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Lot 332: McLaren M1C Sports Racing Ex-Nick Mason, Ex-Rosso Bianco

Grand Prix, Competition, Touring & Rally Cars, Coys (16 January 2010)

During the mid-1960s two great racing drivers followed the lead of their friend and mentor  the great Sir Jack Brabham  by developing their own racing teams and manufacturing facilities to build cars of their own. One was Dan Gurney whose All-American and Anglo-American Racing teams produced Formula 1 and Indianapolis single-seaters, and the other was Bruce McLaren  whose 'Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Team' found its feet by creating new Tasman Formula and sports-racing cars.

The latter were aimed squarely at the contemporary Group 7 unlimited-capacity class of 1964-65 which developed into the CanAm Challenge series machines of 1966-74. This multi-tubular spaceframe chassised McLaren-Chevrolet is an example of the second design to issue from the McLaren team's drawing office in Colnbrook, adjacent to Heathrow, and its rounded body was originally styled by none other than celebrated motor racing and aviation artist Michael Turner.

This particular car is offered here effectively direct from some 21 years' preservation and display within the world-famous Rosso Bianco Collection in Germany. It is understood to have been an original American market car which was acquired by Ian Webb of Northdown Racing from prominent American dealers Chuck Haines and Tom Fredericks in around 1981-82. In common with so many sister cars, it had fallen into disrepair and obsolescence, as any middle-aged racing car tends to do. It was effectively complete, though engineless, and was fitted with what was apparently an M6B-like nose body section. It is described as having been finished in what had become a matte 'Boxcar red' livery, which might indeed have been some kind of primer, or faded top coat paint. It had every appearance of being an entirely genuine old racing car, but one without engine.

At that juncture a good home beckoned, as leading competition car collector and racing driver, Nick Mason  the musician of Pink Floyd fame  became interested in this McLaren and bought it. The car was completely stripped, inspected, perfected and restored for him, fitted with a 5-litre 'small-block' Chevrolet V8 engine equipped with Kinzler fuel injection, a completely rebuilt and race-prepared Hewland LG500 transaxle gearbox, and it was returned to the race tracks.

Ian Webb recalls the car being driven with particular verve by Nick Mason in one event on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, when the drummer "&went out there absolutely like a man on a mission!. The car was prepared for Mr Mason by respected specialist restorer/preparer John Dabbs and this fact is recorded by a plaque still attached to the car today. It was used in the Dubai Historics event of 1984 and at Donington Park before being sold to Peter Kaus, in whose hands it has survived ever since until his famous Rosso Bianco Museum was sold.

It is in all respects a most attractive example of the ultimate 'tube-framed' McLaren family of CanAm cars and it has seen hardly any significant use since its performances in Nick Mason's painstaking ownership in the early 1980s. This is a terrific opportunity for a would-be Historic CanAm owner/driver to find his way into this most exciting and fulfilling class of competition. Why not start at the top of the newcomers' class?

Freshly prepared in 2008, it performed in the Dutch Event "Pole Position Eindhoven in June 2008.

Lot Details
Auction Grand Prix, Competition, Touring & Rally Cars
Coys, London
TypeCar
Lot Number332
Estimate£125000-£150000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)£124687
Year1967
Condition rating0
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number40-12
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors