Dan Gurney was shocked, moved to tears and then reflected on how proud he still was almost 50 years later.
Those were his reactions after son Justin presented him with the best birthday present ever on Monday – his restored 1967 Eagle that he qualified in the middle of the front row at Indianapolis.
“One of my favorites,” said the 84-year-old legend on Wednesday while sharing stories with Parnelli Jones and Dario Franchitti as they admired the car at the All-America Racing shop in Santa Ana, Calif. “I don’t think I’ve seen it since 1967 and it looks so good and brings back so many memories.”
Franchitti flew into Long Beach for this weekend’s IndyCar race and drove right to AAR to see two of his heroes and a classic car.
“What a day – I wish it wouldn’t have ended,” said the three-time Indy 500 winner whose appreciation and knowledge of history isn’t lost on two of the all-time greats.
Four Gurney sons will also be driving old Eagles in the pre-race festivities for the Indianapolis 500:
- Alex in the ’68 Indy 500-winning Eagle
- Justin in the ’73 Indy 500-winning Eagle
- Jimmy in the ’69 2nd place Eagle Dan drove
- Danny in the 1983 Eagle Al Unser Jr. drove