1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04
Lot 248
1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer
Chassis no. 30-04
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Lot Details
1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04 1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 30-04
1965 McLaren M1B Group 7 'Can-Am' Sports-Racer
Chassis no. 30-04
*Historic McLaren Group 7 sports-racer
*One of only 28 built
*In-period Can-Am Championship history
*Fully traceable ownership
*Recent extensive restoration
*Fast and competitive

Footnotes

  • A stalwart of the Formula 1 World Championship for 50 years – of the current teams, only Ferrari has been in the sport longer – the company founded by New Zealander Bruce McLaren first rose to prominence in sports car racing, building a highly successful series of prototypes for the emerging Can-Am series in North America.

    Founded in 1963 while Bruce was still driving for Cooper in Formula 1, Bruce McLaren Motor Racing built its first single-seater – the M2A test car – in 1965, and contested the 1966 F1 World Championship with the M2B. Driving a Cosworth-powered M7A, Bruce secured the marque's first Grand Prix victory at Spa-Francorchamps in 1968, and since then McLaren have won a further 181 Formula 1 races and taken 12 Drivers' Championships and eight Constructors' titles.

    But the team's initial success was in Can-Am, a series they dominated from 1967 to 1971. Bruce first became involved in design and construction when he bought the 'Zerex Special', a Cooper T53 F1 car that had been converted into a sports-racer towards the end of 1962. Fitted with a four-cylinder Coventry-Climax FPF engine and drive by Roger Penske, the 'Zerex Special' had won numerous sports car races in North America. Bruce bought the car, extensively modified the spaceframe chassis, and fitted an Oldsmobile V8, entering it as a 'Cooper-Oldsmobile'. In this new form the car continued its successes, Bruce winning at Aintree, Silverstone, Brands Hatch, and Mosport in 1964.

    Bruce's next Group 7 sports prototype was the M1A. The team's first self-designed car, the M1A was another simple spaceframe design featuring wheels, suspension uprights, and steering arms supplied by Cooper, while the Oldsmobile V8 engine was retained, driving via a Hewland transaxle. Frank Nichols' Elva Cars was already building its own highly successful sports-racers, and he expressed an interest in the new McLaren prototype. The result was an agreement for Trojan (Elva's parent company) to build a production version: the McLaren-Elva, 24 of which were completed.

    For 1965, the design was refined as the M1B: a collaborative effort by artist Michael Turner working with team manager Tyler Alexander and designer Robin Herd, it had a blunter noise and sharper cut off at the tail, and was 20% stiffer than the M1A yet no heavier. The chassis featured a mix of large-diameter round and square tubing, with aluminium-alloy panelling forming the bulkheads and under-tray. Suspension was independent by means of wide-based unequal-length wishbones at the front, while at the rear there were radius arms, a single top link, and a lower wishbone. Coil spring shock absorbers were fitted all-round, together with anti-roll bars front and rear. The cast magnesium wheels were McLaren-Elva's own: 15x8½" at the front, 15x11½" at the rear, while Girling supplied the dual-circuit disc brakes. The 'standard' power unit was the 4½-litre Traco-modified Oldsmobile V8, though customers could specify Chevrolet or Ford engines if they so chose. The body was moulded in glassfibre, and the M1B weighed around 1,300lbs 'dry'. Trojan manufactured 28 examples, which were sold in North America as the McLaren-Elva Mark 2.

    When the inaugural Can-Am series commenced in 1966, it soon became obvious that the McLaren's Traco-Oldsmobile engine was not competitive with the 6.0-litre Chevrolet favoured by rival teams such as Lola and Jim Hall's Chaparral. After the opening races in Canada, Bruce switched from the aluminium Oldsmobile engine to the cast-iron Chevrolet, which although it was 200lbs heavier was considerably more powerful. The two works McLaren M1Bs were driven by Bruce and fellow New Zealander, Chris Amon, and although competitive did not win a race. Bruce eventually finished 2nd in the series to Lola's John Surtees.

    For 1967 there was an all-new design: the M6A, which would prove good enough to bring Bruce the first of his two Can-Am championships, starting a five-year period of dominance. Bruce's team-mate and fellow New Zealander, Denny Hulme won in 1968 and 1970, book-ending Bruce's 1969 win, while Peter Revson secured McLaren's final Can-Am title in 1971. Including privateer wins, the final total of McLaren victories stood at 43. Sadly, by this time Bruce McLaren was dead, killed in a testing accident at Goodwood in 1970.

    As the increased production of new road cars brings the McLaren name to many around the world, and the release of the film at the end of May, called simply 'McLaren', reinforces the position of the marque as a significant figure in racing and motoring history. The early McLarens should only become more highly prized by collectors and racers alike.

