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I wonder why


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#1 jj2728

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 14:55

Why didn't Gurney and AAR go to the DFV instead of persisting with the V-12 Weslake in the Eagle for 1968? Dan had a history and good relationship with Ford, I've never really considered what might have been had he switched powerplants. Had they used the DFV would they have been able to persist on past the '68 season? Would it have meant too many design changes to the Eagle in order to incorporate the DFV? Was there too much money already invested in the Weslake? Just wondering why.

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#2 D-Type

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 15:29

I think it's simply a question of pride.
(a) Having named his team "All-American Racers" (or was it "Anglo-American racers"?), Gurney couldn't use a nominally British engine
(b) Having developed his own engine, he couldn't admit publicly that he'd got it wrong and install a customer engine.

The timing doesn't really help either. In 1967 when the Eagle was struggling it probably wasn't apparent that the DFV would be made available to other teams in 1968.

AAR wasn't large and resources limited, and money was tight, so it made sense to focus on the USA where the Eagles were competitive rather than stretch things thinly to cover both series..

#3 arttidesco

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 15:51

Might Dan also have been taking a pragmatic decision to step back from F1 because of his age I believe he turned 37 in 1968 ?

#4 Michael Ferner

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 16:05

I think it's simply a question of pride.
(a) Having named his team "All-American Racers" (or was it "Anglo-American racers"?), Gurney couldn't use a nominally British engine
(b) Having developed his own engine, he couldn't admit publicly that he'd got it wrong and install a customer engine.

The timing doesn't really help either. In 1967 when the Eagle was struggling it probably wasn't apparent that the DFV would be made available to other teams in 1968.


Mmh.

(a) The team's name was indeed "Anglo-American Racers" in GP, so what better than using an Anglo-American engine (Ford-Cosworth)???

(b) But that's exactly what he did in the US, switching from the Gurney-Weslake-Ford to Drake-Offenhauser!!!

© The timing can't have been that wrong when other teams (e.g. McLaren) made exactly the same switch.

#5 Michael Ferner

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 16:07

Might Dan also have been taking a pragmatic decision to step back from F1 because of his age I believe he turned 37 in 1968 ?


I fail to see what his age could have to do with it. How old was Colin Chapman in '68, or Enzo Ferrari for that matter?

#6 f1steveuk

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 16:10

I think it's simply a question of pride.
(a) Having named his team "All-American Racers" (or was it "Anglo-American racers"?), Gurney couldn't use a nominally British engine
(b) Having developed his own engine, he couldn't admit publicly that he'd got it wrong and install a customer engine.

The timing doesn't really help either. In 1967 when the Eagle was struggling it probably wasn't apparent that the DFV would be made available to other teams in 1968.

AAR wasn't large and resources limited, and money was tight, so it made sense to focus on the USA where the Eagles were competitive rather than stretch things thinly to cover both series..



I see what you mean, but he had no qualms about using a Climax engine until the Weslake was ready, and having said that, most people would realise, even at the time, the Weslake was more or less British as well. Maybe the problem was to do with how the engine located, wasn't the Weslake long enough to need the use of pontoons on the monocque to support it? Whereas the DFV was a fully stressed member.

Just a thought.

#7 arttidesco

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 16:15

I fail to see what his age could have to do with it. How old was Colin Chapman in '68, or Enzo Ferrari for that matter?


In terms of Dan's own driving career and the decisions he was making about what to do and where his age may have had quite a lot to do with him giving up on Anglo American Racers in favour of focusing his teams efforts on events in the USA.

#8 Emery0323

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 18:30

Another factor was that AAR had some problems attracting F1 sponsorship, as well as reliability problems with the car.

By the time Ford was making the DFV available to customers, after 1967 was over, the AAR F1 team was winding down so that he could concentrate on the US operations. There were 3 races early in the 1968 season, Spain, Belgium and France, where they didn't even compete.

