“Life is measured in achievement, not in years alone.”
Of course, it’s Bruce McLaren. And you did a fantastic job at it already. So actually, you made it in both directions.
Supercars, luxury, unique designs, high performance, technologically advanced features, and a list of many new things have come together to build up this iconic brand.
The McLaren story is one of the most fascinating in the automotive world. They have come a long way from their days as a racing team to their position as a leading Formula One constructor.
And it never stops; from time to time, the British sports carmaker launches a new range of models making it more exclusive in the automotive world. And every model has already shattered the norms of driven dynamics, establishing a new category and shutting out all comers.
But this aggressive sophistication has roots in a rich history dating back to decades of devotion and dedication.
This page details their history, from their origins as a small engineering factory to their present-day dominance on the racetrack.
A Brief History of McLaren
The first line of our story goes back to 1953 when Bruce Mclaren wanted to reform his Austin Ulster car to make it more appealing and competent for racing standards.
And yes, he did it well from very humble components, but it was worthwhile. He won the Formula 1 Grand Prix at age 22, making him the youngest driver winner in history.
After a couple of years, during which he spent a lot of time at his dad’s garage and service business studying automobiles and engines, Bruce came up with “why not start my own company!”
And because he had a strong faith in dying while trying to do things even better, Bruce unveiled his McLaren Motor Racing company in 1963.
But the company didn’t achieve its glory until 1966 when Bruce won the Formula 1 race in Monaco in a car he had developed.
Two months later, this impressive supercar made history again and helped Bruce Mclaren come to sixth place at Formula 1 Grand Prix.
At this time, the Mclaren badge emerged at the most popular races breaking records and grabbing the attention of all people around the world who were gossiping about this new brand established by a talented, enthusiastic youngster.
But that was it; Bruce had no more plans than designing and developing sportscars and participating in prestigious competitions to gain medals and titles. There was no intention to build a street car.
When Bruce just started to weigh his options to establish a new project to enable ordinary people to ride his masterpieces, he died doing the most thing he loved, testing his new car, M6GT. And yes, he left our world while doing what he believed in, even if it seemed foolhardy.
The company built only 3 models of M6GT powered by a Chevy V8, and it was supposed to be the first street Mclaren car, but the whole project was put off due to Bruce’s death.
Although the firm was devastated by Bruce’s untimely death, he was recognised for the legacy he left behind in the form of his innovations’ sustained success. Mclaren won several championships between 1972 to 1976 in the Cam-Am series, F1 and Indianapolis 500 under the direction of the US driver and entrepreneur Teddy Mayer.
This time many high-profile drivers gained top-notch titles at the wheel of Mclaren cars, such as Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt.
Ron Dennis, a British businessman, took over the charge in 1980, merging the company with his project to build a beautiful and superpower racing car.
During his stewardship, the company thrived and grew unlike any before. And it was apparent that no car could beat this monster. As a result, it dominated all racing circuits during the 1980s.
Mclaren has become the high-end speedy car that would hit records in every race it participated in. It was one of the premier renowned motoring companies, especially after building its patented carbon fibre racing monocoque developed with the help of brilliant seasoned designer John Barnard.
Then the company introduced the first semi-automatic gearbox.
Dennis’s emerging project was built on commitment, courage and creativity by comprising the innovation of Porsche and Honda engines. A few years later, drivers Niki Lauda, Alain Prost and Aryton Senna joined Mclaren and participated in different championships, winning several titles for the British company.
The Mclaren F1 went a long way as the world’s fastest car production, especially after reaching 240.1 mph in 1998. This number was hit only by the Bugatti Veyron in 2005.
In the same year, the champion, Alain Prost, left Mclaren for Ferrari after intense tensions with his colleague Aryton Senna. At this point, the company needed to come up with a new plan to increase its market share by introducing a new streetcar model.
Nothing happened to the Mclaren project to create its street car until 1990. Then, yes, the company made a furore through its success on the track. But out of the way, Mclaren still struggled on how to make it done.
So, Dennis, Mclaren’s technical director Gordon Murray, and shareholder Mansour Ojjeh met to start talking about boring things; then, it turned into crazy things when they settled on reviving the old dream of Bruce Mclaren to build a new street car.
We forgot that Dennis had established a sister company called McLaren Cars, and they had nothing to do. Later in 1990, the dreamer, Dennis, held a lengthy meeting with McLaren Cars’ people. No, it was long, as it lasted more than 10 hours without interruption.
The board of directors agreed that nothing would be compromised if they had to do this thing. Every component of the car had to be built upon high-end technology to heat the market, even the engine needed to be entirely innovative, and the design had to be lighter than any other sportscar they had ever made. Finally, and most importantly, it had to be the fastest car for years to come.
But how could Mclaren do so?
The company wanted to unveil the all-new car and create a near-impossible engine; even the hint of turbo lag couldn’t be unacceptable. So, they assigned this mission to the giant master German sportive streetcar in the world, BMW.
Mclaren dedicated a tremendous amount of capital to invest in the fanciest V12 engine that got them in the first place in the engineering pundits. Moreover, the machine had the ability to generate 600 horsepower without a turbo in sight! INSANE!
But, a tiny problem still existed in putting this engine into practice. Or it was not a small problem— it was huge. The company had to establish a convenient environment for this engine to handle the extreme and raw heat produced, and they realised the best material to use was gold— yes, the gold, we all know! (INSANE, again!)
But what was the opinion of engineers, directors, or stakeholders about this ludicrous suggestion?
Indeed, they didn’t find it ludicrous at all; instead, they agreed to start working on it!
But, you won’t believe this, it wasn’t even the most excellent and unique feature of Mclaren’s much-anticipated automobile!
Mclaren made the whole body from carbon fibre, the finest material for light weight and strength— but it costs a fortune. Mmm… it wasn’t a big deal for the company. It was okay to spend a fortune just to craft this fantastic car.
Eventually, they put the driver’s seat in the middle and didn’t ask WHY.
But Mclaren’s designers were genius enough to squeeze the interior space to come up with two seats behind the driver.
Mclaren introduced its new rocket ship, the F1, which produced only 100 cars due to its tribble price tag, 1 million dollars. But no matter how many pieces had been sold, the mission was completed, and Mclaren gifted the most extraordinary performance machine to the world. A few people had ordered it to flaunt everywhere, just like Bruce had always dreamed of.
This car is still the fastest, naturally aspirated one in the world.
During this, Aryton Senna left Mclaren for Williams, and Honda withdrew from F1. Hence, the British company needed a new concept for its sports car to regain its position among competitors and keep its titles. So, they presented a new variant of its powerful sports cars, the F1 GTR, a kind of car designed by Gordon Murray and Peter Stevens. The two gentlemen spent five years developing it and four years building the prototypes, which were finally completed in 1995.
The F1 GTR is one we look back on now and smile on. It was the winner of many champions and took wins in races that at one point seemed impossible. Against all odds— many expected this car hadn’t been built well— the car won Formula 1, the Indy 500, and Le Mans.
This high-performance racing car had a V12 engine built by BMW that developed 600hp at 7000 rpm and had some excellent performances in races. And it remains one of the most famous and top-tier collectors’ sportscars till today.
Fun fact: British comedian Rowan Atkinson, Mr Bean, crashed his F1 in 2011 when the insurance company wasn’t happy as the repairs cost £910,000. Before then, he wrecked the same car in 1999. But the coolest part is that in 2015 Mr Bean sold his iconic car for £8 million, gaining £7 million as a net profit! (Mr Bean seemed more intelligent than we all might think!)
The company signed a partnership with Mercedes to build the Grand Tourer with the help of former Williams designer Adrian Newey. The car was powered by an innovative engine producing 600 horsepower. But it was more a Mercedes project than a Mclaren success. However, it won the championship in the same year.
After that, the two luxurious companies worked together to establish The SLR, which was introduced in 2003.
