Bruce McLaren was a front-running race driver as well as a brilliant designer and engineer who had the knack of surrounding himself with talented people, so he was well equipped for his next career challenge. In 1964 he began to design, build and sell McLaren Racing Cars – both Formula Grand Prix machines and Sports Racing cars of the Can-Am variety under his own name. By 1967 McLaren M6 Can-Am models were virtually unbeatable, as the “Bruce & Denny [Hulme]” show dominated this lucrative North American series through 1971. Bruce then began to conceptualize his ultimate project – to build an iconic road machine based on his championship race cars.
The prototype M6/GT was built in the McLaren Motor Racing shops and soon became Bruce’s personal road car. Critical assistance was provided by chassis builder John Collins (known for his work with John Wyer and the Ford GT40 project). The M6/GT was, literally, a semi-civilized Can-Am car that was anything but easy to climb into but was bliss to drive once you were installed. Even with a standard five liter Chevrolet V8 in the back it would accelerate to 100 mph in around eight seconds, and of course the handling was fantastic. Two further GTs were built by the Trojan Group, which had been franchised by McLaren to produce their customer racing cars.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
500bhp at 6,500rpm, 5.0-liter Chevrolet ‘DZ’ V8 engine, four Weber carburetors, forged crankshaft, roller bearing camshafts, Carello rods, aluminum pistons, five-speed Hewland DG 300 transaxle, independent front and rear suspensions with fabricated A-arms and coil-over shocks, front and rear anti-sway bars, monocoque chassis with fiberglass paneling attached to aluminum bulkheads, Girling ventilated four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 93.5".
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Hugh Hamilton