The Formula A class of racing was conceived by the Sports Car Club of America in 1965. It catered to production-based engines of up to 5-liters capacity to take advantage of the engines being produced by Detroit. Intended as a low-cost series aimed at open-wheel racing, the car would continue in popularity through the 1960s. Drivers within the series would include some of the world's finest road racers. Many manufacturers with experience in Formula 1 quickly established themselves with Formula A production single-seaters based upon their contemporary F1 designs. One such marque was Bruce McLarens racing team. They had a production agreement with Peter Agg's Trojan company in England. The McLaren F1 team developed the company's CanAm and Formula 5000 designs, while the Trojan factory in Purley Way, Croydon, south London, was tasked with constructing customer cars for private sales.
The 1969 McLaren/Trojan Formula A contender was based on the M7A Formula 1 design. One of the main differences was that the M10A was given a true 360-degree monocoque chassis encircling the driver's legs. The M7A design had a less rigid open-topped 'bathtub' monocoque. The M10A was slightly larger, taller and much heavier, and mostly powered by Chevrolet 5-liter V8s. The M7A had a 3-liter all-alloy Cosworth-DFV V8 engine.
Trojan Ltd. sold around 20 examples of the M10As though only 17 were built. It is believed that extra parts were used for spares or used for the 1970 McLaren M10B production. It is belied that chassis numbering began at '300-01' (though there was a prototype car built by McLaren that carried the number M10A/1) and the highest known umber for an M10A is '300-16.'
During the 1969 season, the McLaren M10A won many of the Championship races both in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States.
This McLaren M10, chassis number 300-09, was sold new to Bob Esseks in New York, NY on mid-July of 1969. It is believed that this car was used as a spare for driver Sam Posey. It was later used in National US Formula A races through 1970, and finished 2nd in the 1970 ARRC.
The next owner was Will Painter of Canton Country, CA who purchased the car in December of 1970. During the 1971 season it was raced only once at Round 4 of the Formula A Championship, the Mid-Ohio Grand Prix on July 5th of 1971. In December of that year it was purchased by Merle Brennan of Reno, Nevada, perhaps as a replacement for the earlier M10A which Brennan had campaigned through 1971.
Mr. Brennan raced 300-09 at least three times during 1972, winning on all occasions. He raced the car during 1973 before ownership passed to Glen Brown of Kent, Washington. Mr. Brown raced the car for two more years in the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Jan Labell of Olympia, WA is the next reordered owner, purchasing it in November of 1975. He raced the car for three seasons in the Pacific Northwest, during which he won the SCCA NorPac Formula A titles in 1976 and 1976.
Chassis '300-09' then passed via Tom Fredericks to Chuck Haines of Manchester, Missouri, in September of 1985. Lou Pavesi of Los Altos, CA purchased the car in September of 1986 and entered it in Vintage racing. Later owners include Wes McNay and Henry Alexander of Menlo Park, CA.
In 1988, the car was completed restored and continued its active career in Vintage racing. The present owner acquired the car in December of 2005 and has continued its racing heritage.
In 2012, the car was offered for sale at the Quail Lodge sale presented by Bonhams Auction. It was estimated to sell for $140,000 - $170,000. Bidding failed to satisfy the vehicle's reserve and it would leave the auction unsold.By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2016
The McLaren M10-B was raced by many contenders for the Formula 5000 championship. This car is the only car to twice win the Formula 5000 championship, in 1970 and again in 1971. Originally owned by the partnership of Malcolm Starr and Carl Hogan, John Connor was the driver for the 1970 Continental Series, and finished first at Riverside, California; Seattle; Road America in Wisconsin; and the Canadian Ste. Jovite to win the championship. In 1971, with David Hobbs driving, this car again won at Seattle and Road America, the Laguna California SCCA, at Edmonton, Canada, and at Lime Rock, Connecticut.
This car is powered by a 500-horsepower Chevrolet 'small block' V-8, and with its monocoque body weighing only 1,500 pounds, it is capable of reaching over 200 MPH on a straight.