1968 McLaren M12

With the introduction of the Can-Am racing series in 1966, New Zealander, Bruce McLaren, made the decision to enter the competition. Their first Can-Am racer was the McLaren M1B which had a tubular frame and powered by an Oldsmobile engine. For 1967, Team McLaren created the M6A and chose a Chevrolet 6-liter V8 as its source of power. With Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme in the drivers position, the McLaren cars would dominate the CanAm series for the next five years. Privateers also raced McLaren vehicles during this time but they were at a disadvantage as the team sold their used cars at the end of the season.

In 1969 the Can-Am series was now comprised of eleven races. Team McLaren won every race. Denny accounted for five of those wins while Bruce won the other six races and the championship.

For the 1970 season, team McLaren experienced the ultimate tragedy as Bruce McLaren was killed while testing the M8D at Goodwood in England. The team picked up Dan Gurney as the second driver who raced for the team for a short while before being replaced with Peter Gethin. Gurney was replaced due to sponsorship conflicts. The 1970 season was another impressive year for McLaren competition as they won 10 out of the 11 races. Their only loss came at Road Atlanta which had ended the teams 19 Can-Am race winning streak which had transpired over three seasons.

The McLaren M12's were customer cars in 1969 and comprised of a M8A body ontop of a M6B chassis. Famous race car driver, Jim Hall of Chaparral fame, purchased a M12 for use in the 1969 Can-Am Series. The drivers of this car were John Surtees, Andrea DeAdamich, Jerry Titus, Peter Revson and David Hobbs. The vehicles best finish was at the Mosport Can-Am race where it finished in third place.


By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2007

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