Anybody who has even a slight interest in Motorsports will instantly recognize the McLaren name. The iconic British team had been a part of Formula 1 since the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix and was founded by the late Bruce McLaren. The McLaren M6GT can trace its roots back to the glory days of the Can-Am series, where McLaren was virtually unbeatable with such cars as the M1B, M6A and the instantly recognizable M8A and its sub-variants.
The 1967 Can-Am season began in September at Road America. Bruce McLaren’s M6A qualified on pole position with a new track record, while teammate Fenny Hulme’s car led once the race began. Although McLaren’s car suffered an oil leak and failed to finish, Hulme was able to eat the car’s first victory. The next two events would see the team running away from the opposition, with Hulme and McLaren finishing first and second consecutively. The roles were however swapped over the next two races, and it was McLaren who won on both occasions, but problems with Hulme’s car allowed McLaren to take the lead in the points standings going into the final round. For the finale at the Stardust Grand Prix, issues with the Chevrolet motors led to blown engines and neither car reaching the finish. However, with their performance over the season, Bruce McLaren secured the 1967 Can-Am Challenge Cup. As Bruce McLaren Motor Racing moved to developing the M8A, the M6Bs began to be delivered to customers for the 1968/69 season.
Bruce McLaren Had One Of The Three M6GT’s As A Personal Car?
The M6GT later became Bruce McLaren’s personal car, using it for all sorts of commutes and daily driving. Every McLaren Road car that is seen now is thanks the M6GT’s existence, as it gave McLaren a new impetus to really stamp their name on everything they built. During this project, tragedy would strike. Bruce McLaren tragically died in June 1970 whilst testing the fearsome M8D at the Goodwood circuit. With Bruce also died the dream of a 250 strong production run of the M6GT, and only four of these cars were ever created.
How Well Built Was The McLaren M6GT?
What would end up being the M6GT was a mix of various McLarens, and one of the most extraordinary cars the company has ever created. But a problem arose instantly when the FIA decided that it would be 50 cats for the road that needed creating, and not 25. This left McLaren with a big concern, knowing they could not build that many cars in readiness for the following season, McLaren shelved their M6GT Le Mans project. But all was not lost. McLaren went ahead and created a road-going version of the car anyway. Taking a M6GT raving body, it was attached to a M6B chassis and then a small-block Chevrolet V8 engine was added. This was the 5.7-liter Chevy LT1 engine that produced an extraordinary 370 hp.
Remarkably, the very same M6GT that Bruce McLaren drove, OBG 500H, still exists to this day, as a testament to the vision of a great man, as well as the car that he created. Looking back, the McLaren M6GT could have revolutionized the supercar scene in the 1970s and taken it to a level never before seen. Whilst being left with an amazing monument to what Bruce McLaren could do, it’s tragic that the world never got more of both the man and the machine that he so beautifully created. Valuing the still superb car today, it comes in at a whopping $1,500,000. Its statistics are awfully impressive, even when compared to super cars currently. The McLaren has a top speed of 180mph and can reach 60 mph in 4.2 seconds.
Can I Really Get My Hands On A M6GT?
Your luck may just be in. Now, one of the three M6GT prototypes built is for sale, and it could be yours. Out of the three rare M6GTs in existence, there is only one which has been built from the ground up, and not converted to street use from an M6 Can-Am race car. It features a mid-mounted 5.0-liter Chevrolet V8 fed by four Weber carburetors, sending power to the rear wheels via a LG600 manual transmission.
According to a recent ad, this particular M6GT was shipped to the United States and displayed at the New York International Show before it was eventually sold to a private party. It’s been displayed at various car shows and, more recently, at McLaren Newport Beach in California. Now, it’s for sale through Race Cars Direct with an asking price of just $330,000. That seems like a massive bargain considering the huge significance the car carried for the name McLaren. If you’re into driving ultra-rare pieces of British motoring history, I think it’s worth the money….and more!