The Eagle Has Landed
I recently returned from a trip out west to visit Dan Gurney’s All American Racers along with with visits to the Petersen Museum as well as Morris and Welford. The Petersen was, as you might expect, pretty fantastic with cars most of us have only seen in books not to mention my grandfather’s Tucker which was in the process of getting a bit of a makeover. Morris and Welford was also a real pleasure to visit. Great cars and stories from Pat Perscihini. But the real focus of the trip was AAR where David Townsend, one of our Garage Graphics contributing artists was on hand to sign a life-sized backlit display of Dan Gurney’s 1967 Belgian Grand Prix winning Eagle.
The story of how we ended up with one of our displays in possession of All American Racing is one worth telling, if only for the improbable string of events that created the opportunity.
Our unlikely tale begins this past December at the grand opening of Morris and Welford’s new location in Newport Beach. While chatting with Pat, I asked him if he wanted see something really cool, then pulled out my phone and showed him a few images of the Gurney Eagle that David had just completed. Whereupon Pat mentioned he knew the Gurneys and would it be okay to share the Eagle art with them? Heck yeah, it would be okay!
Not long after, I received an e-mail from Evi Gurney which began, “Dan and I are sitting at breakfast looking at the fantastic images of the Eagle you sent…” You could have knocked me over with a feather. A few scant days later, an agreement was reached to print David’s Gurney Eagle as an 8′ high, 16′ long backlit display. By now we were well into January and the sad news of Dan’s passing came our way. Understandably, I wasn’t comfortable pursuing the Eagle display any further and David and I moved on to other projects, sad to think the Eagle art was not to be but still thrilled that Dan had a chance to see it. We would have been content if things had ended there. You can imagine our complete surprise when, late in March, Dan’s son Justin, reached out to us asking of we were still interested in furnishing the Eagle piece. Heck yeah, we were interested!
Fast forward to the first week of May, the art has been printed packed up, sent on to AAR, David and I are standing in the lobby of AAR in Costa Mesa, California, meeting Justin and Alex Gurney and getting an incredible tour of the facility complete with what has to be the most awesome collection of Dan’s racing cars ever gathered in one spot. Amazing. You just can’t make this stuff up.
But wait! There’s more!
Following our spectacular tour, Justin asked if David would be interested in drawing his dad’s winning GT40 MK IV from the 1967 LeMans. Heck yeah, he was interested! And so we’re off on again on the continuing adventure of AAR, this time with a full sized version of the #1 Ford GT40. David expects the artwork to be ready sometime in June and we’ll keep you updated as we prepare to offer a limited number of brushed aluminum, backlit, and frontlit displays. It’s going to be epic.
Here are few of the many, many pictures from our AAR adventure.