Here at Model Citizen HQ, the arrival of a new model gives us a feeling not unlike coming downstairs on Christmas morning. Even after thirty-plus years in the model car universe, we still get a thrill with each new release, each new opportunity to fill a gap in someone's collection. This week, we're delighted to announce an incredibly unique and significant piece: Spark Models' 1:43-scale Gurney "Olsonite" Eagle, the car Dan Gurney drove to victory in the 1967 Rex Mays 300.
Dan Gurney scarcely needs an introduction: in the 1960s, he was the very personification of the American racing hero. A versatile driver, engineer and car builder, Gurney was successful across a broad spectrum of motorsport, and 1967 was almost certainly his greatest year in international competition. He partnered with A.J. Foyt to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Ford Mark IV, and just one week later would win the prestigious Belgian Grand Prix in a Formula 1 car of his own design and construction. Closer to home in southern California, Gurney was the king of Riverside Raceway, where in 1967 he logged a USAC win in the Rex Mays 300 in his Olsonite-sponsored Eagle. Starting from the pole, Gurney led a field of open-wheel luminaries that included Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser and Jim Clark, eventually winning with an average speed of over 107 miles per hour.
Spark's 1:43-scale replica of this somewhat overlooked yet very significant car from Dan Gurney's illustrious career features a host of thoughtful details, including beautifully sculpted suspension components and header pipes and sharp sponsor decals. Spark has a history of choosing slightly unorthodox subjects to fill out their model line-up, and as giant Dan Gurney fans we're delighted that they've released the Olsonite Eagle. We suspect that fans of the golden age of American open-wheel racing will feel the same way.