Then the company went dormant primarily for the following years.
After just one year after joining Maclaren, a brilliant British driver was ready to return to the company’s laurels, Lewis Hamilton, who became the youngest champion in history and the driver is the first Brit to take home the championship since Damon Hill in 1996.
Mclaren announced a new sister company spun off from the mother, Mclaren Automotive. But the new company has a challenging mission to follow up on all the most powerful machines during this time.
So, the company presented the first concept of the new flagship called MP4-12C, which was designed to compete with the Ferrari 458.
MP4-12C was a fantastic car with streamlined bodywork and a smooth performance machine. The only thing people disliked about it is that it was pinpoint precision left it without a soul— an incredibly crafted piece that you’re scared even to try it. But it wasn’t something that concerned Mclaren owners because MP4-12C has finally come down to earth, and it already attracted multi-billionaires to have one, or maybe two!
After a couple of months, Mclaren was ready to announce its next new car. It seemed similar to MP4-12C, with a total of 900 horsepower going zero to sixty in almost 2.8 seconds. However, entirely built from carbon fibre, the P1 presented a genius high-end sophisticated system creating a new chapter on hybrid technology.
With a new standard of almost everything ranging from lightweight and hydronic suspension, the P1 became the most ballistic car ever made.
Mclaren had something for poor billionaires as the 650S replaced the MP4-12C. It was an updated version with a smaller price tag starting from $273,000.
The company seemed to open the floodgates when it released three new models in the same year: the 570S, which is the entry-level model for Mclaren fans, the 540C, which was made for the Chinese market but was still sold elsewhere; and the 675LT (the extended tail version equipped with high-end technologies that the company came up with).
Another fantastic supercar from the manufacturer, the 570GT, has been unveiled. But most importantly, Mclaren has developed a new strategy to tailor models for different purposes and purses.
Later in the same year, Ron Dennis bought his last share in the company and stepped away.
Mclaren came up with 720S as a replacement for 650S.
Mclaren unveiled its new model, 720S, featuring a twin-turbo 4.0L V8 power engine generating 710 horsepower.
Bahrain’s Mumtalakat Holding Company, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, has acquired 54% of Mclaren.
Now, we are more excited to witness Mclaren’s future which lies in the company’s roots steeping in a proud, rich, and legendary history.
In auto racing, few brands are as recognisable as the McLaren logo. It has evolved since the team was founded but retains the essential elements of a chequered flag and a leaping red lion. Over time, the logo has been refined and updated to give it a more modern feel.
1963 – 1966
The logo first appeared on race cars as early as 1964 by Michael Turner— a famous designer and motorsport artist who was a close friend of Bruce. It was introduced when McLaren won his second championship with the team.
In the logo’s centre, you can see a Kiwi, a national symbol of New Zealand. However, it didn’t reflect the company identity more than just referring to a group of gallant racing enthusiasts.
At the top of the logo, you can find a racing car circled by a red frame. The colour shades of the logo also signified Bruce’s homeland.
The original design for the McLaren logo came from an old New Zealand flag used during World War II by RAF pilots who flew over Europe. This design was later adapted for use on Formula 1 cars by Bruce McLaren. He used it on his racing car livery throughout his career as well as on all McLaren-branded products since then (including clothing).
1967 – 1980
The company maintained its Kiwi symbol, making it more dynamic this time to emphasise its cars’ speed and high performance. Designed by Michael Turner, the logo turned to white, but after that, the company established a new orange identity. And the company was renowned for its vivid colour known as McLaren Orange.
Some suggested that the colour came after signing a sponsor partnership with a company that had the same identity, and others referred to it as the official national racing colour of New Zealand.
The logo consisted of the words “Maclaren Racing,” a Kiwi with its beak extended forward, and a broad line underneath the Kiwi to represent freedom and speed.
It was surprising and eye-catching and helped the company stand out.
1981 – 1990
The company decided to go away from the “Speedy Kiwi” concept as it became a widespread brand with a significant international market. So, it was replaced by a new pattern forming a chequered flag designed by Raymond Loewy after closing a sponsorship contract with Phillip Morris.
The colours used in the logo were meant to vary with the medium used to see it and the backdrop colour. Moreover, the emblem was often shown in a fiery shade of red.
Maclaren was written in a bold typeface, whereas International was narrower.
1991 – 1997
Then the company restored its logo by adding three chevrons merged into a thick one at the right edge, and the font of Maclaren became more modern. It came with a new era for Maclaren to produce developing road cars.
1997 – 2002
They maintained the overall concept of the previous logo by making chevrons like vortices created by fast Mclaren cars when they are competing on the track. In addition, the wording of Mclaren kept the powerful font to manifest the dominance of the British brand on the races.
2002 – 2017
Very few teams in Formula 1 remain the same— not least the famous logo of Mclaren. So, the company needed to update the wording to make it more appealing to automotive technology and process transfer. But its famous red carve maintained the same.
2017 – 2012
With the technology development, the company needed to refine its logo again to be more stylish, adapting to many platforms they would use. As a result, the whole emblem turned to be black.
As the company broke new ground in performance and its future success shines even brighter than any other before. Its mark became more modernised with a stylish font style to express the agility and speed of its energetic machines.
At first sight, you could barely notice the difference, except for the colour. But if you stare at it again, you will see the slight updates in the speed mark to distinguish Mclaren more and more at the circuits.
Key People Behind McLaren
The last 50 years of racing history have left a fascinating mix of fascinating and wealthy personalities, each of whom has a story to tell. The following chap explores a few key people who have contributed to a brand known worldwide for its gorgeous sports cars.
It’s essential to answer this question before delving into this genius’s legacy.
What, if anything, springs to mind the instant you hear the name “McLaren?”
A successful F1 team, maybe Lewis Hamilton, as it was his first team to win F1 champions, energetic supercars creating a wave of dust behind and vrooming sounds, or even a big factory with its giant artificial lake.
But I invite you to give credit to a man who built himself and the glorious history from nothing, making up the enormous legacy of the motorsport world despite his short life.
His Early Life
Bruce McLaren was born in 1937 in Oakland, New Zealand. So it’s fair to say that this young lad wasn’t the kind of person to find a smooth path to success open and ready for him. It’s the complete opposite, in fact.
He was diagnosed as having a rare disease that almost affected one in every nine thousand children in the world, given that the whole world was 2,307M (I think people in my city now exceed this number!)
This condition resulted in one of Bruce’s legs becoming shorter than the other, and he had a severe limp because of bacteria attacking the femoral head.
But his fondness for cars started at a very early age.
Bruce McLaren’s parents, Arthur and Mary, were avid sports fans. Mary gave her son a toy automobile on his third Christmas. When it broke, young Bruce took it to pieces and built another one within days. Bruce saw a racing film at the Grafton Cinema in Auckland when he was nine. The first time he saw the racing icon Stirling Moss in action, he was captivated, and because of the film’s impact on the young boy, it is said that he went back to see the movie every week for six months.
At 14 years old, the young child spent long hours in his father’s factory and soon after, he became very familiar with many staff around engines and driving. That he participated in a hill climb at the wheel of Austin 7 Ulster reinstated by his father.
In 1957, Bruce took second in the New Zealand championship after making significant updates on the F2 Cooper-Climax driving dynamics that enabled him to beat almost all racers.
While competing at the New Zealand Grand Prix a year later, someone noticed his brilliant performance and realised he was gifted with superior talent. This man was Jack Brabham, who took him under his wing and helped him to get selected for the Europe program, an initiative by the New Zealand International Grand Prix Organisation to give young drivers a chance to drive in Europe.
Jack pushed the young driver to do so, and thankfully, he was listening and went to the United Kingdom under the badge of the Copper team.
Cooper gave him exclusive access to use all materials he needed to build his F2 car from parts and toolbox and a bunch of other necessary materials to help Bruce to develop his motorsport history.
