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McLaren M18 History

The McLaren M18 Formula 5000 Car

The McLaren M18 Formula 5000 Car

Following on from the ultra successful championship winning McLaren M10 Formula 5000 cars for the 1971 season was the evolutionary McLaren M18.

Starting out it’s racing life in England the M18 model claimed a win and two second places in the hands of Brian Redmond in the UK Series, which turned out to be the highlight of the M18′s career.

Specs for M18 – 1971
Trojan built this Formula A/5000 and this production model for 1971 used a 5-litre Chevrolet V8 with a Hewland DG transaxle. The M18 is a much revised Formula A/5000 car with a much lower, flatter nose.
Chassis: It has a full aluminium monocoque chassis
Suspension: Front suspension is by a lower wishbone with a top link and radius arm, while the rear suspension is by a reversed lower wishbone with a top link and radius rods
Engine: 5-litre Chevrolet V8 engine with a Hewland DG transaxle
Dimensions: Wheelbase of 100 inches, a front track of 59.5 inches and a rear track of 60 inches. It has 13-inch front wheels with 11-inch rims, and 15-inch rear wheels with 16-inch rims.

As far as some supplier records go, there appear to have been 8 McLaren M18′s built, sequentually numbered from M18 500-01 to M18 500-08, plus another two have since been built up from spare tubs. Three of the 10 were destroyed, leaving only 7 left today.

McLaren M18 500-01

This car was built by McLaren for the 1971 season and was raced by Brian Redman, Peter Gethin, Derek Bell and Reine Wisell. After that season it went back to McLaren and was turned into the M22 prototype and was raced in the 1972 Tasman Series by David Hobbs. It eventually found it’s way to Australia where it was last recorded as being owned by Alan Newton in 2004.

McLaren M18 500-02

Built for 1971 season and raced by Graham McRae in the UK Series, and was destroyed in a crash.

McLaren M18 500-03

The whereabouts of this car is unknown.

McLaren M18 500-04

Another built for the 1971 season and raced by Tim Schenken, Howden Ganley, Jean-Pierre Jassaud and others through to 1974. Howden Ganely owned the car for many years until he sold it to John Hewitt in 2001. John still had it as of 2006.

McLaren M18 500-05

Built for the 1971 season and raced by Ulf Norinder. Later was raced by Gerry Walton in HSCC racing before being sold to Martin Cowell in the UK around 1995 and last confirmed in his ownership in 2002.

McLaren M18 500-06

Another built for the 1971 season (The car this website is for). See the McLaren M18 500-06 History page for more details.

McLaren M18 500-07

Said to be the car built for Graham McRae to replace the car he crashed and destroyed  in the 1971 UK Series.  Graham never got to race it as it was sold to Lothar Motschenbacher who raced it in the 1971 US Series. It was crashed heavily at the Road Atlanta round and it is said that the tub was dumped.

McLaren M18 500-08

Said to be a car purchased from McLaren to replace Don O’Sullivan’s crashed M10A which he crashed at Teretonga. It raced in the 1971 and 1972 Tasman Series, but disappeared after that. It is said that it was used as parts to make the Gardos Formula 5000 car, so no longer exists.

McLaren M18 Unused Tub

This unused tub was first advertised by Ian Webb in 1984 and sold to Paul Lanzante and was put together for Roger Ealand. It ws then sold to David Coplowe and then on to Frank Lyons around 1999. Last confirmed with Lyons in 2001.

 McLaren M18 History by OldRacingCars.com

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