Grand Prix History in Scale Models

1969, Eagle, Indy 500, IndyCar, Joe Leonard, Spark

1969 Eagle Mk7 – Ford Leonard

The 1969 Eagle, Mk7 was designed by young engineer Tony Southgate, who worked previously for Lola and Brabham, and joined Dan Gurney’s Anglo American Racers (AAR)  in 1967. The model was also called the Eagle Santa Ana, named after AAR’s home town. The basic layout of the car was based on existing successful designs, the wedge shape being based on the Lotus 56 and the Brabham-style outboard front suspension was the same as that used on the successful Hawk and Mongoose cars. The first car was not ready until late April, leaving very little time to develop such a radically new design, and the team struggled for straight line speed during the month of practice at Indianapolis. Four ’69 cars were built for the 1969 Indianapolis 500. Dan Gurney’s entry #48 was fitted with a 318 ci Gurney Weslake Ford stock block V8 engine. Three other cars used 159 ci Ford quad cam turbo V8 engines. Car #44, painted in gold livery and officially called the City of Daytona Beach, was entered by Henry “Smokey” Yunick from Daytona Beach, FL for Joe Leonard.  Car #42 was driven by Denny Hulme as Olsonite factory entry. The fourth car, #7, was AAR backup car and only run briefly in practice at the Indy 500 and then not used again. All three ran very well in the race, with Eagles running 2-3-4-5 at one point. Dan Gurney’s car finished the race in second place. Joe Leonard was black-flagged on lap 150 for leaking fluid. He made a long pit stop to replace a punctured radiator, returned to the race, and managed a 6th-place finish. Denny Hulme retired after 145 laps due to broken clutch. Joe Leonard started his racing career in motorcycle racing in early 1950s.  He won the first A.M.A. (American Motorcyclists Association) Grand National Championship Series in 1954 and won it again in 1956 and 1957. His record totals 27 wins, including the 1957 and 1958 Daytona 200. He also was vice-champion in 1958, 1960 and 1961, third in 1955, and fifth in 1959. He retired from motorcycle racing at the completion of the 1961 season and turned his attention to auto racing. Leonard raced in the USAC National Championship in 1964 – 1975. He

1969USAC National ChampionshipIndianapolis 500
Driver No.Entrant
Joe Leonard44Smokey Yunick Inc.
ChassisEngineCar Name
Eagle Mk7FordCity of Daytona Beach
Scale ManufacturerCollection
Cat. No.QualityRarity

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