In 1958, Bruce participated in the German Grand Prix and ended his round in fifth place. He went against the most prominent drivers of its days, such as Stirling Moss and Mike Hawthorn. Nevertheless, the race boosted him, and he started to get noticed internationally.
A year later, the New Zealand guy took a permanent seat in the Cooper team along with his monitor and mate Jack Brabham.
Once he officially became a Formula 1 driver, Bruce took his seat at the Monaco Grand Prix and then he took part in many national and international races in Britain. However, he first stood on the podium in Britain when he finished the close race third behind Stirling Moss.
The very young racer succeeded in competing with the fearless seasoned drivers behind the wheel and gave this country two titles; the first Formula 1 and the youngest ever race winner. For years, no one else could claim this undocumented accomplishment until a Hungarian driver surpassed it in 2003.
In 1960, Cooper dominated the race in Argentina thanks to Bruce’s updated cars as he won the opening round, and then his team took the podium 5 times.
A year later, the team lost part of its glory, where they took second place after Ferrari and finished on the podium only once, but the problem was more complicated than just losing a title; Cooper had real-daily issues.
At this point, Brabham and Mclaren thought it would be a waste of life to do nothing with their exceptional ability. Brabham needed to start their own business, but the two ambitious international racers didn’t know how they could implement their plan.
Bruce liked Braham’s idea but couldn’t implement it since he was preoccupied. Finally, however, the handsome man met an extraordinary girl, Patricia Broad, at a party, and a few months later, they married in 1961.
His Mclaren Legacy
Then, Bruce was ready to go back to the circuit and won the 1962 Monaco Grand Prix. Even though Mclaren realised that Cooper was a cross between many issues, it couldn’t be competitive anymore.
So, in 1964, he returned to build his car using Cooper chassis with some modifications meeting his purpose and preference to participate in the Tasman Series in New Zealand.
And it was the first chapter of Mclaren’s story as a company.
Thus, Bruce took off in his own Cooper Mclaren car alongside his mate, Timmy Mayer, who died later in the same year while racing at Longford Circuit. Mayer’s death shocked Bruce, and he wrote an inspiring speech in his eulogy that still burns in all Formula1 fans’ hearts.
Listen to this:
“The news that he had died instantly was a terrible shock to all of us, but who is to say that he had not seen more, done more and learned more in his few years than many people do in a lifetime? To do something well is so worthwhile that to die trying to do it better cannot be foolhardy. It would be a waste of life to do nothing with one’s ability, for I feel that life is measured in achievement, not in years alone.”
After this tragic accident, Bruce wanted to invest more in his starting business as he noticed that he was doing pretty well and had a chance to build a very successful team and brand.
So, he settled on the importance of expanding his workforce and hiring drivers and engineers to help his racing team thrive and reap the titles. But, after moving to England, Bruce was focused on only something, raising his team to the top.
And the dream came true in 1966, considered one of the best and most successful years in Mclaren’s career.
So what happened?
While Bruce was celebrating having a beautiful daughter, his team badly needed money, and he had to take action to secure consistent funds to build his team.
One of Bruce’s successful strategies was to work for another company’s project to get cash to pour into his own business. So, he went to Ford to take part in the GT40 project in the United States.
The plan paid off, and Mclaren moved to a more oversized garage, and the designers had the necessary sources to sketch out the portrait of M1 to make their car ready for the North American race.
And Mclaren’s team won the 24 Hours of Le Mans along with his fellow Chris Amon and others. All Ford & Mclaren drivers made one of the most controversial finishes in the history of F1. It represented a new tipping point of Mclaren’s legacy between past and present as it showcased the ability of this ambitious driver and businessman to draw a future of designing a supercar with distinctive characteristics.
The new team was determined to chase its dream and win the upcoming Can-Am and Formula One championship. The team succeeded in doing so, which helped the company to attract all-star drivers to compete under its badge fighting a last hoorah to all its excellent speedy models.
For Bruce, there was still something missing; he wanted to win titles with his own cars built exclusively for the Mclaren name.
Bruce appointed Teddy Mayer, who was okay with stepping away after a worse league in which he couldn’t achieve any minor achievements.
Could this be good for Mclaren’s ambition?
Well, the company built 13 different vehicles, but this season came up short, and the company needed to produce a more powerful formula one car.
Then, they announced their M2b, powered by Ford’s V8 engine filled with plenty of drawbacks. But before, Mclaren gained first points in a Formula 1 race for the first time by its car at Watkins Glen in the United States. But the title was preserved to Jim Clark, a Lotus-Ford driver.
It could be disappointing for Mclaren at some point, right?
But it wasn’t! Because Bruce knew that any construct or design experienced some teething problems at the start of its racing journey, and it wasn’t surprising to any one of the British marques.
But there was really good news in 1967 when the team was rewarded with good results. Bruce entered the race with his new powerful car, M6A. This season was a big hit as Mclaren introduced the excellent vehicles that dominated all the way through.
However, the world saw the potential of Mclaren in a great qualifying; the team missed the parade lap due to a technical issue. But after some immediate fixes and a serve fight to win the title, Danny Holm, a New Zealand Mclaren driver, was honoured to win the championship.
1968 brought pride to the team when Bruce beat Jackie Stewart and won the title in the last seconds, and this season was absolute madness for the team.
During this, Bruce was thinking about something bigger than all these records. He was dwelling on generating profits for his company and penetrating a new market.
Bruce wanted to build a ROAD car! So, he named his project GT and started scrubbing Mclaren’s potential to make it done as soon as possible. Then, he prepared all legal documents to work on his streetcar and a few months later, the GT personal Bruce car was born.
Bruce took his newest car to JoyRides Tours and some special events once he was free to do so.
But the company had already developed operations to upgrade M8B, which appeared in 1969 with a new design embedding a high wing.
The car was absolutely fantastic. Not only captivating all the attention in CANYON AL races, but also it dominated all rounds, taking all wins of all tracks, 11 of 11. This beast was an introduction to a new reborn Mclaren partnership.
The company built three new cars to enter the 1970 races. Unfortunately, the 1970 Indy 500 ended in a significant collision and massive flames due to a major accident. But because of the sunlight and the distant area where the accident happened, the marshalls took a long time to put out the fire.
Inside the crushed car, Denny Hulme was the racer. Although, unfortunately, his hands burned severely, and he couldn’t resume the race; the other drivers’ Peter Revson and Carl Williams, were out of luck and ended the round in ninth place.
Due to the accident, some renovations and some repairs to infrastructure were required before resuming races. Bruce Mclaren had to operate the driving tastes on his own to identify the safety concerns and aerodynamic concepts.
In the break, Bruce discussed the matter with his team, but he insisted on going out to test the car more for the final configuration. But, first, the team urged him to roll back on his decision.
Bruce was stubborn enough to persuade them with his opinion. And Bruce took the car to test out, but a few minutes later, a rear wing failure caused a fatal accident on the opposite side of the circuit. Instead of staying on the tracks, the car’s back end rose. As a result, Bruce lost control and crashed into one of the marshalls’ houses, which were also demolished.
At 32 age, Bruce Mclaren passed away immediately.
His wife, parents, and employees (and I think everyone in the world knew the story of Bruce Mclaren) were left in shock. The day after, the factory was closed, and everyone was allowed to stay home to greave.
After Bruce’s funeral, Teddy Mayer took over the control of Mclaren and Dan Gurney, and Danny Holm continued racing to honour their leader and friend Bruce Mclaren.
Ten more championships would follow with names like James Hunt, Ayrton Senna, Emerson Fittipaldi, and Lewis Hamilton— and many more to come.
And now Mclaren is the second oldest and third most successful team in Formal 1 History.
Yes, he left so early, and he may achieve many things. But we need to respect the mark he left, and his story and legacy still inspire thousands of his family, workers, fans, and drivers worldwide.
Ron Dennis is one of the world’s most famous and successful businessmen. He is a British entrepreneur who has made a fortune with McLaren Automotive and Mclaren Technology Group. It is a man who laid the foundation of brands known for their speed, quality, reliability and cutting-edge technology.
Dennis has built a mind-blowing empire that led everyone to wonder how Mclaren, throughout this long journey, keeps its standards— keeps its mindset on the right track.
The answer is the brilliant administration keeps its eyes on the tiniest details. Dennis is a person who is always ready to inject people with his passion. For this legendary tycoon, the impossible doesn’t exist, and perfection is possible.
His Early Life
Ron Dennis was born in Woking, Surrey, southwest of London, in 1947. His desire to know everything related to automotive technology started at an early age.
Dennis used to wander around the facilities of Brabham Racing, and he was ready to work anything there just to be close to this fascinating world. He was willing to do anything the Brabham corporation needed for an outrageous sum of money.
“What about making tea?” Okay, brilliant. The passionate lad started working on preparing tea and other daily chores for any employees to facilitate their work. On the other hand, he got close to the whole process, where he learned more about how race cars were made and prepared. After that, he could read through their reference the high-level overview of nearly everything else he wanted to know about this complicated and exciting industry.
There is no wonder that Dennis chose to study at Guildford Technical College, obtaining a motor engineering degree.
During his studies, at age 18, Ron began working as an engineer and mechanic at one of the renowned brands in the UK, Cooper Racing Car Company.
But the youngster had a dream bigger than just a full-time machinic, even if this position was at Cooper. The young engineer, just 19 at the time, quit his job to pursue his dream of working in Formula 1.
And it was an impossible mission. Why?
Okay, Formula One is designed to comprise a series of Grand Prix races that take place in different cities around the world. Therefore, each car should compete under a team name, and each vehicle is competing on somewhat challenging twisting tracks. Each Formula1 team is responsible for designing and constructing its cars. If the squad is not expert enough to build its engines, he can assign this task to a major manufacturer like BMW, Mercedes, and Ford.
Each team can register for the race with two drivers. The team wins according to its results in each stage. And, of course, the first of each race will be the champion.
Each season, two prizes are waiting for the winners; the best driver and the best constructor who built the best vehicle.
You have gained some insight into life as a 19-year-old without professional experience joining a Formula 1 team.
Wondering what he could do at this very early age?
Well, his parents, friends, and everyone knew this guy so well knew he had set his sights on the highest class of single racing.
So, the young engineer was dedicated to working to make his dream true. Finally, thanks to his devotion and passion seen by his manager, he was invited to travel with the Cooper team to the Grand Prix held in Mexico City. And it was a rewarding experience since it was the first time Dennis would go outside of England, and he would get involved with the racing competitions in the real world.
However, the car Dennis shared in the building didn’t win the race, and another Copper vehicle was crowned the best; the 19-year engineer was so excited to experience the first victory in his life.
After returning home, Dennis talked to driver Jochen Rindt to express his desire to be part of this glorious world. Rindt promised to help him prepare, and when he moved to Brabham Racing for the next season, 1968, he would join him in his team.
The young mechanic agreed to return to his old employer only if they would involve him exclusively in building Formula One cars. The manager of Brabham quickly agreed to the deal, and in 1968, Dennis became the chief mechanic.
The new employer gained Austrian Jack Brabham’s trust that many assignments were secured for Dennis and his responsibilities expanded by the time until he got promoted to team manager.
Ron has made such achievements during his work in Brabham. For instance, the Austrian driver won the world champions in 1959, 1960, 1966, and 1970 with his talented chief mechanic.
Dennis spent 5 years in this role. But, while he gained all his experience, he wanted to build his team. So once Jack Brabham announced his retirement, the young mechanic was on the hunt for investors.
After that, he founded his own team Rondel Racing in 1971, when he could rebuild a whole institution to compete in prestigious races and then walk into Formula 1.
Again, Dennis had no option expect working hard, relentlessly, and effectively without sleep. One day, while driving back to his home, he fell asleep and crashed into a lamppost. The accident caused much hurt and damage; the steering wheel pierced one lung, and his head penetrated the windshield. He stayed for days at a hospital suffering from server lacerations on his skull and face.
And yes, his eyes barely survived after fragments of broken glass leaked through his eyeballs. It took a lengthy surgery to save his sight and fix all these injuries.
Dennis needed a prolonged recovery after this horrible accident, so he was forced to reuse a new management style. So, he assigned most of his responsibilities to other members and allocated time to build his brand.
Since Dennis was well-prepared and super excited to resume his work to build his own Formula One team, the Rondel team was a considerable success, and many people came to the races to watch this new squad.
By the mid-70s, in particular 1974, the new entrepreneur faced a huge financial problem when a fundamental investor, French energy company Motul, pulled out due to an international energy crisis. Dennis had nothing to do except sell his facilities and come up with a new plan to start over.
Actually, it wasn’t a big deal because the young businessman was just 27 maintaining his energy and enthusiasm to build a new thing. But the situation brought the same problem; he needed investment because he knew very well that racing teams typically depend on sponsorship from major companies.
Fortunately, he received a generous offer from a highly valued company, Marlboro! Yes, the cigarette maker — was run by Philip Morris during this time. At first, Dennis wasn’t so excited about this sponsorship deal; he thought it would not be the perfect reputation around his team and might be the lower tier of the prestigious game. His choices were limited: either accept or leave it, but his team would spectacularly fail if he left it.
Money was needed badly, and he wouldn’t enable to complete his dream without tremendous support such as Marlboro.
Okay, let’s take it! Yeah, that was Dennis.
Dennis hired drivers from Ecuador and built three new cars that brought two championships to his startup in 1979 and 1980. But his biggest dream was still on hold, returning to Formula One.
But the cars lacked many things to make them competitive, so he announced a project called Project Four and hired John Barnard to design an all-new something that would hit all records and make unprecedented success on the track.
“Remember, we’ve been in this before when building rocket engines from carbon fibre in the USA,” Dennis said something like that to Barnard. They wanted to reuse the same concept in building their racing engine, so they consulted an American contractor to do so.
The first draft of their new design included a unified chassis and a fully-carbon fibre body. That’s how to create a light and durable car and, most importantly, truly fast.
Ron shared his project with his sponsor Philip Morris, but the cigarette maker couldn’t do it because the company signed an exclusive deal with another team, Mclaren.
OH! It didn’t seem good at all!
But as our guy was a fighter, he exploited that the British team was suffering from technical and engineering problems, and Mclaren was now floundering. So it was an unmissable chance for Dennis to persuade Philip Morris to direct his money to the right manufacturer and help him establish the promising car under the existing contract with Marlboro.
Ron Dennis got married in 1986 to a beautiful lady, Lisa, and he got three children. However, in 2008 and after 24 years of happy marriage, they got divorced.
His Mclaren Legacy
On the contrary, Dennis succeeded in flipping over the whole situation and in 1980, he purchased equity in a restructured Team Mclaren Limited. And his project to build the fastest vehicle in the world (Marlboro Project Four 1) was a fact.
It was time to celebrate! A year later, the Mclaren team went a long way, and they gained many titles with Dennis and Barnard while other companies wouldn’t be able to complete their carbon fibre vehicles. As a result, Dennis created the most competitive global marketplace of all.
Within a year, Dennis and Barnard acquired the other shares of Mclaren, and he took complete control of the company.
By 1983, Mclaren’s team shared with his global audiences many victories, and it was evident that any race Mclaren participated in was a foregone conclusion (for Mclaren, of course!)
Mclaren cars turn heads wherever they go!
