McLaren Can Am Cars Listed by Model
M6A – 1967
The first car, M6A-1, was completed and ready for testing at Goodwood on June 19, 1967, more that three months prior to the opening race in the Can-Am series. The car covered over 2000 miles of testing before its debut at Elkhart Lake. Team McLaren won its first Can-Am Series with these cars designed by Bruce, Robin Herd, Don Beresford and Tyler Alexander. It was as simple as possible, consisting of single curvatures and square section tubing wherever they could be used. The M6A was a works car and only three were built.
Chassis: Full monocoque formed from aluminium alloy panelling bonded and riveted to steel bulkheads and carrying two 25 gallon fuel cells in the side pontoons.
Suspension: Unequal length upper and lower wishbones, anti-roll bar and coil spring/shock units in front. Upper and lower wishbones with twin radius arms anti-roll bar and coil spring/shock at rear. McLaren cast magnesium wheels, 15 x 8½ inch front and 15 x 13¼ rear.
Brakes: Girling ventilated discs front and rear, 12 inch diameter, with 16-3-LA calipers and dual hydraulic circuits.
Body: Reinforced polyester resin panelling.
Engine: 5.9 litre Chevrolet V-8 with Lucas fuel injection and 5 speed Hewland LG transaxle.
Dimensions: Wheelbase 93.5 inches, front track 52 inches, rear track 52 inches. width 68 inches, height to top of windscreen 31 inches, weight less fuel 1300 pounds distributed 40 percent front/60 percent rear.
M6B – 1968
The M6B was the production version of the Championship winning M6A and differed very little from the original. It was built by Trojan and was offered in a rolling chassis complete waiting only for a motor to be fitted. It was in tremendous demand and a total of twenty-eight were built and their specifications where virtually identical to those of the M6A.
M8A – 1968
The 1968 Can-Am works cars were further developments of the very successful M6A design and were again kept as simple as possible, employing single curvature panelling and square tube sections in the monocoque, which now used the engine as a partially stressed structural member. Three cars were built, dominating the series with Denny winning the championship.
Chassis: Aluminium alloy and magnesium panelling monocoque based on steel bulkheads and using the Chevrolet engine as a partially stressed structural member stiffening the rear bay.
Suspension: Single top link with radius arm, lower wishbone, anti-roll bar and coil spring/shock units in front. Twin radius arms with single top link, reversed lower wishbone and coil spring units at rear. McLaren cast magnesium wheels 15 x 10 front and 15 x 15 rear.
Brakes: Lockheed discs all around, 12 inch diameter with 17/3P calipers and dual aerodynamic surfaces.
Body: Reinforced polyester resin panelling.
Engine: Chevrolet V-8 with 4 speed Hewland transaxle.
Dimensions: Wheelbase 94 inches, front track 57.6 inches, rear track 56 inches.
M8B – 1969
Three new and further developed Group 7 works cars were built for the 1969 Can-Am series, using at least one of the original M8A monocoque. They differed form the earlier cars in body design, using wings that stood high above the tail on suspension mounted struts and had new 7 litre engines built by George Bolthoff, an ex Traco engineer. There were minor detail differences between the M8B’s and the M8A’s. The 1969 cars used larger wheels 15 x 11 front and 15 x 16 rear. They were unbeaten in the 1969 season and took Bruce to his second championship.
M8C – 1970
This model was the 1970 production version of the all conquering M8 series design, but differed in some important respects. It was felt that private customers would wish to fit engines other than the Chevrolet ZL-1s used by the works, and rear-bay crossmembers were provided to support optional engines, replacing the subframes used to stress the blocks in the M8A and B models. Specifications were similar to the earlier models and demand was high, Trojan building 15 cars.
M8D – 1970
Three new cars were assembled for the 1970 Can-Am Championship, and were again improvements on the basic theme. Strut mounted wings acting on the suspension were no longer allowed so the M8D used separate airfoil sections mounted on tail fins rising from the rear fenders. These earned the car the name of “Batmobile” and with 7.5 litre engines built in Livonia. Michigan, by Bolthoff they were again successful; Hulme won another Can Am title after Bruce was killed testing the original M8D at Goodwood. Specifications were as for the earlier M8 series, except for the following: Front track 62.3 inches. rear track 58.8 inches, overall length 164 inches, weight 1420 pounds. Hewland LG600 4 speed transaxle fitted.
M8E – 1971
The Trojan production Can AM car for 1971, based on the prototype tested briefly by Denis Hulme at Goodwood in 1970/ It has the basic shape of the M8B with a low wing instead of the inside fins of the M8D. The track is narrower than the M8D and the car has a smaller fiberglass body. The wheel base is 95 inches with a front track of b58 inches and a rear track of 55.5 inches. Wheels are 15 inch diameter with 11 inch front brims and 16 inch rear rims.
M8F – 1971
The 1971 Can-Am M8F car was designed by G. Coppuck and included a number of innovations. It ran with an 8 litre Chevrolet built by McLaren Engines using the new Reynolds all alloy cylinder block. Horsepower was rated in excess of 740hp.
M20 – 1972
The M20 Can-Am car was built around the “coke bottle” platform with a low polar movement chassis, with the cars mass concentrated well within the wheelbase.
Body: McLaren fibreglass
Engine: 8.1 litre Chevrolet V8 Fuel injected semi stressed, steadied on the rear of the tub
Dimensions: Wheelbase 100″ extended 2″ from the M8F specifications
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