Unique of the Week

Unique of the Week: 1969 McLaren M8C Can-Am

Ever wanted to own an original McLaren 1969 Can-Am race car?

Back in 1965, Bruce McLaren Motor Racing, the forerunner to the McLaren racing team, was created. Its founder, none other than Bruce McLaren himself, had previously worked and raced for Cooper where he became the youngest person ever at the time (in 1959) to win the United States Grand Prix. Moving ahead in his sadly short but amazing racing career, he left Cooper in late 1965 and formed his own GP racing team with fellow New Zealander and driver Chris Amon.

Soon after, McLaren began racing for his own team, winning the team's first (and his fourth overall win) grand prix in 1968. However, it was in the Can-Am Series where McLaren's talents became even more apparent. His natural gift for engineering ingenuity and sheer racing skills were a significant part of his team's successes. The Can-Am Series was also becoming quite popular amongst North American racing fans, which also helped to establish McLaren on a global scale. In 1967, the McLaren team won five races (out of six) and four out of six the following year.

But in 1969, McLaren was truly at the top of their game by winning all 11 races of the season. In fact, in two of the races, they won the top three spots. And now one of those magnificent and historic race cars is now up for sale at eBay Motors. This 1969 McLaren M8C, which was the production version of the M8A factory car, is powered by a 7.0-liter Chevrolet V8 engine with 620hp and is mated to a five-speed sequential semi-manual. It also maintains its original 'tub' which, according to the sellers, is still in perfect condition. It comes complete with a black leather interior and an orange body shell.

Like its predecessor, the M6, the M8, which was 10 inches wider, also had a monocoque tub that was made from magnesium bonded with aluminum and riveted steel bulkheads. The engine rested in a tubular frame. However, the M8C was built more for private use by those who could afford the track time maintenance. The particular M8C that's now up for sale was meticulously maintained by its previous owner who had the car for almost 30 years. The 'Buy it Now' price is listed at $319,000 and the starting bid has been set at $250,000.

At the time of this writing, not a single bid had been placed. Regardless, this McLaren M8C is truly a piece of the legendary racing team's history that will hopefully end up being a great addition to some enthusiast's collection. Photos courtesy of ctrmotors.

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