Take a tour of the 1981 CART IndyCar Series season with the convention-defying All American Racers Eagle – the stock block V8-powered “Pepsi Challenger” with which driver Mike Mosley starts in the middle of the front row at the Indy 500. Then move to the Michigan 500 where Mosley stars and Bruce Jenner interviews team owner Dan Gurney, and look for the sweeping yellow tail of Mosley’s No. 48 as an early in-car camera system – weighing 10.5 pounds and mounted four inches off the ground in the nose – is utilized. Despite the age of the VHS tape and its inevitable decay, the footage is stunning.
The highlight reel jumps to Riverside where Geoff Brabham starts from pole on the winding Southern California road course, and closes with the car’s finest day as Mosley, who was unable to qualify at Milwaukee due to an engine problem, storms from 25th and last to win the Rex Mays 150.
As a byproduct of its radical aerodynamics, the Pepsi Challenger continues to stand as one of the great open-wheel achievements in the last four decades. It’s also the car, among the dozens of unique designs to emerge from AAR, that Gurney rates as his favorite.