Racing series is governed by rules, and it is largely the difference between these rules, which distinguish a number of others. Not Can-Am, though. Can-Am had practically no rules – at least not as far as the cars were affected. And McLaren was positive.
While the team was just starting out in Formula One, it was absolutely the competition in the Canadian-American Challenge Cup, which showed Porsche, Lola and Chaparral how it was done.
Bruce McLaren Motor Racing (as a team was known at the time) won the championship five years between 1967 and 1971. In 1969 she won every last race on the calendar – and that was the longest season in the championship history. In fact, McLaren came to dominate the series so completely that it became known as “the Bruce and Denny Show,” in terms of the team”s top riders – Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme.
Bruce died behind the wheel of a his Can-Am racing driver in 1970 when testing at Goodwood. In the course of his death, the team he had founded withdrew from the series to concentrate on F1. But some of the cars they did for Can-Am are still out there.
A 1966 McLaren M1B, which was one of the earliest Can-Am racers, with the series that had just begun this year. 28 of them were made, and this was carefully restored and claimed that it is not only cosmetically intact, but ready and eager to turn its wheel into anger in historic racing events. The Chevy block was replaced by a 5.7-liter Ford V8, built by Pantera Performance from Colorado with an aluminum block, drying tub and Weber carbohydrates, and rising over 500 hp through a Hewland transxaxle.
RM Sotheby”s is set to auction it in Monterey next month, where it is expected to sell for approximately $ 250,000 (give or take $ 25k). This is less than a new 720S, which is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful streetcars ever made by McLaren. But the chance to own and drive one of the company”s earliest Can-Am racing drivers, whenever the mood hits, could be even more tempting.