The McLeagle is based on a 1968 McLaren M6B, which was the production version of the very successful 1967 M6 that won the championship for the McLaren team. Twenty-eight M6Bs were produced, but the McLeagle is unique. It was purchased by Dan Gurney's All American Racers (AAR) and heavily modified by them. Since all AAR-built cars were called Eagles, it received the nickname 'McLeagle.' Modifications included replacing many parts with Titanium pieces, suspension geometry changes, reshaped nose, and cockpit changes to accommodate Gurney's larger frame.
The AAR-run car never appeared at any two races in the same configuration. The tail section was substantially changed for 1969, and various wing setups were tried. During 1968 and 1969, it used several versions of Ford-based engines. After failure to obtain any suitable Ford engines in mid-1969 (causing it to miss 6 races) a big-block Chevrolet was installed for the final three races. It is restored to this late 1969 (Laguna Seca and Riverside) configuration.
Its race record with AAR was not stellar, with a lot of DNFs and best finish of 4th (at Riverside.) It did, however, run as high as 2nd at Riverside. Dan Gurney drove the car in most of its 1968-1969 appearances, but Swede Savage drove in two of the 1968 outings.
Bob Brown purchased the car after the 1969 season and ran it, essentially unchanged except for removal of the suspension-mounted wing, in 1970 and early 1971. he actually achieved somewhat more success than AAR, with five top-ten finishes in 1970. The current owner purchased it in 1977.
Designed by Robin Herd and Gordon Coppuck and build by McLaren, the McLaren M7A and its B, C and D variants are Formula One racing vehicles.
The M6B weighed in around 1,700 lbs and had in the neighborhood of 600hp. An aluminum monocoque, the M6B was quite different from modern racecars, basically as sheet aluminum origami secured with rivets. Secured with removable pins, the only ‘safety cage' to mention is a not very confidence inspiring main hoop, braced only with a stringer from the center top of the hood back to the head of the engine.
An excellent design, the M6B was the first monocoque chassis McLaren. Strong, simple and an aerodynamically efficient package, the factory attempted to sell a number of replicas to eager customers hoping to duplicate its success. This of course never happened as the customers were always based on last year's model, while the factory team raced the latest and newest improved hardware.
Can-Am vehicles clearly occupy the ground where adrenaline and testosterone are at the maximum. At the same time these vehicles are both absolutely terrifying yet wildly exciting.
In 1966 the basic concept of Can-Am's debut was 'professional, minimum rules, closed wheel sports cars, who can go fastest'. A quantum leap in tire technology soon made it a contest of getting the most horsepower to the ground and horsepower quickly became the mantra of the series.
McLaren's M6B was designed to take the GM small-block V8 and mate it to a Hewland LG five-speed transaxle.
Only 28 models of the M6B were ever produced in 1968. They were sold for approximately $14,000.By Jessica Donaldson