A Tribute to Bruce McLaren
Bruce McLaren honoured at The London Classic Car Show with Icon Award and priceless tribute feature
This year, we honoured one of motorsports greatest icons, Bruce McLaren. 2020 marks 50 years since the tragic passing of undoubtedly one of F1’s true legends who, despite his untimely death, has left one of the most iconic legacies for generations of motoring and Formula 1 fans. In honour of the impact McLaren had on the industry, Jonathan Neale, Chief Operating Officer of the McLaren Technology Group, accepted The London Classic Car Show’s Icon Award on his behalf during the event’s Preview Evening on Thursday 20 February.
To play tribute to the late, great Bruce McLaren, a special selection of his cars and priceless personal memorabilia, including his racing jacket, crash helmet and trophies, courtesy of the McLaren Technology Centre, were on display throughout the weekend. These included:
Austin 7 Ulster
Bruce’s father, Les McLaren, purchased the 1929 Austin 7 Ulster for $110. Bruce and his father painstakingly restored the car using second-hand Austin Seven parts. The experience of learning the mechanical side of the sport, as he worked on the tiny 4-cylinder 750cc engine, proved to be incredibly important for Bruce and his development. Bruce entered the Austin 7 Ulster into the hillclimb at Muriwai Beach in 1954; his first competitive driving experience.
The M7C was a one-off creation by Gordon Coppuck, reportedly only finished the night before its inaugural practice session at the 1969 International Trophy non-championship F1 race in Silverstone. Using a number of components that were found in the M10A Formula 5000 car, it notably featured a high front wing that was bolted to the chassis to gain front suspension. The engine was directly attached to the monocoque at the back and supported the gearbox and rear suspension.
The M14D was designed by Gordon Coppuck and Jo Marquart and built for Andrea de Adamich in 1970. The vehicle was similar to the M14A in every way aside from the changes made to the rear end of the car to house the Alfa Romeo V8 engine.
Tragically, the M8D is most remembered as the vehicle in which Bruce McLaren died. However, it also provided the team with one of the most successful years in Can-Am, winning nine of the ten rounds. Nicknamed ‘the Batmobile,’ the M8D was designed by Jo Marquart and produced in 1970 with a Chevrolet V8 engine producing a power output of 680bhp.
In addition, the helmet that Bruce wore during the 1969 Italian Grand Prix; three trophies from some of his most iconic wins and one of his racing suits were also showcased as part of this special tribute.