In 1984, the ultimate Formula One street expert bought out Techniques d’Avant Garde (TAG) Group, responsible for building turbocharged engines for Porsche. Instead, the auto master wanted to emerge from Mclaren with a giant engineering company to assist him in making the best engines ever.
Throughout 1984, the Mclaren team won 12 out of 16 races and held the titles of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships. Thanks to Porsche engines, wise administration, and skilful drivers Alain Prost and Niki Lauda, Mclaren was headed for greatness and became a standing invitee on the winner’s circle. The British brand established a new concept emphasising speed, reliability, and dignity.
From the beginning, Ron Dennis has an impressive management style focussing on diversifying the company’s resources. So, in 1987, he set up a new company called McLaren Electronic Systems, which became part of McLaren Applied Technologies.
During the end of the 1980s, Dennis made some changes, especially after Niki Lauda decided to retire. The talented businessman went to Honda to help them build engines as a replacement for TAG, and he signed a new contract to keep Ayrton Senna.
Indeed, when tracing Mclaren’s racing heritage, you don’t know when exactly the best season for the team is, but you can consider 1988 is the greatest one. Just keep in mind that the team won 15 out of 16 races and gained both titles, the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.
That drove Ron to take another unsurpassed action, including producing and designing the McLaren F1, which would offer ultra-hight-performance qualifying to hit new records and be a perfect introduction to the luxury, highly discerning consumer market.
But the photo wasn’t bright all the time; Prost left Mclaren in 1990 after a fierce fight went on with superstar driver Senna at the San Marino Grand Prix a year before.
During this— especially between 1990 and 1991, Senna won the Drivers’ Championship for McLaren.
Even though it wasn’t a glorious period for Mclaren, Honda terminated its sponsorship with McLaren. Ron failed to arrange another deal with a critical supplier to be a suitable replacement for the Japanese manufacturer. Either Ford or Peugeot agreed to sign a contract with Mclaren.
During this challenging time, McLaren had little chance of getting back on track; just remember Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna who brought the Monaco Grand Prix victory in 1993.
Senna thought it was time to go, and after useless negotiations, in 1994, the Brazilian racer joined acrimonious rival Williams Racing.
Quick reminder: Ayrton Senna won Formula One world champion three times with Mclean in 1988, 1990 and 1991. And he died in 1994 after a fatal crashing accident at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy.
Eventually, in 1995, Mclaren was able to find a superior alternative supplier in the form of the massive German automaker Mercedes. This partnership enabled Mclaren to stand again on the podium by winning the 24-hour race in Le Mans after producing one of its greatest sportscars, the F1 GTR. This racing car provided the market with customised vehicles excelling all its rivals. Not to mention that the British company signed with a new Finnish driver Mika Häkkinen.
Hey! Again, an era of permanence! Mclaren won both Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships in 1998. Also, Häkkinen qualified in second place in 1999.
Another decade had come to a close, and Ron became a leading figure among his peers in the managerial realm. He expanded his business more than before by opening an in-house catering service called Absolute Taste to diversify the cash fountains.
In 1999, Dennis opened a stand-alone business, luxury watchmaker Heuer. But, then, he wanted to get involved in the charity world. So, in 2000, he was elected co-chairman and trustee of a medical research non-profit organisation, Tommy’s. This organisation specialises in investigating the causes of stillbirth, stillbirth, and premature birth.
In the same year, Ron Dennis was honoured by Queen Elizabeth II with the title Knight Commander of the British Empire as an appreciation of his excellence in developing British motorsports.
Within 4 years, Dennis started a new company called McLaren Applied Technologies to work on all advanced electronic systems. He also started a division within the McLaren Group to work on inventing high-end parts and analysing materials from Mclaren workshops to find new ways to use this industry, not just in the auto industry but in many others as well.
Mclaren needed a new planet to make this strategy done, so they appointed American architect Richard Meier to build this headquarter to be another showplace.
But the American engineer failed to complete the assignment before the deadline. So, Dennis restored the firm of American architect Richard Meier which was run by gifted British architect Lord Norman Foster, which was an excellent choice.
The factory was real within a few months, and again, Dennis came together with her majesty, the Queen, who headed the official opening of the new Mclaren Technology Centre. In honour of his homeland, this award-winner structure was built in Woking, United Kingdom, on a plot of 500,000 square meters.
2005 brought another glory for Mclaren. They put off victories in almost all Grand Prix races, setting records no team could reach. However, the team failed to retain the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships. On the other hand, Mclaren succeeded in closing a 500-million-pound sponsorship deal with Vodafone, a mobile communication company. WOW!
Even though, a year later, Mclaren failed to achieve even one title. It seemed that Vodafone was ominous. (Kidding! It’s just the nature of this industry. Sometimes you win, and others you lose!)
During this, the British gentleman devoted himself to developing his charity activities on the line by pushing McLaren’s technology and automotive towards and launching new initiatives.
In 2007, Dennis formed Dreamchasing, another charitable organisation allocating to monitoring, funding, training, and directing young people to start their careers and explore their potential to become national inspiring role models.
The same foundation then announced another international project to help child soldiers and communities in Africa that wars have destroyed. The Royal National Children’s Foundation is also working to help children who have been hurt by trauma, neglect, or abuse by giving them safe and decent places to live.
In 2007, the company was about to recover and regain new titles; however, unhealthy competition between new drivers resulted in a bad reputation for the company’s image. Besides the rivalry friction, Ferrari sued Mclaren, claiming complicity in stealing intellectual property. As a result, the British company was fined $100 million by FIA, the sport’s governing body. Ouch!
Ron had to pull it together to resume his journey despite all these misfortunes. In 2008, a talented young driver Lewis Hamilton won the Drivers’ Championship for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes season.
In 2009, Dennis left his position as team leader of Mclaren while keeping his leadership and chairmanship of McLaren Group.
He shifted his interest to building luxury road vehicles.
In 2010, Mclean introduced the MP4-12C ultra-speed sports car.
Within less than a year, Ron was poised to launch a new facility for the McLaren Production Centre, designed by Foster and Partners. Prime Minister David Cameron presided over the opening ceremony in 2011. Located in Woking, the new manufacturing centre lies side-by-side with Mclaren headquarters.
In 2014, Dennis announced two new sophisticated and innovative models, Coupe and Spider, named the 650S. The two automobiles received a lot of appreciation everywhere. They were the epitome of compelling interest.
After protracted negotiations in the same year, Mclaren and Honda finally came to an agreement that would lead to one of the most meaningful partnerships in the annals of racing history.
Under Dennis’s management, Mclaren continued producing superb luxury cars such as 540C, P1GTR, 570S, and 675LT. Each one represented a revolution in manufacturing sports cars.
Despite the unequalled success at all levels, by 2016, Ron Dennis was forced to step aside as Mclaren’s CEO after some leadership setbacks, but he kept 25% of Mclaren’s shares.
A year later, Ron wanted to retire and rest after long years of giving, motivating, and everything in between.
Ron Dennis sold all his interest in the company and stepped down from his position on the board.
What a brilliant period of dominance in the sport during Dennis’s leadership! His experience and knowledge of building, managing and running a company and then turning it to produce the fastest machine in the world.
In sports car racing, few names are synonymous with success as Ron Dennis. A man who built one of the most successful teams in the history of Formula One from a losing and blundering team. A man who set up a new business strategy which became a model you should all follow on how to keep going strong despite all bumpy roads and how to diversify your business to maintain your position.
Ron now runs some small auto businesses and purse many charitable activities.
Racing is not for everyone, but Jack Brabham, thankfully, wasn’t like everyone.
Jack Arthur Brabham, a son of a humble grocer in Sydney, was one of the most successful racers in history, winning three Formula One championships. Brabham’s success was due to his natural talent and hard work; he often spent hours working on his car to ensure it was perfect for racing. His dedication paid off, and he quickly became one of the greatest racers and auto entrepreneurs.
His Early Life
Born in 1926 in Hurtsville, New South Wales, Australia, Jack was a passionate child who wanted to have a hand on energetic stuff.
His fondness for the auto world, especially everything that took off quickly, began at an early age. He liked fast movies; even he left school to work in a garage as a mechanic. Then he joined a 2-year engineering course and then joined the Air Force as a mechanic during World War II.
After the end of the war, Jack Brabham started his engineering business on his own by buying and selling secondhand cars in 1946.
After that, he began racing to fulfil his passion for sportscars. At an oval track, Brabham participated in a local race in Australia after a friend introduced him to a group of professional drivers. And he came in third place in the appearance of general public crowds, with roughly 30,000 attendees, since racing was one of the biggest attractions in the minds of the global audience, supported by media momentum during this time.
At the end of 1947, Jack was keen to be part of different circuits like non-sense tracks, and he made minor success during the 1948 season. However, the youngster was open to experiencing new vehicles after full six years of cinder track driving; a new adventure was waiting for him to venture out into road racing.
Then the young racer moved to Europe, where he would learn more about more sophisticated driving models.
The first renowned event for Brabham in England was on Easter Monday, 1955, when he made his first big mistake in motor that hindered him from getting high records as he didn’t bring his clap from Australia, as Brabham said in a rare record.
Following that, he exceeded expectations by a wide margin, quickly establishing a two-mile lead with Ferrari in the French Championship.
It was the first win for Australia’s rising racing star, the achievement that every aspiring young driver dreams about.
In 1959 at British Grand Prix, Jack Brabham was at the wheel of Copper Climax, and he won the championship after an exceptional display against a bunch of top drivers of its day.
After this impressive performance, Brabham went back to New Zealand; he met the Mclaren family for the first time. They were paying their respects to a man who became one of the most prominent drivers. So, they offered him to use their workshop to build his car.
He quickly accepted the offer and got closer to the kid, Bruce Mclaren. During this, Brabham enjoyed a great relationship with Mclaren’s parents to an extent. When Bruce was selected to participate in New Zealand and Europe championships and scheme, the Australian legend was the most supportive of the young lad.
Jack Brabham was working on getting Bruce Mclaren into the Copper team, and he was so proud when seeing Bruce doing a great job in some races.
Bruce was grateful for this great Australian driver who didn’t spare any efforts to assist in his early motorsport fondness. Yes, Bruce owed a great deal to Jack; however, Jack was happy to do this. He enjoyed getting a kick out of helping a young driver get started. It was one of the most healthy and inspiring relationships in motorsport history. They have taught us a lot.
By the end of 1959, Jack Brabham was the leader in the world drivers championship, and now he was on the circuit in the United States at Sebring in the final race of the series, and only one driver had the chance to snatch the title from Brabham, Stirling Moss.
Thankfully, Brabham had been a fortune, and the only rival faced a technician problem, and he had to withdraw. So, first place was guaranteed to Brabham, and Bruce Mclaren followed him. The Copper team dominated the race perfectly. And for the first time, we saw Bruce and his monitor on the podium. It was a trill and unforgettable moment for both drivers.
He made history when winning Australia’s first Grand Prix of Formula One.
They had rightfully earnt the title of the championship.
In 1960, Jack appeared behind the wheel of a new Cooper model, which took long hours to be designed and developed by a team of skilful engineers to bet the champion prepared to win another race.
This race meant a lot for Jack as he was responsible for transforming the engines to enhance their strength to align with Formal One standards, so he had to place the engine behind the drag. Also, Copper used the disc brakes for the first time at the Grand Prix because they realised one thing most companies overlooked, the ability to stop the car when necessary.
Not to forget that Jack and Copper did many projects together to build racing cars. So Jack was not just a high-profile professional driver but a gifted, qualified engineer who shared his experience and talent in designing the bark linings.
In 1960 at the French Grand Prix, Jack retained the title, and he won the championship again in the presence of many figures and the public crowding to watch this brilliant driver beat a new record for his country. He became a double champion, gaining widespread fame across the world.
Most importantly, a man has shown the world he has the right idea about the engine. And Jack received the golden star for his outstanding performance in both winning the world championship and his contribution to engineering operations.
In Auckland, Brabham returned to his homeland, but this time to participate in the New Zealand International Grand Prix and accompanied by his young friend, Bruce Mclaren. Both of them were driving for Copper. Mclaren carried number 47, and Jack kept his favourite number, 4.
The whole place felt like a festival. Even though the sky was cloudy, the ground was full of people who had camped behind the gates the night before to make sure they had an ideal spot to watch their hero, Brabham, drive for the first time in front of his Australian fans since he won two championships. The audience exceeded 60.000.
The race was intense; some had to put off because of technical issues, and others needed to get extra power to keep themselves out in front.
And if you’re asking about Brabham was facing a problem with his engine, and he was trying hard to fix it quickly to narrow the lead. Brabham set a new record again, and Mclaren finished only one second behind.
In the same year, in the Italian Grand Prix, Branham was ready with his V8 engine. Still, Ferrari sounded more potent with an extensive array of vehicles, enabling the Italian luxury company to dominate. The racing was frantic since all the competitors displayed similar surprising performances, and positions constantly changed.
A fatal accident happened from nowhere. A Ferrari car flew towards the viewing platform, and 14 spectators were killed!
During this time, it was by no means unusual for four or five drivers to be killed.
After this accident, Jack realised a harsh fact; these racing cars were mobile death traps without the minimum safety norms, just like a belt. As a result, the fire broke out everywhere, and if you couldn’t put it out, keep it in the kitchen.
So, it required a lot of courage to spell it out publicly, and Jack had undoubtedly never been short of that.
This accident pushed him toward his dream of building his team. And after a while, he became one of the most successful businessmen in sportscars. So, he brought Ron Tauranac from Australia to help him design their autos. Their outcome was outstanding staggering everybody with their new models.
The Australian race-car driver generously spent time and money to bring the best engines to construct a brilliant car for the upcoming Formula One races.
In 1966, Brabham returned to roaring racing by being part of the French Gran Prix. And it was the first time to race with a machine of his own design, and the best part was that he broke a new record (65 miles/hour). So it was a flying start for this season.
After completing all races, the team owner notched up international victories three times (1959, 1960, and 1966). Then, of course, it was traffic to win a racing championship. But to win a race on a car beautifully built on your own, it was speechless.
“It was probably the most satisfying something I have ever had a sense of achievement.” That was what Jack Brabham said when he asked about his feelings after winning the world’s driver’s championship at the wheel of his designed car.
And another golden star rightfully granted to Jack Brabham.
A few other wins came late, such as the 1967 Candian Grand Prix and the 1970 South African Grand Prix, a victory that ranked him in fifth place among the oldest race winners.
Despite his phenomenal success, Jack was never pretentious. He just wanted to get on his job no matter what this job was.
His Personal Life
In 1951, Jack married a beautiful girl, Betty, and they had three sons, Geoff, Gary and David. All of them hold prestigious positions in motorsports later. Betty saw Jack win every championship he ever did. Unfortunately, Jack and Betty split up in 1994, and she passed away in 2013.
Jack married again to Margaret in 1995 and lived together in Gold Coast, Queensland. The couple had no kids. And she died in the same year as well in 2013.
His Mclaren Legacy
If we want to sum up his Mclaren legacy, we found nothing more important than inspiring and helping Bruce to get started appropriately. He played a role in shaping Bruce into the person he ultimately became. They were such good friends and compatible. Both were engineers, and both were engaged in automobile championships.
Bruce used to share all his thoughts with his best and honest friend, and when Bruce was thinking about retiring from F1 and just doing testing, he just talked to Jake to listen to his advice.
Jack said to Bruce that testing was as dangerous as racing.
In a rear record, Jack was talking about the last moments in Bruce’s life, “Bruce stopped and decided he wanted to be one more lap in the car so as he could think about while they’re having lunch.”
