McLaren's Greatest Hits Are Coming To Los Angeles

Classic Cars / 4 Comments

A new exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum is paying tribute to all things Papaya.

McLaren is the latest automotive icon to have its historic and modern racers showcased at the Petersen Automotive Museum. The McLaren display will open to the public on June 18 in the Charles Nearburg Family Gallery on the museum's second floor. Once there, you can immerse yourself in the world of old and new Mclaren racing cars.

McLaren may be going through tough times recently, but it remains the second-most successful F1 team of all time. Founded by Bruce McLaren in 1963, the brand initially existed purely to go racing. Its sole focus on motorsport led to many victories that came long after McLaren's death in 1970.

McLaren
McLaren
McLaren

The display is named "The Color of Success: McLaren's Papaya Livery," focusing primarily on the periods when McLaren employed its famous orange paint. The exhibition will include some of the rarest early race cars from Can-Am, Formula 1, USAC, Formula 2, and Formula 5000.

Examples include the 1967 McLaren M6A, the first car to use the papaya livery. It was also developed in just 11 weeks and was the first car to start dominating the McLaren-era of Can-AM racing. On the modern side, there's the 2018 MCL33 Formula 1 racer; the last car Fernando Alonso drove before retiring at the end of the 2018 season. As we now know, he would eventually return to the sport years later.

As a tribute to Alonso's first exit from the sport, McLaren used a unique blue, yellow, and red livery in recognition of Alonso's home region of Asturias, Spain.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Other unique models include the 1969 M6 GT, which was meant to be the first road car. The car was eventually canceled after Bruce's death in 1970, and McLaren would only return to road cars with the launch of the famous F1. These days it has an entire line-up of blistering supercars, the latest of which is the 2022 Artura.

Another example is the M16, its most successful USAC design, ultimately winning the Indianapolis 500 in 1974 and 1976.

"McLaren is one of the most storied names in motorsports history," said Petersen Automotive Museum executive director Terry L. Karges. "The racecars of Bruce McLaren and the company he founded have been at the forefront of design and performance for decades. We are excited to let the public get a closer look at some of these iconic and historic machines."

McLaren
McLaren
McLaren

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