15-16 August 2014

Lot 102

1981 AAR Eagle Indianapolis

To be auctioned on Friday, August 15, 2014

Sold for $38,500

  • Chassis no. 8104

Small block Chevrolet V-8 engine, heavy-duty manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension with coil springs, and four-wheel disc brakes.

  • Formerly of the Bob Pond Collection
  • Well-known provenance
  • Finished in 9th place at the 1982 Indianapolis 500, where it was driven by Herm Johnson
  • Formerly owned by Thomas Mittler

By 1981, Dan Gurney’s All American Racers had cemented their reputation at the fabled Brickyard in Indianapolis. Following Bobby Unser’s first win in an Eagle in 1968, Gordon Johncock finished 1st at the Indianapolis 500 in 1973, and Bobby Unser and AAR returned to the top of the podium in 1975. The 1981 year would signal a change for AAR Eagles, as the cars would boast naturally aspirated engines, from either Chevrolet or Cosworth, instead of the turbocharged engines of past.

The Chevrolet-powered 1981 example presented here, chassis 8104, was delivered new to retailing magnate and motorsports team owner John Menard, who campaigned it in the CART series. The car was first raced at Watkins Glen in 1981, where it was driven by Herm Johnson, the 1977 Formula Super-Vee champion. The following race was in Mexico City, where Johnson placed 8th, and he rounded out the season by finishing 9th in Phoenix. After racing again at Phoenix and Atlanta early in the 1982 season, the car’s last professional competition would be at the 1982 Indianapolis 500, where it wore #28 and was driven by Herm Johnson. Chassis 8104 qualified at a speed of 195.929 mph and was placed 14th on the grid for the start. By the end of the race, Johnson had worked his way up to 9th, which was a very respectable finish in a highly competitive race.

The car was purchased in 1989 by renowned sports car collector Thomas Mittler, of South Bend, Indiana, who lent the car to the Studebaker National Museum for display during the 1990 Studebaker festival. During Mittler’s ownership, the car was never raced and was always kept on static display.

By 1993, the car had become part of the famed Pond Collection, and like his 1969 AAR Eagle-Santa Ana, this car was campaigned in vintage racing under the banner of Bob Pond Racing. According to documentation with the car, it was driven in the final round of the American IndyCar Series at Willow Springs International Raceway by former Shelby American employee and Nissan factory driver John Morton. Morton finished 2nd overall in the car on Saturday, and in the subsequent race the following day, Morton placed 1st overall, in what would be the final time chassis 8104 was campaigned under Pond’s ownership.

This AAR Eagle features Indianapolis and CART series history and has proved to be competitive both when new and in historic racing. Following long-time storage and static display in the Pond Collection, this former Indianapolis racer is ready for its next owner.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo

Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

+49 (0) 40 441 95 737

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

+1 310 559 4575
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more