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1969 McLaren M6 GT

Leading up to 1970, Bruce McLaren decided he was going to build the fastest mid-engine car in the world based on his potent Can-Am principles. The idea was to put a coupe body on his M6 monocoque and contend the Group 4 category in the World Sportscar Championship. This was always one of McLaren ambitions and it became one of his favorite projects.

McLaren intended to build 250 cars per year and sell the chassis and body without an engine. While the first prototypes used Chevrolet engines like his Can-Ams, Bruce imagined the seven liter Ford unit was suitable as well.

Unfortunately, homologation requirements changed, and a minimum of 50 cars had to be made for the M6 GT to race. This made the project too large for McLaren, and without the initial promotion of the cars on the track, the M6 GT race program was scrapped.

However, this didn’t detour McLaren from offering one of the most impressively equipped cars in the world, essentially a road-legal, protoype race-car. But this meant that the car had a cramped interior and no real usability.

The first prototype was built at the McLaren racing factory and became Bruce’s personal car. Two or three more cars followed and came from Trojan-Lambretta, the company that manufactured McLaren’s customer cars. One of these was raced fairly extensively by David Prophet.

Bruce McLaren used a red M6 GT as his personal transportation until his unexpected death in June of 1970. With his untimely passing, the M6GT never made it to any large scale production. Just over twenty years later, however, with the revival of McLaren in Formula One, Bruce McLaren’s dreams were realized when the McLaren F1 supercar was released in 1994.

The December 1974 edition of Road & Track did a cover article on one of the M6 GTs and despite being four years old, they christened it ‘the wildest road car’.

Bruce’s personal car, with license number OBH 500H only had 1900 miles when he died. It sold to Denny Hulme in New Zealand, eventually making its way to the Mathews Collection near Denver Colorado. Fortunately, it remains there in absolutely original condition.

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