Lot 232

Monaco

1971 McLaren M19A

Offered from The Jody Scheckter Collection

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€750,000 - €1,000,000 EUR  | Offered Without Reserve

Monaco | Monaco, Monaco

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Chassis No.
M19A-1
Engine No.
DFV-993
Gearbox No.
FGA-103
Documents
Bill of Sale Only
To be offered on Saturday, 11 May 2024
  • Offered from The Jody Scheckter Collection
  • An extremely rare McLaren—one of two M19As and just four M19s constructed
  • The first example of the model designed by Ralph Bellamy
  • Competed in 17 Grands Prix during 1971 and 1972 for the McLaren factory
  • The chassis that gave Scheckter his debut in Formula 1 at the 1972 United States Grand Prix
  • Raced by some of the greatest names in motorsport including Arnoux, Donohue, Gethin, Hobbs, Hulme, Oliver, Redman, Revson and Scheckter
  • Entered in three of the most recognisable liveries: Bruce McLaren Motor Racing; Penske Sunono; Yardley Team McLaren
  • Eligible for historic racing events around the world including the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique
Addendum: Please note this lot has entered the EU on a temporary import bond, which must be cancelled either by exporting the lot outside of the EU on an approved Bill of Lading with supporting customs documentation or by paying the applicable VAT and import duties to have the lot remain in the EU.

Veuillez noter que ce lot est entré dans l'UE sous couvert d'une autorisation d'importation temporaire, qui doit être annulée soit en exportant le lot en dehors de l'UE avec une lettre de débarquement approuvé accompagné des documents douaniers nécessaires, soit en payant la TVA et les droits d'importation applicables pour que le lot reste dans l'UE.

Still reeling from the death of their talismanic founder at Goodwood in 1970, and without a Grand Prix win all year, the McLaren team faced myriad challenges over the winter of 1970 and into 1971. In comparison to their superb M7A—a four-time Grand Prix winner across the 1968 and 1969 seasons—the outgoing M14 proved a relative disappointment, so considerable expectation was placed upon its replacement, the Ralph Bellamy-designed M19A.

Both longer and wider than the M14, the new-for-1971 model was immediately distinguishable by its exquisitely-crafted “Coke bottle” monocoque chassis, which concentrated a greater mass of fuel around the centre of its wheelbase than had been the case previously. The car featured the tried-and-tested combination of a Ford DFV engine and Hewland five-speed gearbox, but it was in its employment of inboard, rising-rate suspension that the car offered the greatest innovation. Incorporating an ingenious system of push-rods and actuating rockers, the system effectively stiffened with increasing wheel deflection; a trait which, it was hoped, would enhance both driver “feel” and set-up choice.

First tested on 16 February 1971, chassis M19A-1 made its race debut seven weeks later in the South African Grand Prix, driven by 1967 World Champion Denny Hulme. After qualifying 7th, Hulme took the lead on lap 17, only for a loose suspension bolt to deprive him of an unlikely win; 6th place at the finish proving scant reward. Following 3rd place in the non-championship Questor Grand Prix in California, “the Bear” proceeded to finish 5th in the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona’s daunting Montjuich Park circuit, and 4th at Monaco. Encouragingly, after three races, Hulme lay joint-4th in the Drivers’ World Championship.

The Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort in mid-June had Hulme switch chassis to the newly completed M19A-2, with team-mate Peter Gethin—hitherto saddled with a year-old M14A—taking over M19A-1. However, the next four Grands Prix yielded just three race finishes for McLaren; Gethin’s 9th at Paul Ricard was the only meaningful result during this time.

By the Austrian Grand Prix in August, there had been a further McLaren reshuffle, with former Lotus and BRM driver Jackie Oliver taking over chassis M19A-1 from the BRM-bound Gethin. Despite qualifying last, Oliver salvaged another trying weekend for the team by finishing 9th; teammate Hulme retiring after just six laps. For the last two races of the season, M19A-1 was leased to the ambitious Penske/Kirk F. White team, for whom Mark Donohue scored a stunning 3rd position on his Grand Prix debut in the Canadian race at Mosport Park. Donohue was also due to drive the car at the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, but a hastily-rescheduled USAC race led to David Hobbs assuming the drive; the Englishman concluding M19A-1’s eventful season by finishing 10th.

McLaren retained M19A-1 for the 1972 season, with American Peter Revson initially taking over driving duties. Following an inauspicious start to his McLaren career with retirement in Argentina, matters improved markedly with a fine 3rd at Kyalami and 8th in the Race Of Champions at Brands Hatch. Hulme then returned to the car briefly, notably securing an emphatic win ahead of Emerson Fittipaldi’s JPS Lotus at the Oulton Park Gold Cup, before Brian Redman took it over to finish 9th in the French Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand.

Further revisions to the McLaren lineup at the British Grand Prix saw Revson return to the wheel of M19A-1; the American further dispelling his wealthy “playboy” image with another richly deserved 3rd-placed finish. Significantly, only Revson, winner Fittipaldi and 2nd-placed Stewart finished on the lead lap. Across the second half of the season, M19A-1 scored further valuable World Championship points courtesy of Brian Redman’s 5th place at Nürburgring, and also provided precocious South African Jody Scheckter with this Grand Prix debut; the 22-year old finishing 9th at Watkins Glen ahead of the likes of Graham Hill, Chris Amon, and teammate Revson.

Following the introduction of McLaren’s new M23 design in 1973, M19A-1 was sold to prominent Formula 5000 entrant and designer Tony Kitchiner, who duly fitted a 5-litre Chevrolet engine and prepared the car for the 1974 European F5000 Championship. Entrusted to subsequent seven-time Grand Prix winner and Scuderia Ferrari driver René Arnoux, and later to Tony Trimmer and Gordon Spice, the car achieved best results of 13th and 12th at Mugello and Monza respectively; both achieved with Trimmer at the wheel.

In the early 1980s M19A-1 was acquired by prominent British historic racer John Foulston, in whose ownership it was returned to original DFV-powered specification, and contested occasional HSCC-organised Historic Formula 1 events. The car was purchased from Foultston’s estate in 1997, appropriately, by its former pilot—and 1979 Formula 1 World Champion—Jody Scheckter, in whose private collection it has remained since.

Widely credited with laying the foundations for McLaren’s maiden dual World Championship-winning year of 1974, the M19A remains a defining and ground-breaking design of the early aerodynamic era, as well as one unwittingly responsible—in Yardley form—for one of the sport’s most iconic liveries. M19A-1 is further distinguishable by its remarkable roll call of former drivers, which includes no fewer than five Grand Prix winners, two World Champions and an Indianapolis 500 victor. As such, it is undoubtedly one of the most significant single-seat McLarens to be offered for sale in recent times, and would represent an appropriately historic and highly competitive entry into any number of historic racing events.