The biggest Mac can be yours

An example of the 1972 McLaren M8F, spawned from a fierce rivalry with Porsche in the legendary Can-Am racing series, is now up for sale in Melbourne.

By Michael Stahl 31/03/2017

The Canadian-American Challenge Cup for Group 7 sports cars, better known as Can-Am, ruled the motor sport world for nine short years, from 1966 to 1974. The secret to its success was a very slender rule book. Engine configurations and capacities, minimum weight, tyre widths – all were limited only by the racing engineers’ imaginations.

Can-Am also coincided with a perfect storm of technological advances in lightweight materials, turbocharging, metallurgy, aerodynamics and tyres. The literally ground-shaking, brutally be-winged cars would ultimately be producing as much as 1000kW, placing Can-Am’s “big bangers” among the most powerful circuit-racing cars in history.

Can-Am was the perfect playground for the brilliant New Zealand driver and engineer Bruce McLaren. Already established as a grand prix winner and racing car constructor, McLaren built his first dedicated Can-Am model in 1967. Over the next four seasons, McLaren and fellow Kiwi Denny Hulme turned Can-Am into the “Bruce and Denny Show”.

McLaren himself was killed testing the team’s 1970 M8D, though his team pressed on to steamroller the 1970 and ’71 championships. For 1972, however, Can-Am – and the 8.0-litre McLarens – would be turned upside down by Porsche’s radical turbocharged 12-cylinder 917/10.

McLaren’s response – too late, though in no sense too little – was the M8F, of which Dutton Garage in Melbourne (duttongarage.com) currently has for sale one of the most original of the 12 built. Chassis M8FP-72-06 was delivered new with an 8.1-litre, twin-turbocharged Chevrolet V8, capable of producing up to 970kW. Belgian driver Teddy Pilette, who raced the car in Can-Am’s European counterpart, Interserie, fittingly described the M8F as “terrific … that is to say, terrifyingly horrific”.

The car is now fitted with a naturally aspirated 8.4-litre Chevrolet engine. Immaculately presented and fully credentialled for international historic racing, the McLaren M8F is valued at around $2 million.

ADVERTISE WITH US

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Robb Report AU - Newsletter Robb Report AU - Motors Newsletter Robb Report AU - Property Newsletter Robb Report AU - Lifestyle Newsletter Robb Report AU - Style Newsletter Robb Report AU - Business Newsletter Robb Report AU - Travel Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

The SSC Tuatara Is The World’s Fastest Production Car

The supercar smashed the previous record held by the Bugatti Chiron.

By Bryan Hood

20/10/2020

A German Tuner Has Made The Ferrari Monza Faster

The retro-inspired speedsters have been given a boost to 629kW.

By Bryan Hood

16/10/2020

The EU Just Dimmed Rolls-Royce’s Spirit

The illuminated ornament has been banned in an effort to reduce light pollution.

By Bryan Hood

15/10/2020

This Rare 1975 Lamborghini Countach Could Be Yours

The supercar is one of just 158 LP400 “Periscopicas” ever built.

By Bryan Hood

15/10/2020

Robb Interview: Toni Piëch, Founder Piëch Automotive

Why the pandemic hasn’t put the brakes on the all-electric Mark Zero.

By Chuck Tannert

14/10/2020

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected