Retro: McLaren M1B Can-Am


Bruce McLaren was one of the most successful Formula 1 drivers of the 1960s, but he was also a great designer. His cars won 20 World Cups and dominated the Can-Am series between 1967 and 1972 with 56 victories, many with himself behind the wheel. McLaren also made its mark on other iconic races such as the Indianapolis 500 (achieved three wins), the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Sebring.

In 1961, Bruce McLaren applied his design skills to the M1 sports car, developed at the same time as the famous Lola T70. The two mid-engined cars fought fiercely in the new Can-Am series. The M1 had independent suspension with coil springs and widely spaced wishbones. The multi-tube chassis was light and rigid, with aluminum panels attached to the sides.

McLaren launched the M1 at the 1964 Mosport Grand Prix. He led the race until throttle problems drove him back to third place. Immediately, the New Zealander began receiving requests from customers eager to drive this machine, such as Graham Hill who used the model to win at Silverstone in 1965.

In parallel, the McLaren working group led by Robin Herd, Tyler Alexander and Michael Turner began with the development of the M1B, with similar characteristics as its predecessor, although 20 percent more rigid.

The photos that accompany this article are of one of the 28 M1Bs that were marketed in the United States. The unit was restored by Bill Moir, who had worked on the McLarens when they arrived in the USA through Carl Haas. After four years of work, the car was brought to Rick Hamlin for final assembly.

The vehicle is equipped with a powerful Ford V8 engine that delivers 500 horsepower and is in optimal condition for participating in classic car competitions. It recently sold at auction for $ 220.000.



Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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