody Ford Galaxie, which started a string of victories at that race. Gurney won with the Wood Brothers Team again in 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1968.

Additionally, more than 600 historic racing cars from 13 countries will compete in 19 groups at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. This year’s featured races are Formula 1, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year; Trans-Am; and for the first time, Stock Cars that competed between 1959 and 1975. Additionally, there will be a dedicated grid of Bugatti race cars in the Bugatti Grand Prix, including some from Australia, France, Germany and Switzerland.

For Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion tickets and information, visit www.MazdaRaceway.com or phone 800-327-7322.

Article Last Updated: July 28, 2010.

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