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Indy Eagle (1969)

  
Indy Eagles in Spectraflame blue (L) and  orange (R), both with decals applied.

The Indy Eagle was one of four open-wheel Indy cars released in 1969 as part of the new Grand Prix Series.

The Hot Wheels Indy Eagle is a pretty good replica of the #48 Ford-Weslake Indy Eagle that was driven by rookie driver Jochen Rindt in the 1967 Indianapolis 500.  It is curious that the Mattel designer chose Rindt's #48 car as the model, rather than the #69 car of Denny Hulme.  Hulme's Eagle finished 4th behind A.J. Foyt's winning Ford-Coyote, while Rindt finished 24th, having retired on lap 108 with a broken valve.  Indy-Eagles were designed and built by All American Racing (AAR), a company founded in 1965 by Dan Gurney and Carroll Shelby with the financial backing of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.  The cars that AAR built in the mid to late '60s were characterized by a "beak" at the front of the car, hence the name "Eagle".  During the late '60s, Eagles raced on both sides of the Atlantic, with Dan Gurney driving one to victory in the 1967 Grand Prix of Belgium.  Gurney's Formula 1 win was the first one by an American since 1921.

 
Jochen Rindt at the wheel of his 1967 Indy Eagle (L).  Dan Gurney with a couple of Eagles, c. 1966 (R).

As with all four Indy cars, the Indy Eagle was produced only by the Hong Kong factory.  It features a blue-tinted windscreen (as do all HK cars), a visible metal engine and twin chromed plastic tailpipes connected by a small wing.  Eagles were painted with a variety of Spectraflame colors, and included a small "Hot Wheels" decal on the right side of the car.  A waterslide decal sheet with racing numbers and sponsors logos was included in the blister pack.  In addition to the Spectraflame colors, the Indy Eagle was also produced in gold chrome, and featured a gold engine, gold chrome pipes and a gold base.  The gold Eagle is the rarest of the black interior cars.


A gold chrome Indy Eagle.

Most Indy Eagles have black interiors, but occasionally tan and white interiors can be found.  White interiors are most common in red Eagles.  Other colors like blue and aqua with white interiors are relatively rare.  Early production cars have bearing (white hub) style wheels, while later runs have cap style wheels.  Some Eagles can be found with both types of wheels.


From left to right: red Indy Eagles with white, tan and black interiors.

Indy Eagles can be found with painted bases.  Black-painted base cars are uncommon, relative to unpainted metal bases and typically add about 50% to the value of the car.  A few Eagles with silver-painted bases also have been reported.


From top to bottom: Indy Eagles with unpainted, black and silver-painted bases.

Indy Eagles with clear windscreens and white interiors are prototype cars and are quite valuable.  Some Eagle prototypes had plastic snap-on fuel tanks.  These were developed to enable the four Indy cars to run on flat tracks with the Supercharger accessory.  However, the tanks never made it into production and blister packs containing Indy cars carried a label stating that the cars were intended "for gravity action sets!"


A prototype Indy Eagle with snap-on fuel tanks (B. Rosas).


 
Indy Eagle Color chart

COLORS:
COMMENTS:
blue common
red common
green common
aqua
orange
purple
olive

brown
hard to find
copper hard to find
gold chrome
very hard to find
rose ("watermelon")
rare



A copper Indy Eagle in the blister pack!



An Indy Eagle rainbow!


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