And that’s it!
“losing Bruce McLaren actually was probably the biggest thing that really hurt,” Jack said.
After Bruce’s death, Jack retired from the Formal One, and he set his time to spend with his family with little contribution to motorsports.
Even after he retired from racing, he remained an active member of the motorsport community, serving as a mentor to young drivers and working to improve the sport’s safety. Jack Brabham was more than just a great driver; he was a true hero and inspirational leader.
On 19 May 2014, tributes flowed from the world after hearing the news of the death of Jack Brabham due to a heart attack.
Teddy Mayer was a key figure in the development of McLaren, helping to build the team into one of the most successful in motorsport history. With no question, Mayer had a significant management role in Mclaren’s first two world championship titles with Fittipaldi and Hunt.
Mayer was when Bruce Mclaren established his own company and when Ron Dennis took charge of setting up a true empire. With his full name, Edward Everett Mayer, this American was a leading figure who brought titles and glory to the British company.
Indeed, Mclaren owed a lot to this genius architect who bore the early success of the Mclaren Formula One team.
His Early Life
Born in Pennsylvania, the United States, in 1935, Mayer’s family was wealthy enough to buy an Austin Healey 100-6 sports car for his beloved son since they found out about his strong interest in motorsport.
His father was a stockbroker and his uncle, Will Scranton, was state governor during the 1990s. After studying law at Cornell University, his attention turned toward motorsports.
With his influential and splendid personality, he got involved in racing, following suit of his junior brother Tim, who was supposed to be part of the Copper F1 team in 1964.
In 1961, Mayer built a formula team to enable his brother to achieve his dream of being a renowned driver. With the help of some businessmen and sponsors, such as the US Revlon cosmetics and his friend Bill Smith, the new team had significant success winning 15 races out of 16 in second and third places.
But at the end of 1964, the brother died in testing in Longford driving a special edition Cooper-Climax Tasman designed by the Mclaren team.
Hence, he worked as a racing driver and team manager before joining forces with Bruce McLaren to form the McLaren Racing team in 1966. Perhaps this was his way of dealing with his grief after losing his ambitious brother. First, however, he had to forget about his law career, provide Mclaren with needed cash, and bring mental excellence to management.
His Personal Life
Mayer spent most of his life with his wife, Sally, who got divorced in 1993, and they had a son and daughter who are in charge of the International Motor Sports Association in the USA.
His Mclaren Legacy
In 1946, Mayer joined Mclaren, a very different management structure in terms of finances. He had to find sponsors to support the team and hire brilliant mechanics to keep the workflow.
He was surprised by Bruce’s utmost tolerance and generosity. Of course, this style wasn’t appealing to Mayer, but he could say nothing as Mclaren acquired the most successful formula one team.
After Bruce McLaren died in 1970, Teddy Mayer continued leading the team for 10 years.
He hired Brizllian driver Fittipaldi and continued working on architecting the best equipment to help the team gain more titles. He succeeded in bringing the long-waiting V8 engine thanks to his tied relationships with Ford.
And after signing this partnership, Teddy grounded his feet in Mclaren and became an indispensable member to guarantee winning and growth.
Not to mention that this genius businessman used his cash to save the company after Bruce’s tragic death. Just a glance at this time might lead to many questions about graft since Teddy was prepared to fuel the company with more cash flow to keep it afloat and competitive.
Even when Fittipaldi decided to leave for Copersucar to follow his brother, Mayer succeeded in finding the perfect replacement by signing Hunt. And the team was still on the hunt for new success.
Then after some finical struggles, Mayer was involved in Dennis’s Project 4 as a clause to close the lucrative support from their key sponsor, Philip Morris.
The last days in Mclaren didn’t like the old days of his leadership. It started with building one of designing M28. It was a “ghastly disaster!” as Teddy Mayer himself described. However, the Formula 1 headlines of the last days of his management lacked something. It was the victories recorded by Mclaren. It came after another unloved model, M26, but when Mclaren unveiled its vehicle M29, it was the last attempt of Mayer to keep his place in the company.
Mayer was instrumental in helping to make McLaren one of the most successful teams in Formula One, with the team winning multiple World Championships. He also played a key role in developing other business areas, such as the McLaren Technology Centre.
In 1982, Teddy decided to step down from motorsports, so he left Mclaren and sold his interest in the company to Dennis, his friend, and technical director John Barnard.
H tried to build his team, Indycar, and his company, Mayer Motor Racing, with his friend and fellow Tyler Alexander. They worked together on establishing some superpower engines and shared one of the early successes of the Mclaren team.
But for 3 years, he engaged in another kind of job by accepting a position at the Ford-backed Beatrice Lola formula one team. Then he worked as a consultant for Penske until 2007.
At 73 age, Teddy Mayer died in 2009 after a long march of unmatched achievements.
Iconic Mclaren Cars of All Time
Regarding iconic cars, McLaren is a brand that always comes to mind. They have produced some of the most memorable and timeless vehicles in automotive history. Once, this exceptional brand has become the powerhouse of the finest supercars in this booming industry.
Indeed, many people have become passionate about McLarens because they’re one of the world’s most luxurious and dynamic sports cars. In addition, the concept of instant acceleration without losing control has inspired many to purchase new McLarens.
For me, even if I can’t afford it, I still see billions of reasons that could urge you to purchase one.
Here are seven of the most iconic McLaren cars of all time that will leave you awed (If you want to flaunt to buy one or even for curiosity!)
McLaren Elva (2021)
One of the ultimate beautiful modes in the sportscar industry in Mclaren’s lineup. The McLaren Elva is a limited edition with a super performance inspired by the lightweight racing cars built by the company in the 1960s under Bruce Mclaren’s Leadership.
This flagship made attributed to the P1, Senna, and Speedtail, which deliver nothing but the purest driving experience. So, it is no wonder to mention it as the top of the current Mclaren range as it gave you a guide of uncompromised roofless sportscar creating every sense the driver should taste while at the wheel of Mclaren.
The company conjured all its experience, reputation and image to recently finishing the impossibly light and agile car with intoxicating power to add it to a list of the most epic Mclaren ever made.
The company started producing the McLaren Elva and sent it out to customers at the beginning of 2021. With a twin-turbo V8 engine generating 804 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, the car holds one of the most powerful motors of Mclaren signature ever made with a personal touch for more luxurious customised features.
Along with its striking design, the company has built a full fixed windscreen model to fit customers’ desires. However, the rest of its lineup was introduced without a windscreen for an authentic open cockpit sense.
And if you’re concerned about being slapped vigorously by wind, please don’t. McLaren’s Active Air Management system will protect you. That means every car is equipped with an aero system which produces an air bubble around you and the cockpit to keep your experience unbelievable.
Just bear in mind to have one, you need to set US$1.8 million aside as just a base price.
McLaren F1 (1992)
When we preview the most Mclaren iconic cars, it doesn’t make sense not to allocate a spacious space to take about the best supercar ever made. Indeed, every Mclaren vehicle that has ever been made is positioned in one place. But this car is the top of all.
With an insane speed of 240 mph and 479.0 ft-lbs torque, this car puts all sportscar sisters to shame with its unusual and eye-catching features, such as the driver-centred. You can barely find any vehicle, just like this ergonomic three-seat masterpiece.
This supercar was designed and manufactured by McLaren Automotive and was part of gifted British Peter Stevens’s project, which built the incredibly successful exterior. The McLaren F1 was intprudced in 1992. Actually, other cars now are faster than F1, but no one comes into this complicated equation to make a sportscar no matter its cost for speed, safety, and elegance.
Undoubtedly, this car changed the way of thinking of all guys who were engaged in the Formula 1 team to take a leap ahead for creating a pure beast.
