McLaren's early success is sportscar racing is often overshadowed by later achievements: the Formula 1 dominance for a period, and the GT racing victories of the F1 in the 1990s. It's a historical imbalance that this latest MSO special edition will attempt to address.
That's because this Elva M1A Theme has been inspired by - you've guessed it - the McLaren M1A, a car that obliterated lap records at Mosport Park when it debuted as part of the 1964 Canadian Sports Car Gran Prix. It set the precedent for lightweight McLarens being blisteringly fast, even if it didn't win the race - the Elva also being the first slightly fragile McLaren as well.
You most likely know where it goes from there. M1A became M1B became M1C, all Group 7 spec racing cars; from 1966 Can-Am emerges for Group 7 cars, which those M1 McLarens competed in, until the M6A was made specifically for the series. That won in its first year out (1967), then evolutions of its M8 replacement would win the Can-Am for the next four seasons. Beating Chaparral, Lola, Porsche et al.
So there's more to this one-off MSO McLaren than just another jazzy paint job and pinstripe, at least in terms of backstory. Without those 60s sports cars McLaren would be a very different company. Remember too that 'Elva' as a name is a nod to that period, it being the company Bruce McLaren outsourced construction of some M1s to when times were tough. So don't be surprised to see more Elvas from MSO playing to that heritage at some point soon. And if they come out looking as good as this, then they can carry on for as long as necessary.
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