1968 McLaren M6BSOLD
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Engine Type: Chevrolet 427 c.i. 8 Cylinder
Color:Red with White Stripes / Black

Reference Number 78425

as of 4/21/2010

Overview
Car 1968 McLaren M6B
VIN 50-03 
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Known History

 

McLaren 1968 M6B

s/n 50-03

Red with White Stripes and Black Interior

 

The M6B is the customer delivered variant of the McLaren’s first Can Am Championship winning car, the M6A. Piloted by Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme during the 1967 Can Am season, the M6A was extremely successful, no doubt due in part to McLaren’s fastidious and thorough development program that occurred the three months prior to the start of the Can Am season. For 1968, the M6B, which was substantially similar to the M6A, was made publically available for sale, and approximately fifteen examples were constructed. The M6 is in many ways the personification of McLaren’s early Can Am cars. Relatively simple, thoroughly developed, reliable, and very fast, the cars heralded the start of McLaren’s dominance in Can Am, which lasted unbroken from 1967 to 1971.

 

This particular car was initially run by Lothar Motschenbacher and was fitted with a Westlake Ford motor. It raced the first three races of the 1968 Can Am season in this configuration, and then prior to Laguna Seca, the car was fitted with an aluminum Lucas injected big block Chevy engine, the configuration in which the car remains today. The car placed as follows in the 1968 Can Am season, and finished 5th in Can Am points, just one point behind Jim Hall.

 

Elkhart Lake, Wis 6th Westlake Ford

Bridgehampton, N.Y. 3rd Westlake Ford

Edmonton, Alberta dnf Westlake Ford

Monterey, Calif. 4th 427 Chevy

Riverside, Calif. 4th 427 Chevy

Las Vegas, NV dnf 427 Chevy

 

Following a well documented accident at Las Vegas involving the great Jim Hall, Motschenbacher rebuilt the car during the final months of 1969, and then the car was exported to Japan with M12 bodywork at the end of that same year. Under the ownership of Sakai Racing, Tony Adamowicz drove the car, and then it was later driven by a Mr. Takahara. The car was discovered in a garage at Mt. Fuji raceway in 1999, and was restored the car to its original M6B specification. Since its completion, it has been raced in the prestigious historic Japanese event, the Neko Historic Festival. Since the restoration, the bodywork has never been damaged, and the car is powered by an all aluminum 427cid Chevrolet big block with dry sump lubrication, Lucas injection and magneto, and stainless steel headers. The transmission is a Hewland LG504, and the car has been fitted with aluminum radiator and oil cooler.

 

The car has very nice race cosmetics, with vintage graphics and nicely restored wheels. The car’s current livery replicates that which the car wore during the 1968 Can Am season. The paint is attractive on the whole, but is showing some cracking on the engine lid. The interior is Spartan and functional, and is equipped with the requisite safety equipment including fire system, electrical cutoff, and racing harness, though the car will require a new seat, which the driver can have fitted. M6B’s are also noteworthy for their ability to accommodate taller drivers, a welcome improvement when compared to earlier McLarens. The front and rear compartments are tidy, and it is clear that the mechanical systems have been upgraded with safety and reliability in mind, including the aluminum radiator, modern Aeroquip fittings and stainless braided lines.

 

This is an excellent opportunity to acquire an early McLaren Can Am car with interesting period race history. Most of these cars are fitted with some form of small block engine, making this example unusual, and even more exciting than the average M6B, if such a thing exists. This car is further differentiated by its clear and known history, as well as its irrefutable provenance, with no alternative claims to this chassis number. The car is widely eligible for HMSA, General Racing, CSRG, and HSR events.