PH Blog: McLaren's past glories

A visit to McLaren's Technology Centre in Woking this morning has given us the chance to revel in the presence of these fantastic oldies. The pop-riveted flanks of Bruce McLaren's M7C and Denny Hulme's M12C are a world away from the glassy modernity of the building that today houses them, and the stark, upright spoilers and exposed engines tell of a different era.

We're here for the reveal of McLaren's MP4-28 - the team's Formula 1 car for the 2013 season - of which more anon. And set against that new car, with its fluid lines honed by decades of wind tunnel work, the older cars seem remarkably primitive - the M7C with its ungainly front wing especially so.

Of course, in their day they were anything but - and even today, the raw speed and grip they offer is beyond anything us mere mortals can hope to experience. But what we can enjoy is the healthy dose of nostalgia they imbue; the memories they conjure of times past and, as some would have it, the glory days of Formula 1. And while celebrating its heritage has obvious commercial benefits for McLaren, it's still gratifying to see that the company is happy to keep and maintain these older cars. Doing so allows those of us who never got the chance to see them back in the day to enjoy their old-school charm first hand, and to bring to life the vast and rich heritage that Formula 1 can boast. Good show, McLaren.


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  • chevronb37 04 Feb 2013

    I've been fortunate to see late-era Can Am McLarens race on a number of occasions. None with the conviction of Andy Newall in the Bamford M8F though. He was sideways like this every lap through the Old Hairpin. Not Bruce, Denny or Peter but certainly not frightened of the monster like so many seem to be.

    Of course there are the M1Bs which Albert articulately describes above. Here at Goodwood and being so beautifully driven by Chris Goodwin and Roger Wills.

    And the latest and greatest - the mighty M20. I hadn't seen one in the flesh until last year's FoS. This is Roald Goethe's and forms part of his already-legendary ROFGO collection. What a magnificent beast.

  • dinkel 04 Feb 2013

    Michiel Campagne rushing by in his M8F.

    Ex-Teddy Pillette Interseries car.

    "OK Michiel, how was the run?"

    Massive 8.3 without the turboes: still about 750 brake on tap.

    Top bit on this kit is the bucket size gearbox - impressive! . . . As is the sound. Beats your lungs out when passing by.

  • DJRC 03 Feb 2013

    Can Am love. Bring it on chaps smile Sod Sennas 88 MP4 when there are proper Can Ams about.

  • digger the goat 03 Feb 2013

    My Uncle is(was) Jo Marquart.....aka 'The Swiss pencil'...
    Designer of the M8A amongst others....
    Also of many other firms including Lotus,Modus etc until he founded ARGO..Anglia Racing Cars..
    If anyone has any stories or memories of him or his endeavors, please can you contact me, as his wife (my auntie Jackie) has little or no recollection of Jos' business....( she really wasn't interested in cars !!!)
    Sorry to crash this thread but it's very hard to find anyone with recollections of Jo Marquart...
    Would love to see some M8A photos and any Can Am..!

  • dinkel 03 Feb 2013

    Roger Wills 5 litre M1C. This final M1 incarnation was a customer car for the 1967 season, which sported more aggressive wings. Owner Roger Wills asked Brendon Hartley to join him at the Masters Sports Cars race. They won.

    M1B sports the 5.7 litre but is slower compared to the C, hence different tires.

    Let's not forget this blast of a roadcar - If there's only one car to choose, I'll skip consensus and fly away with the M6 GT.

    (Copyright) from the McLarenwebsite:

    "In early 1970 Bruce organised for a GT to be built so he could use it on the road.

    Together with chief designer Gordon Coppuck, Bruce planned to refine the prototype, eventually aiming to produce up to 250 cars per year.

    In fact only two M6GTs were ever built, Bruce’s original prototype and a second built by Trojan. The original prototype, OBH 500H, became Bruce's personal transportation, and remained so until his untimely death at Goodwood on June 2, 1970 when the road car project died with him.

    The M6GT stands as testament to his passion and vision to enter the world of super sports cars."

    The '74 owner drove the original racing 535 hp / 304 CID to bits and replaced it with a small block 400. Used the racers heads but replaced the original Webers with a big Holley and put in a milder cam. With a smack of torque and 470 horsies on tap it did 10 to 11 s on the QM, on profile Firestones. 100 Db on da highway though . . .

    HF, some exciting roadcar. Massive want.

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