And The Olsonite Eagle
Taking you back to a matchless era in racing.
The 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda is widely recognized as one of America’s greatest Muscle Cars. It was designed and built at the very pinnacle of the muscle car era and during a period when top-end auto racing was attaining great new heights.
Likewise, Oscar L “Ozzie” Olson of Olsonite Corporation is recognized as one of America’s great Indy Race Sponsors. During the late 60s and early 70s, Ozzie Olson played an empowering role in “raising the bar” of national racing competition.
Ozzie Olson was much more than a sponsoring Business Executive, content to enjoy elevated corporate exposure and a Sunday afternoon draw. Olson rather, was a dedicated Sportsman who was personally engaged in nearly all aspects of his racing programs. One need look no further than Olson’s roster of sponsored Drivers to understand. Such inimitable talent as Gurney, B Unser, Savage, Grant, Dallenbach, Hulme and Malloy illustrate this point well. Ozzie Olson was in it to compete.
It is lesser known that Olson, in addition to owning a host of Indy cars, also owned a B5 blue street version of the AAR Cuda. Olson obtained his AAR new in Detroit in 1970 and titled it in the name of his Company: Swedish Crucible Steel (Olsonite). His ownership of this Cuda becomes a bit more personal when one understands that the AAR Cuda was designed and raced by Dan Gurney, Olson’s personal friend, Driver and Chassis Builder. Another Olsonite Driver also championed the AAR Cuda during the 1970 Trans Am Series: David Earle “Swede” Savage.
Both the Gurney racer and the Savage racer bore the Olsonite logos throughout the 1970 Trans Am series. During this same time, Olson personalized his street AAR by having “Gurney Eagle” embossed across the rear tail panel and by adding “Olsonite Eagle” imaging to the rear quarters, in bold reference to the Indy Eagle chassis. The “Olsonite AAR” has survived the decades and has been meticulously restored.
As you browse this web page, you will find information taking you back to a matchless period of time when muscle cars on the street were as common as today’s SUV, and to a time when Indy race records were being methodically shattered by the Olsonite and Gurney Racing Teams. As you consider this remarkable era, it is my hope that you might gain a renewed appreciation for what the Olsonite teams did for the sport of racing between 1967 and 1974.
“…I’ll never forget it. No Contract, no fuss. He came out here, we shook hands and that was that. Ozzie’s word was better than any contract in the world." - Dan Gurney
The Saturday Evening Post – November, 1976, in reference to Oscar Olson