McLaren held a ceremony to honor its founder, who tragically died in 1970 aged just 32.
Today, track weapons like the McLaren 720S and 600LT are revered as engineering triumphs, able to deliver a driving experience and performance figures to challenge and in some cases surpass the best Italian supercars. The hybrid McLaren Speedtail is yet another landmark car for the brand, having being tested repeatedly reaching a top speed of over 250 mph. But long before their existence, the marque's story began when engineer and racing driver Bruce McLaren founded Bruce McLaren Motor Racing in 1963.
The company, which saw tremendous success in Formula One, now marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Bruce McLaren. On June 2, 1970, McLaren was killed at West Sussex's Goodwood Circuit when testing a McLaren M8D Can-Am race car. He was only 32 at the time.
Amanda McLaren, the daughter of Bruce McLaren, revealed a life-sized statue of her father. The statue was unveiled at the company's headquarters where a private ceremony was held. It was also an opportunity to celebrate many of McLaren's achievements before his untimely passing.
In 1966, the McLaren Grand Prix racing team made its debut in Monaco. A first victory followed at the 1968 Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, which also happened to be the fourth F1 win for Bruce, following the three when he drove for Cooper. In the decades to come, the team registered a phenomenal 182 race victories, with a record bettered only by Ferrari.
"It is an honor to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Bruce McLaren by unveiling this wonderfully crafted statue to commemorate his life and achievements," said Amanda McLaren. "When my father died in June 1970, he had already done so much to realize his ambitions, but the best was still to come."
The beautiful bronze statue is the work of Paul Oz, a painter and sculptor who has created other pieces of motorsport-inspired art. Among these is a sculpture of Ayrton Senna, who was driving a McLaren when he picked up three F1 World Championships in 1988, 1990, and 1991.
Of course, the McLaren name found its way onto the McLaren F1 in 1992. The F1's many achievements include a famous win at the 1995 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which the team conquered at the first time of asking. Today, the conversation rages on about which car could take over the baton from the F1 in the endurance race.
We're certain that Bruce McLaren would have been immensely proud of the legacy he left behind and the continued evolution of the McLaren brand. His pertinent words still ring true: "Life is measured in achievement, not in years alone."