<b>1968 McLaren M6B-50  </b><br />Engine no. LG500-271

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1968 McLaren M6B-50

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1968 McLaren M6B-50
Engine no. LG500-271

6.0 Liter Chevrolet V8
525bhp at 7,000rpm
5-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Ventilated Disc Brakes
Independent Suspension: Front Lower Wishbone, Coil Springs over Shocks; Rear Reversed Lower Wishbone, Coil Springs over Dampers; Anti-Roll Bar Front and Rear

*Confirmed by Trojan as an original M6B
*A well-documented and known example
*Superbly maintained and track ready
*A possible entry into many prestigious historic racing events
*Extensive history file


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Bruce McLaren was on a roll entering 1967. In addition to a Formula One team (that would take second in the Constructors Championship), McLaren was returning to the Canadian-American Challenge Cup with a new car, the M6A, built around an aluminum monocoque chassis designed by Robin Herd, Gordon Coppuck, Tyler Alexander and Don Beresford. Despite coming off a Can-Am season that saw no McLaren wins with its tube-frame M1, expectations for the M6A-50 were high – though no one could have predicted how the open-top sports racer, though produced for just a single year, would jump-start a McLaren juggernaut that dominated the Can-Am series for five years straight.

McLaren and new hire Denny Hulme drove the two M6As, and Hulme rewarded his boss out of the gate with a win at Road America. Hulme took the next rounds, at Bridgehampton and Mosport, followed by McLaren checkers, at Laguna Seca and Riverside. What would have been a perfect season was blemished by John Surtees' Lola win in round six. Bruce McLaren took the season crown; Hulme finished second.

In response to interest in a customer M6, McLaren ordered a virtually identical version, the M6B, in 1968. Its manufacture was contracted to UK-based Trojan, guided by British entrepreneur Peter Agg, who, in 1965, had signed an agreement with McLaren to put its works cars into series production. A total of fifteen M6Bs were completed of seventeen assigned chassis numbers. The model's first competitive event came in March 1968, in Mexico City, where Moises Salana took 50-04 to victory. Lothar Motschenbacher, in 50-03, finished sixth. The M6B then went on to help fill the Can-Am grids now dominated by McLaren's works M8As as well as in series the world over. The M6B achieved few additional wins, but today the few that remain form an exclusive and striking legacy of Bruce McLaren's rise to the top of motorsport.

Today's racecar originated as a spare tub first owned by Michigan privateer Dick Brown, who had purchased it along with McLaren M6B-50-07 from the factory. After Brown was killed in -07 during practice at Mosport in 1970, Gordon Barrett bought the totaled car along with the spare tub and other assorted original parts. Barrett then sold the collective parts, which eventually ended up in the hands of Bill Kasmer, a fabricator/racer who constructed the M6B for competition, though at the time it was fitted with a coupe body. The McLaren was then purchased by Rex Ramsey, the only one of the car's owners who raced it as a coupe, including at Sebring in 1980.

The next owner, a Canadian restoration expert, rebuilt the engine and re-bodied the car as a roadster. The new fiberglass body was sourced from Specialized Mouldings, manufacturers of the original panels. (Of historical interest are the signatures, on the doors, of Denny Hulme and Tom Dutton.) It wasn't until 1990, though, that this McLaren received an extensive, professional restoration using period-correct components. If original parts could not be located, new components were manufactured to drawings and specifications supplied by the McLaren factory.

The car was then vintage raced for seven years until the current owner bought it in 1997. A familiar presence at historical race meets, he raced the Papaya Orange M6B for twenty years and has performed diligent detective work to confirm the provenance of this car. Evidence of the car's past was backed up by the restoration expert, who cited the frame's metric tubing as a sure sign of originality, as well as rivet holes that perfectly matched corresponding holes in the belly pan. The "B" stamped into the frame indicates the original car's chassis builder, Universal Radiator. Perhaps most compelling is a letter from Charlie Agg, stating the car to be "an original M6B...."

Footnotes

  • Offered on a Bill of Sale.
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