1969 McLaren M10A F5000  Chassis no. 300-09
Lot 489
1969 McLaren M10A F5000
Chassis no. 300-09
US$ 140,000 - 170,000
£110,000 - 130,000

Amended
Lot Details
1969 McLaren M10A F5000  Chassis no. 300-09 1969 McLaren M10A F5000  Chassis no. 300-09 1969 McLaren M10A F5000  Chassis no. 300-09 1969 McLaren M10A F5000  Chassis no. 300-09 1969 McLaren M10A F5000  Chassis no. 300-09 1969 McLaren M10A F5000  Chassis no. 300-09 1969 McLaren M10A F5000  Chassis no. 300-09
1969 McLaren M10A F5000
Chassis no. 300-09
* 5-liter Chevrolet V-8
* Iconic 'high-wing' configuration
* Documented period race history
* Extensively vintage raced
* Prepared to a high standard
* Eligible for all Formula 5000 events

When the Sports Car Club of America first conceived Formula A back in 1965, its rules had been designed to parallel Formula 1 with the exception that it catered for production-based engines of up to 5-liters capacity to take advantage of the readily-available supply of Detroit motor industry V8 stock-block engines.

The category progressed into 1968-69 with an increasing number of interested owners, entrants and drivers which came to include some of the world's finest road racers. Having discovered the market sparked by this growing SCCA class of single-seater racing, the predominantly British racing car industry hungrily exploited that growing demand. Unsurprisingly, manufacturers with Formula 1 experience quickly established per-eminence with Formula A production single-seaters based upon their contemporary F1 designs.

Bruce McLaren's racing team was no exception. It had a production agreement with industrialist Peter Agg's Trojan company in England, and while the McLaren F1 team at Colnbrook, Middlesex – just off the end of the Heathrow Airport runways – developed the marque's CanAm and Formula 5000 designs, it was the Trojan factory in Purley Way, Croydon, south London, which then constructed customer cars for private sale.
McLaren and Trojan based their 1969 Formula A design – which also doubled for the British version of the category, Formula 5000 - upon the Colnbrook-based race team's then-current M7A Formula 1 design. A significant difference was that the M10A featured a true 360-degree monocoque chassis encircling the driver's legs instead of the less rigid open-topped 'bathtub' monocoque of the M7A Grand Prix car. The M10A was a little larger and significantly heavier than its elder sister, and of course its predominantly Chevrolet 5-liter V8 engine was taller, larger and heavier than the little 3-liter all-alloy Cosworth-DFV Formula 1 V8 engine.

Trojan Ltd are said to have sold 20 McLaren M10As but only built 17 of those. The best source upon the individual cars – British researcher Allen Brown's Old Racing Cars website – www.oldracing cars.com – relates that a parts supplier's records show that coil/shock units were supplied for M10A chassis serial '300-01' to '300-26' but it is most likely that some of these were kept for spares or absorbed into 1970 McLaren M10B production. As well as the Trojan production, assumed to have started at '300-01', there was a prototype car built by McLaren that carried the number 'M10A/1'. The highest known number for an M10A is '300-16' but as new ones were appearing as late as December 1969, that is not a good guide. Final production could be anywhere between 16 and 23.
Regardless the McLaren M10A proved itself the absolute class of the field in 1969 and won the major share of Championship races both in the US and the United Kingdom and Europe.

This particular McLaren M10 is first recorded as having been dispatched by the manufacturer, Trojan Limited in England, on July 24, 1969, to first owner Bob Esseks in New York, NY. He entered cars for celebrated American road racing driver Sam Posey, and this car is thought to have been a spare for him. Allen Brown's researches indicate that the car was used in National US Formula A races through 1970, and finished 2nd in the 1970 ARRC, as advertised by John L. Paul of Sherwood Services (New York, NY) on March 6, 1971.
The car passed to Will Painter of Canton Country, CA, in December 1970. During the 1971 racing season it was seen only once at Round 4 of the Formula A Championship, the Mid-Ohio Grand Prix on July 5, 1971. That December saw it acquired by the well-known racer Merle Brennan of Reno, Nevada, apparently as a replacement for the earlier M10A which Brennan had campaigned through 1971.

Merle Brennan drove at least three races in this car during 1972, winning all of them, and he continued to race the car through 1973 before it passed into the hands of Glenn Brown from Kent, Washington, late that year. Mr Brown then campaigned the car for two more years in the Pacific Northwest.
Jan Labell of Olympia, WA, became the car's next recorded owner in November 1975: racing it in the Pacific Northwest for three further seasons during which he won the SCCA NorPac Formula A titles in 1976 and 1977 and broke the Portland Formula A track record.

McLaren-Chevrolet M10 chassis '300-09' then passed via Tom Fredericks to well-known enthusiast dealer Chuck Haines of Manchester, Missouri, in September 1985. It was acquired by former M10A racer Lou Pavesi of Los Altos, CA, in September 1986 and entered the current phase of its long and active life, in Vintage racing.
The car subsequently passed to Wes McNay and Henry Alexander of Menlo Park, CA, in 1988 and it was completely restored and continued its active career in Vintage racing. We understand that Mr McNay drove it to finish 4th overall and first in class at the Brian Redman International Challenge at Road America on 18-20 July 2003.

This very successful and well-presented McLaren was subsequently acquired by the present vendor in December 2005, since when it has continued Vintage racing in the US Northwest with the Oregon Region of the SCCA.

In period the Trojan-built McLaren-designed M10As were absolutely the class of the field on both sides of the Atlantic. They were well-designed, exquisitely well built and by all accounts, when well set-up and well-prepared, an absolute joy to drive. This is an open-wheeled road racer with Formula 1-style feel and performance which offers not only quality and class, but also a most respectable provenance and history of success.

Footnotes

  • Please note that this vehicle is offered on a Bill of Sale

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that following accident damage in 1970, this M10A was repaired with a replacement monocoque, which ran with the car from 1970-1988. The original, re-skinned monocoque ('300-09') was subsequently restored to the car in 1988 by Wes McNay and has run with the car since that time.
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