Collecting MemoriesModels

Dan Gurney, be proud: the Replicarz Eagles

All three new 1/43 scale Replicarz Eagles are terrific

The Replicarz Eagles shown here cover 3 of the 4 seasons from 1972 to 1975. During this period, speeds at the Indy 500 had increased by huge amounts. Spurred on by huge turbocharged horsepower and huge wings holding the cars down through the corners. Speeds were being throttled back on the engine and wing fronts by 1975. Replicarz details the difference among these cars very well.

The white #6 and dayglo #20 share similar master bodies. The Olsonite-sponsored pole winner from 1972, driven by Bobby Unser, has those huge wings, though simple in design. The high-winged Lotus 49s truly ushered in the winged era just a few years before and winged aerodynamics were still in their infancy at this point. The Pat Patrick-entered STP-sponsored #20, 1973 Indy 500 winner with Gordon Johncock, shows a year’s development of wings with tire fairings at the front, air dams and strengthening of structure at the rear.

Details abound on all three Replicarz Eagles

Replicarz likes to claim that “the difference is in the details”. I agree wholeheartedly. At the front there’s a finely assembled suspension. Front wings show fine detail noticeable upon very close inspection. It’s the rear of the car where all the fun happens. Oil cooler shrouds on the left of the engines are all different and subtly so on #6 and #20. From the orange on the turbo plenum to the gold of the valve cover bolts, there’s nice use of chrome plating. To pick out details, Replicarz uses different paint colors in the engine/gearbox area. Replicarz has used very fine plastic parts where photoetch might be used by others but the thin parts work just fine here. Photoetch is used for the lower front wishbones at the front and in the rear suspension.

Fine wire defines the wing supports and much more at the rear. There are tiny springs on the yellow shocks at the rear, although the STP car uniquely has black shocks. Brake discs and calipers show up at all four corners. The wheels feature bolt detail and the rubber tires are Goodyear-stenciled inside and out. The driver’s seat has the right pattern (evident only on the #20) with molded-in belts and the buckles picked out in silver. Sadly, these details are impossible to see on the two cars with black seats. It’s hard to see the gauges through the tiny steering wheel. Notice that there are dimples on the back of the dash to simulate the back of the dial gauges of the era. Nice.

The Jorgensen Steel sponsored #48 shows all kind of unique details

A few years of aero development plus rules changes designed to slow the cars made for very different wings. The #6 and #20 had relatively flat wings with a wide width and long chord at the rear. The #48 had deeply contoured and strengthened wings both front and rear. The rear wing is noticeably narrower and shorter of chord, with larger end plates. This car sports a very different oil cooler shroud only seen on the factory-entered Eagles. The roll bar is different, as are the goodies right behind it. The turbo installation had been cleaned up by now and that is reflected on the model. A single fuel filler replaces the two on the earlier cars. The detail on and around the gearbox is worthy of an extensive look, including piping for the gearbox cooler, a detail not regularly (never?) seen.

The floor below the front suspension was widened for downforce, the top of the nose shows new contour above the suspension as well. The driver’s NACA duct moves back to just in front of the windscreen, and this car grows an antenna as well.

I reserve this paragraph for spark plug wiring

Not individual wires but a very fine web resembling plug wires. It mostly works; I give huge, huge props for trying at all. You don’t see that from Spark or Minichamps in 1/43 whatsoever!

The cars feature low-gloss paint, closer to what a waxed race car looks like. The decals are well placed and are printed on a particularly clear carrier film. Look very, very closely at the #48 and you’ll see very, very tiny dzus fasteners all over the place. I used a magnifying glass to see them.

The cars are attached to a black base that includes an etched plaque that displays car info and edition numbers. A tight-fitting cover keeps the dust off and it all comes in a good quality box worthy of gift-giving.

All are limited edition releases: #6/250 models, #20/200, and #48/300. The red and blue cars have sold out from Replicarz directly. However I’ve seen some available from other dealers.

I understand a Mystery Eagle may follow. I reserved mine already.

Read more about the renaissance of Indy car models HERE