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1965 McLaren Elva M1A news, pictures, specifications, and information

Sports Racer
Designer: Tony Hilder
Chassis Num: 20-06
 
Cooper Cars considered building two special cars specifically for Bruce McLaren to compete in the 1964 Tasman series. After Cooper decided it was too costly and too much work, Bruce and Mayer brothers, Timmy the driver and Teddy the manager, established Bruce McLaren Racing Ltd to build the cars and race them. The cars created in his shop were a tremendous success, earning him his first victory in the New Zealand Grand Prix and the series championship.

The acquisition of Roger Penske's Zerex Special was the next step. The car was a modified F1 Cooper and powered by a 2.7-liter Climax four-cylinder unit. It was later fitted with a 215 cubic-inch Traco-modified Oldsmobile aluminum block V8.

The McLaren MK1 was built in time for the late season North American races. Power was from the Traco Olds which now displaced 4.5-liters. The competition was fierce, with strong teams from both Europe and North America. The McLaren car encountered a throttle linkage problem but rallied to finish third overall and established the lap record. cooling hose issues were responsible for the teams DNF's at Riverside and Laguna Seca.

The McLaren M1 was a very competitive and capable car. Teddy Mayer soon reaelized that a customer version of the car could provide additional income for hte team. Not wanting to over-work the Feltham McLaren shop, the team struck a deal with Frank Nichols who had joined Peter Agg's Trojan Group to re-estalish Elva cars. Elva would build customer cars for McLaren which were designated McLaren-Elvas.

The Elva-built McLarens were called the MK 1A and powered by a variety of powerplants. They had a simple and straightforward design with a frame based on three main tubes incorporating a multi-tubular space frame structured. At all four corners were an independent suspension with widely spaced pickups for the front upper wishbones. The rear had reversed lower wishbones, single upper links and parallel radius rods. Springing was by coil springs and tubular shocks. The gearbox was a Hewland transaxle. The body design was courtesy of Tony Hilder.

This recently restored MK1A was originally raced by Hammond, Indiana driver Ralph Salyer. Gene Crowe was his mechanic. Salyer named the car the 'Cro-Sal Special.'

Salyer was third on the grid with his MK1A at Road America in September of 1965. Along with co-driver Bill Mitchell, the car finished fifth overall. After a rather successful season of competition, the MK1A was invited to the American Road Race of Champions at the Daytona Motor Speedway. This was the predecessor to the SCCA National Championship runoffs. At Daytona, Sayler set the fastest qualifying time on the road course, setting a course record and besting his next closest competitor by nearly three seconds. Unfortunately, Salyer's MK1A went out after only eight laps.

The following season, the Cro-Sal Special raced in a few event of the new U.S. Road Racing Championship (SRRC) series before being replaced by a McKee-Chevy at Mid-Ohio.

Since then, the car has been given a concours quality restoration, returning it to the livery when it was raced by Ralph Salyer. It is painted in midnight blue with red driving seat upholstery. This M1A 20-06 is powered by a 358 Chevrolet V8 offering 482 horsepower and 452 lbs of torque. There is a Hewland LG500 gearbox and an overall weight of just 1300 lbs.

In total, it is believed that 24 examples of the McLaren-Elva MK 1As were built.

In 2009, this recently restored racer was offered for sale by Bonhams Auction at the Exceptional Motorcars and Automobilia sale in Carmel, CA. It was estimated to sell for $250,000 - $300,000 , but would leave the auction unsold.

By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2009
Sports Racer
Designer: Tony Hilder
Chassis Num: 20-06
 
Designed by Bruce McLaren the McLaren-Elva M1A was one of the new breed of American powered sports racing cars during the 1960s. McLaren arranged for the Elva Car Company to produce the production version, hence the name McLaren-Elva. Only about 20 of these cars were ever built. McLaren-Elva M1A #20-06 was purchased through Carl Haas Motorsports and shipped to Ralph Salyer, on May 30, 1965. Salyer's mechanic, Ocne Crone, who shared the billing on Salyer's cars known as 'Cro-Sal Special Modified Championship and the 1965 USRRC, the racing series which would give rise to the great Canadian-American Challenge Series, the Can-Am.
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ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Sept. 12, 2013 - Road racing champions will be crowned next week at Road America as drivers from around the country participate in the 50th running of the pinnacle amateur road-racing event in the U.S., the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National Championship Runoffs® September 19-22. The event determines the best drivers of the season within each of the 28 classes of competition and this year over 700 entries are expected, making the Runoffs the largest annual amat...[Read more...]
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 MONTEREY, Calif., Sept. 11, 2013 — Officials from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Sports Car Club of America confirmed today the dates of the 2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs®, October 6-12, 2014. The event's historic return to the West Coast was announced in July. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will become the seventh track to host the National Championship event in the Runoffs' 50-year history, and marks the return of the Runoffs to the West Coast for the first time since the now-cl...[Read more...]
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to Host 2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs
MONTEREY, Calif. (July 10, 2013) – The Sports Car Club of America today announced the host sites of the next three SCCA® National Championship Runoffs®, including the first visit for amateur road racing's top event to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2014. Daytona International Speedway, in 2015, and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, in 2016, will also hold events over the next three years. The return to the west coast and Monterey's Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca comes 50 years after the inaugural ...[Read more...]
1967 Can-Am Road America: The Beginning of the 'Bruce and Denny Show'
While Formula One will be forever considered the pinnacle of motorsport, from a period between 1966 and 1986 there existed a series that would likely be the closest to 'anything goes' as any motor racing series could truly get. Based upon the FIA Group 7 cars but allowed to showcase unlimited engine sizes and unfettered aerodynamics, the Can-Am cars would have to be considered the pinnacle of motorsport technology and power of their era. And for more than a couple of years there would be one tea...[Read more...]
The WeatherTech® CHICAGO REGION SCCA JUNE SPRINTS®
Winning the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) June Sprints at Road America has been every sports car driver's dream since the thrilling first event in 1956. That's when a tall, curly-haired chicken farmer from Texas named Carroll Shelby drove all night to make the race, jumped into the cockpit of a Ferrari 121 LM without even changing out of his work clothes - striped farmer's overalls - and won the 152-mile feature. No one back then knew that his win would set the tone for his momentous racing ...[Read more...]


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