1970 McLaren M10B

Chassis Num: 400-13
Sold for $143,000 at 2015 Bonhams.
In the late 1960s, the Sports Car Club of American developed a less-costly counterpart to Formula One and called it Formula A. In 1969, the United Kingdom adopted similar rules and specifications by the British Racing & Sports Car Club and Motor Circuit Developments Ltd – which managed most of Britain's major circuits. Their class was called Formula 5000 and it would become very popular in the US, the UK, Europe, and even Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

The British based McLaren Company developed its original FA/5000 M10A in 1969, basing it upon their M7A Formula 1 works car. It was given an extended monocoque chassis and a sophisticated suspension setup and an aerodynamic body. The wheelbase measured 97.5 inches and the chassis was paneled in light-alloy sheet, bonded and riveted to fabricated steel bulkheads. Additional rear pontoons supported the engine and gearbox, in contrast to the F1 M7 design in which the DFV engine doubled as the load-bearing rear chassis structure.

The McLaren FA/5000 car was given a front suspension comprises of wishbones and coil-over shocks. In the back were lower wishbones, top links, twin radius rods and coil-overs. Braking was handled by 12-inch diameter Lockheed discs. Mounted behind the driver was a cast-iron small-block Chevrolet V8, in this case supplied by Traco (Travers and Coons) in the United States. With quadruple Weber carburetors, the engine offered between 450 and 500 horsepower. The engine was bolted to a Hewland LG600 five-speed manual-change transaxle.

In 1969, the McLaren M10A won the SCCA national title in Formula A and dominated the first season of F5000 racing in Europe.

The McLaren M10B was a further development of the M10A and served as an updated replacement for the original 'A-Series' cars.

McLaren built some 24 M10B chassis in period. This particular example, chassis number 400-13, is a mid-production example. It was delivered to American Steve Durst, who drove it in the professional Formula A Continental series and then in SCCA's Formula A national races. It won at Portland on May 3rd. On Round 8 at St. Jovite in early August, the car crashed and would miss the last five races of the season.

In early 2000, the car was purchased by the Lakewood Collection. Currently, the engine has not been run in 15 years. Power is a from a 305 cubic-inch Traco/Chevy V8 engine fitted with four Weber 48IDA Downdraft Carburetors and offers an estimated 500 horsepower.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2015
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