2013 marks McLaren ’s 50th anniversary and as a celebration of the event, McLaren will showcase a selection of legendary models from the company’s heritage collection at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
This lineup will include some of the most famous race and championship-winning models from the brand’s illustrious past, as well as the new 12C Can-Am Edition which was announced last year at the Pebble Beach Concours.
The McLaren race team participated in Can-Am racing throughout the 1960s and 1970s, during which the race team claimed five back-to-back world championships between 1969 and 1974, making it the most successful team in the history of the championship.
With its 630-horsepower 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, the current Can-Am is the most powerful 12C produced to date. It will be produced in strictly limited numbers, as McLaren announced that no more than 30 units will be produced globally.
Click past the jump to read more about McLaren’s most famous Can-am models.
The M6A was developed by Bruce McLaren and his Bruce McLaren Motor Racing team for the 1967 Can-Am season. On the season beginning in September 2013, the car helped Bruce McLaren to win the pole position with a new track record. His teammate - Denny Hulme - managed to earn the car’s first victory. The next two events brought the team another first and second win.
The M8B was McLaren’s most successful Can-Am car, as it carried Bruce to six victories in 1969. The M8B was built on a M8A monocoque, but it brought a different body design and used wings that stood high above the tail. Also, the car used larger wheels than its predecessor: 15-by-11 inches up front and 15-by-16 inches on the rear. The car was powered by a new 7.0-liter engine built by George Bolthoff, an ex-Traco engineer.
1969 was the most successful year for McLaren with a total of eleven races won with the M8B: Hulme won five and Bruce won six to go along with the driver’s championship.
In 1970, Bruce McLaren was killed while testing the M8D set to be used in the 1970 season. He was then replaced by Dan Gurney, then later by Peter Gethin. In 1970, Hulme won six races and the championship. The newcomers had one and two wins, respectively.
The M20 was developed for the 1972 racing season. It was the last Can-Am race car created by McLaren before it left the series after failing to secure the 1972 championship title.
The M20 was powered by a Chevrolet V-8 engine with an output of 750 horsepower. The car was built on an aluminum chassis and featured fiberglass bodywork.
The car had numerous mechanical problems during the entire 1972 seasons, so McLaren lost the title in favor of the Porsche 917/10s.