Based on the team’s first pure-blood racing car, the M1A, the M1B represented McLaren in the 1965 and 1966 seasons, laying the groundwork for the team’s now stellar racing reputation.
As well as sporting a significantly stronger chassis than its predecessor, the M1B’s profile was also amended with the help of British artist, Michael Turner. Its truncated tail and blunted nose made it noticeably shorter than the M1A, while further revisions to the 1966 version added wider wheels, a separate rear spoiler, a lighter ZF transmission, and space for a larger, more powerful Chevrolet V8.
The new 5.4-liter unit added significantly to the output of the original Oldsmobile powerplant, and the result could be seen on the track. The 1966 M1B would be driven to third-place in the inaugural Can-Am Drivers’ Championship by Bruce McLaren himself — a feat that would pave the way for his team’s utter domination of the series in subsequent years.
Although 28 production versions of the car were built, only three of these 1966 McLaren M1B racers ever saw the light of day. Take one home today on Simraceway.
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