I recall reading Dan saying in an interview that if the car had held together at the Nurburgring in '67, he would have won two races in a row, and that would have helped get sponsor interest.

Edited by Emery0323, 11 November 2012 - 18:33.


#9 Doug Nye

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 18:42

Dan was always one of the most sensitive and thoughtful personalities in major league motor racing (after Phil Hill had opted out). He was very detuned by the death of his close friend and rival Jim Clark. He was then further detuned by the death of Jo Schlesser at Rouen when the part magnesium Honda burned so ferociously. Dan was driving the Mag-Ti Eagle in F1 - Tony Southgate was designing a new mag-tubbed Eagle for 1969 - and AAR's few sponsors were urging Dan to focus more of their input into USAC racing back home rather than all this road racing abroad. Many factors conspired to put Dan eventually into a DFV-powered car, but it was a McLaren instead of an Eagle.

DCN

#10 Roger Clark

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 21:55

In 1968, the DFV had only limited availability, only Lotus, McLaren, Tyrrell and the Alan Mann sports racers. I don't think Cosworth had the resources at that time to supply more teams. In 1969, the DFV was available to anybody who had the money, but AAR didn't.

#11 David Beard

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:48

the Weslake was more or less British as well.


More or less? Which bit wasn't?


#12 Stephen W

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 10:27

Might Dan also have been taking a pragmatic decision to step back from F1 because of his age I believe he turned 37 in 1968 ?


I fail to see what his age could have to do with it. How old was Colin Chapman in '68, or Enzo Ferrari for that matter?


Dan Gurney was starting to concentrate more on the US rather than Europe due to his sponsorship deals being primarily American. His fondness for F1 was on the wane so his move to concentrate on the US scene is quiet understandable.



#13 D-Type

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 12:23

More or less? Which bit wasn't?

The money!  ;)

#14 jm70

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 12:33

Mobil oil dropped their sponsorship at the end of '67. That's kept me away from Mobil gas since then.

#15 f1steveuk

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 12:34

The money! ;)


That's a much better way than I was going to use, to say the same thing!!  ;)

#16 AAGR

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 22:54

I wish you woudn't describe the DFV as Anglo-American. It was as English as fish-and-chips, as I am sure every TNFer knows ....

AAGR


#17 yulzari

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 23:16

It was as English as fish-and-chips, as I am sure every TNFer knows ....

AAGR

Can I gently point out that fish and chips came from Sephardic refugees to the Netherlands from Spain and Portugal using a cooking method they had brought from North Africa. So fish and chips are as English as North Africa (fish fried in batter) and South America (potatoes).

However, the DFV was certainly English and you don't get much more English than the late lamented Keith Duckworth.

#18 RCH

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:08

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and we all know now how sucessful the DFV turned out to be. Certainly in 1968 it was the engine to have but that's not to say that the Weslake or BRM or some completely undreamt of engine might become the one to have in 1969. Gurney had an F1 engine and given the finance and the will to continue in F1 why would he not have continued with it? It would have been far too soon to consider that he couldn't make it work.

#19 David Beard

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 14:08

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and we all know now how sucessful the DFV turned out to be. Certainly in 1968 it was the engine to have but that's not to say that the Weslake or BRM or some completely undreamt of engine might become the one to have in 1969. Gurney had an F1 engine and given the finance and the will to continue in F1 why would he not have continued with it? It would have been far too soon to consider that he couldn't make it work.


Yes, a lot of people at the time seemed to expect the DFV to be overtaken by engines with more cylinders...

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#20 Allen Brown

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 15:04

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and we all know now how sucessful the DFV turned out to be. Certainly in 1968 it was the engine to have but that's not to say that the Weslake or BRM or some completely undreamt of engine might become the one to have in 1969. Gurney had an F1 engine and given the finance and the will to continue in F1 why would he not have continued with it? It would have been far too soon to consider that he couldn't make it work.


Best answer so far.