1966 McLaren Chevrolet M1B Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. 30/18 Engine no. C4 305 711

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Lot 237
1966 McLaren Chevrolet M1B Sports-Racing Two-Seater
Chassis no. 30/18 Engine no. C4 305 711

€ 150,000 - 200,000
US$ 180,000 - 240,000
1966 McLaren Chevrolet M1B Sports-Racing Two-Seater
Chassis no. 30/18
Engine no. C4 305 711
During the mid-1960s two great racing drivers followed the lead of their friend and mentor – the great Sir Jack Brabham – by developing their own racing teams and manufacturing facilities to build cars of their own. One was Dan Gurney and the other was Bruce McLaren – whose new Bruce McLaren Motor Racing organisation found its feet by creating new Tasman Formula and sports-racing cars. The latter were aimed at the contemporary Group 7 unlimited-capacity class which developed into the CanAm Challenge series machines of 1966-74. This multi-tubular spaceframe McLaren-Chevrolet is an example of the second design to issue from the McLaren team’s drawing office and its rounded body was styled by none other than celebrated motor racing and aviation artist Michael Turner.

The McLaren sports-racing car line had been founded in 1964 by purchase of Roger Penske’s highly modified Cooper-Climax ‘ZereX Special’ into which was installed a lightweight medium-capacity Oldsmobile V8 engine. An in-house replacement chassis was then designed which emerged as the McLaren-Oldsmobile M1A design and for 1965 McLaren signed a manufacturing agreement with industrialist Peter Agg’s Trojan company which had just acquired Elva Cars Ltd. While the McLaren works team would develop original new designs and campaign its own works cars, Trojan put the model into production for customer sale under the McLaren-Elva name.

This arrangement worked very well and the cars were successful although at top level underpowered compared with the latest 5.5 and 6-litre Chevrolet V8-engined Lola T70s. The new M1B model was launched in September 1965, and through 1965 the works M1Bs in brick-red livery excelled in British events and starred in a tremendous rivalry with the big Lolas. By 1967 McLaren had developed new monocoque-chassised M6A cars with which Bruce himself and team-mate Denny Hulme took the CanAm Championship title while numerous M1Bs such as the car offered here shone in private hands, the cars being sold in the United States as the McLaren-Elva ‘Mark 2’.

This particular car is offered here race prepared by the current vendor, and its provenance as listed upon its accompany FIA Fiche d’Identité paperwork includes Team McLaren and John Foulston – the late Atlantic Computers magnate who acquired and ran Brands Hatch and other British motor racing circuits for several years. The car is said by the vendor to be "on the button" and it has been driven in recent years by celebrated French racing and rally driver Bernard Darniche who describes the experience in the following words: "I had the (violent) pleasure to test-drive the McLaren M1B on the Vigeant racetrack and on the spectacular GP of Angoulême. Of course the car is of another era: a lot of power and torque. I was struck by the quality of the chassis, by the homogeneity of the whole car and by finesse of this prototype...

"A McLaren remains a great car!

"I wish to the collector who will be the next owner (and hopefully the next driver) a lot of pleasure with the car."

Au milieu des années 1960, deux grands coureurs automobiles suivirent les traces de leur ami et mentor, le grand Sir Jack Brabham, en développant leur propre écurie et leur propre usine pour fabriquer leurs voitures. Le premier, Dan Gurney, construisit notamment des monoplaces pour la Formule 1, et le second, Bruce McLaren, créa entre autres des voitures de sport. Cette McLaren Chevrolet à châssis multitubulaire est un exemple du second design sorti du bureau d'études McLaren.

La nouvelle M1B est lancé en septembre 1965. En 1967, McLaren avait conçu les nouvelles M6A à châssis monocoque avec lesquelles Bruce lui-même remporta le titre de Champion CanAm. Entre-temps, de nombreuses M1B, comme celle que nous proposons ici, avaient connu un grand succès dans les mains de pilotes privés.

Cette voiture est proposée préparée pour la course par le propriétaire actuel et sa provenance, comme il est indiqué sur sa fiche d'identité FIA, comprend le Team McLaren et John Foulston, regretté magnat d'Atlantic Computers qui acheta et dirigea Brands Hatch ainsi que d'autres circuits de compétition automobile pendant de nombreuses années. Selon le vendeur, cette voiture est «impeccable» et a été conduite ces dernières années par le célèbre pilote de course et de rallye français Bernard Darniche. «Une McLaren reste une grande voiture! Je souhaite beaucoup de plaisir au collectionneur qui s'en portera acquéreur.»
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