1966 McLaren M1B Can-Am
$225,000 - $275,000
- Ground-up recreation by veteran marque experts
- Built and prepared with a correct M1B chassis
- Ideal for historic racing events
Bruce McLaren launched the M1 at the Mosport Grand Prix for sports cars in September 1964, where he led the race until throttle problems dropped him to 3rd. McLaren contested the rest of the season, and the car attracted customers. The first customer car was delivered in 1965, and Graham Hill won at Silverstone. Meanwhile, engineer Robin Herd designed the M1B, with Tyler Alexander and Michael Turner. The chassis weighed the same, but was 20 percent stronger. Eventually, 28 M1Bs were built for the American market.
This project began in 2008, when the previous owner purchased a correct M1B chassis to restore and prepare for historic racing. He was then fortunate to locate and hire Bill Moir in Oregon to help reconstruct the car. Moir, who prepared McLarens when they were imported by Carl Haas, determined that the chassis had a few usable parts, though the balance was not sound for racing. The original parts retained were the steering rack, rear axles, transaxle, and the left-hand fuel cell (which was sent to Aerotech Services for refurbishing). He then spent four years building the car before it was taken to Rick Hamlin for final assembly to fit the new body to the chassis. Hamlin, owner of Rick’s Restoration in Wellington, Kansas, has 45 years of experience in historic auto restoration and is also a multiple Pebble Beach winner.
The engine, built by Pantera Performance of Castle Rock, Colorado, is a bored and stroked, dry-sump, 348-cubic inch, aluminum-block Ford V-8 fitted with period-correct Weber carburetors and Edelbrock aluminum heads. More than 500 brake horsepower is delivered through a three-disc Can-Am-style clutch to a Hewland LG500 transaxle, which was rebuilt by the Matthews Collection in Colorado and has two sets of gears. The original Airheart brakes have been replaced by Wilwood units, and the 30-gallon fuel cell has new foam.
This car’s restoration is documented and photographed, and a collection of spare parts are included. While the car’s appearance is impeccable, it has been properly prepared to be competitive and safe on the track.