    Chassis number '30-04' enjoyed a lengthy career in Can-Am races and its history is fully traceable. The first owner, in 1965, was Dick Niles, a prominent Mercury dealer who had entered Bill Amick for several NASCAR Grand National seasons driving a Mercury. The Can-Am Championship promised to be quite lucrative, with substantial starting and prize money.
    
At first, this new championship was supposed to complement the USRRC Championship, which ran during the summer, while the 1966 Can-Am races were held in winter. Niles bought the McLaren M1B to please Bill Amick, whose career was coming to an end; fitted with a 4.6-litre Mercury engine, it also allowed him to promote the Mercury brand Unfortunately, the engine did not prove to be very reliable.

    
Bill Amick's M1B carried the number '19' during the entire 1966 season, competing in six races: two at Kent and one at Laguna Seca (all non-Can-Am) and three in the Can-Am Championship (Laguna Seca, Riverside, and Los Angeles), the highlight being a brilliant 2nd place in the 200-mile race at Kent on 9th October 1966. From the start of the 1967 season, the McLaren was fitted with an all-aluminium 6.0-litre Chevrolet V8 engine, and continued to be driven by Bill Amick carrying competitor number '19'. Competing on five occasions that season, the M1B won two non-Can-Am races (at Portland on 11th June and Westwood on 25th June) but retired from the two Can-Am races contested (Laguna Seca and Riverside, both in October). During the 1968 season, '30-04' was sold to Monté Shelton, who was at the beginning of his brilliant amateur career, though there is no record for any race in 1968.

    
For the upcoming 1969 season, the car was extensively upgraded with, among other modifications, the installation of an all-aluminium 7.0-litre Chevrolet V8. The car then reappeared for the 1969 season during which it contested two Can-Am races: Laguna Seca on 12th October (retired) and Riverside on 26th October (finished 13th). During the 1970 season, with the same owner, driver, and engine, the car competed in two Can-Am races: Edmonton on 26th July (retired) and Riverside (finished 15th).

    Following the 1970 season, the car was sold, passing in 1972 to one Alan Holmes, who resold it in 1980 to Bill Perrone. The latter resold it in 1984 to Carl Moore. In 1986, the McLaren was sold to Henry Wilkinson, who undertook the first significant restoration and ran the car in historic car races until 1998.
    
The car was then sold to Andrew Simpson and then (in 2001) to Steve Thein, who spent an enormous sum on a 'show condition' restoration in the American style. This restoration involved a complete 'body off' restoration of a chassis that was still in a very good condition, though all magnesium or aluminium elements were changed for safety reasons. A new 'small block' engine was fitted. Steve Thein then raced the McLaren on two occasions in the Whitsun Trophy event at the Goodwood Revival meeting.

    In 2009, '30-04' was sold to Marc Hevia, a doctor and collector based in France, who actively campaigned the car up to 2014 in the CER race series where it was always a welcome and competitive  entry. At that time the car was in post-1966, dry-sump configuration.

    Acquired by the current vendor at the beginning of 2015, the McLaren looked in good condition but required a complete rebuild. The vendor immediately commissioned a full no-expense-spared overhaul by renowned specialists WDK Motorsport, which took all of 2015 complete. The chassis was stripped and restored where necessary, while every component - including the brakes, suspension, and steering - has either been rebuilt or replaced, including a brand new Hewland LG500 gearbox fitted for last year's Goodwood Revival. '30-04' has now been  put back to its original, pre-'66 configuration, which includes a 5.7-litre wet-sump  SMB Chevrolet V8 engine, and 8" front wheels and 10" rears. The rebuilt car was first tested in March 2016, and all invoices are available (totalling in excess of £120,000).

    The car is truly in immaculate condition, fully sorted by Nick Padmore (Goodwood lap record holder) and ready to race. Indeed, '30-04' has led its class at every round of the Masters FIA Sports Car series entered. In the right hands this is a potentially race-winning car, having qualified 4 seconds faster, at the Silverstone Classic race meeting, than the Lola T70 that holds the outright Goodwood lap record. A recorded lap time of 2m 12s at Silverstone GP and 1m 35s at the Brands Hatch long circuit proves its credentials, these being the fastest times for any pre-'66 sports-racer.

    This most potent M1B comes with a good spares package including bodywork, wheels, multiple gear ratios, and other miscellaneous items. It also has current FIA HTP papers, and the latest version is being processed by the FIA/MSA.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the spares for this vehicle can be collected from WDK Motorsport by the buyer post sale.
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