The automobile maintained the same idea of aerodynamic bodywork displaying British pride and included all the necessary components to make it a supercar of all time, including a lights tail.
Suppose you want to sum up this machine in one word. It would be EFFICIENCY! That is reflected in each detail run by a bunch of cream of highly talented designers and engineers.
The car body was compacted perfectly from Kevlar panels built from carbon fibre with an assist of aluminium or magnesium and titanium alloy wheels. This car made competing with such giants Ferrari and Porsche on the road possible, or maybe easier.
And yes, this legend resulted from an obsession with building a lightweight body thanks to the company’s new approach to using gold-plated titanium tools.
Mclaren F1’s agility achieved some records for the fastest road car in the world, crowning with a furious engine that powered the vehicle at 231 mph (372 km/h). Not just that, the car won at many competitions taking the place of first, third, fourth, and fifth against many great racers.
The company stopped producing this car in 1998 after building 28 variants of racing, seven prototypes, and seventy-two road F1 cars.
You can tell that this car has grown to be a household name for all the glorious history of Mclaren.
McLaren GT (2011)
It was the first attempt Mclaren made to reduce the production of a ground tourer. Instead, the company wanted to have a blockbuster luxury sportscar by introducing a new striking design powered by a turbo engine for long trips without compromising on comfortable driving sense.
With its twin-turbo V8 topping 612 hp, Mclaren claimed that McLaren GT would be the fasted car in its category these days. But, of course, its powerful capability lent credibility to that affirmation.
Mentioning any Mclaren sportscars brings numbers ranging from the motor output, prices, and prizes. These cars always cater to a very niche market who are obsessed with nothing but a highly luxurious feeling. Call it— extravagance, madness, or what have you. But this mindset is what created this cornea around this British brand.
And this hyper-focus is the main reason Mclaren still produces the utmost definitive automobiles over the years.
Anyway, I still find this car somewhat different. As fast and powerful as it’s beautiful, the GT variant is more subtle and elegant simultaneously. It’s all set to impress mature customers with its sober customers. However, it has been planned to reduce grown-ups to tears of wonder.
Let’s be clear; racing teams, their racing vehicles, and their car-making outfit might seem like— even a sportscar might see the same with minor shades, only seasoned lads who can figure out the differences.
Of course, it keeps the remarkable silhouette of Mclaren by establishing a notably low-key front body with headlights instead of wild fascia and dramatic outline that we used to see in Mclaren until just a few years ago.
This car was the introduction of using a new material called Monocell II-T along with carbon fibre.
Asking for the interior? In fact, Mclaren was designed to give you the same sentiments as other British brands’ exclusive salons exclusively placed to offer usable space for passengers and the driver.
However, the car created many arguments after Mclaren decided to stop developing some technologies, including some safety features to keep it competitive such as adaptive emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. But it was a good choice, despite critics. Not to forget that this car was a grand road touring model, not for racers, which was justified enough to induce 4,662 people to buy Mclaren GT.
The corporation didn’t skimp on the dynamics engineering innovations, so the vehicle has 612 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque and was constructed on the same F1 chassis.
This car was available for $215,000 when it was first launched in 2011, and many Mclaren gearheads still have plans to give this model a fresh look and continue producing some separate variants.
Mclaren 540C Coupé (2015)
With a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, Mclaren 540C Coupé was uniquely designed to attract a new class. It was an entry-level model grounding a new entity to the most luxurious cars in the world.
It was offered at US$184,900 when doubted in 2015. However, despite its relatively lower price (compared to other Mclaren models), the performance of the Mclaren 540C was unquestionable backed by advanced technologies such as a braking system to control the back wheel. Indeed, the 540C Coupé’s power was inherited from its highly-priced siblings (0-62mph in 3.5 seconds, 0-124mph in 10.5 seconds, Wow!)
Under the solid and slide bonnet, the 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 will not provide you with the highest speeds, but it’s for sure thrilling, especially for the new segment who would be excited to give Mclaren a chance to be their beloved carmaker; thanks to its efficiency and splendour.
So, The car also leaves other expensive models in awe thanks to its string chassis and outstanding performance, enhancing the car balance.
Well, is 540C Coupé sports car? Of course, it is. It gives a boost to a friendly driving experience to many who want to have a hand on a racer car to take off on the open road. By its lightweight, which comes as less than 1,311 kg thanks to aluminium body panels, 540C Coupé has recorded 150kg lighter than its competitors in the same class.
The car delivers a comfortable setting for driving, helping him to hit the city tracks without feeling limited. It’s an all-purpose design.
The car joins the previously revealed 570S series to bring its race models with the same DNA to a new audience. With a $146,000 price tag, 540C Coupé comes as one of the ultimate Mclaren autos with a lightweight chassis and other sophisticated technologies.
It’s a uniquely and perfectly crafted car coming as part of that process by focusing more on day-to-day usability. With updated and much better in-and-out movement from the cabin, the vehicle offers class-leading protection and safety standards for all occupants.
With a high-end aerodynamic package and subtly revised design, the 540C Coupé stand out against the most powerful 570S Coupé. In addition, the car features a beautifully sculpted ventilation system along the length of the door to allow the air blows along the bodywork to minimise the pressure on the body.
It’s definitely one of the fantastic pieces Mclaren has produced over the years with a one-touch screen to control your vehicle and other optimal luxurious features ranging from media streaming, IRIS system, smart navigation and many others.
McLaren Speedtail (2018)
If you hand a paper and pen to a 6-year kid (or maybe younger) to sketch out his dream car, I bet the result would be something similar to this futuristic thing with its sleek shape and most extended tail who are ready to release loud whine. If he was more creative, he could add some personal touches of exhausts spawning fire at the rare, generating a blur of speed. It seemed that Mclaren designer had found this kid’s drawing and put it into action to surprise everyone with an authentic yet awe-inspiring car like our dreams. There was no need to contact any kid to learn more about their beloved unimaginable model; Mclaren had created the most iconic model ever.
Now, to all kids who crafted something like that before, let’s meet the aptly-named car, Speedtail, to join McLaren’s Ultimate Series. But I am not pretty sure you would afford it unless you’re Jeff Bezos’s son! (you’d know later because it’s not something we would want to shock our readers right off the off)
In 2018, Mclaren introduced the Speedtail inspired by the same carbon-fibre monocoque chassis as the McLaren P1 and used a modified version of the P1’s 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. Due to its 1,035 horsepower and peak speed of 403 kilometres per hour (250 miles per hour or more), it was the world’s fastest production automobile when it was introduced.
The Speedtail’s exterior design is inspired by the McLaren F1, with a long central spine that runs from front to rear and houses the car’s main electrical components.
The Speedtail is not just eye-catching; it’s also an aerodynamic masterpiece. The body panels are carefully slanted at angles that minimise drag and increase vehicle turn stability. The front end features large intakes for extra cooling and intake systems and a petrol-electrical drivetrain for its engine turbocharger.
Also, exceptional aerodynamics cover the front wheels, reducing drag and optimising vehicle handling. Not to forget, they are pitched forward, not like any dull wheels.
What is unique about this car is that it comes with only three seats; a central driver’s place and two more behind.
These systems can even extend to the front windshield wipers to minimise formation drag when raining outside. These cars from McLaren’s new Speedtail series are examples of the company’s innovative approach to automotive design.
This astonishingly beautiful addition was delivered to its private customers in 2021 with a price starting from $2.2 million! Oh, Yeah, I know! So, just imagine what you can find inside.
The company had planned to build only 106 units, but who knows?
This minimal edition vehicle yields the absolute Mclaren endeavours to get top-speed and keep the daredevils who want to run wild around.
The company intends to resume production of Speedtail by 2025, offering 18 new models with the only focus on speed— tremendous velocity, sure to shatter all previous benchmarks.
McLaren 570S (2015)
Specifically, McLaren launched the 570S to match its competitors’ performance-focused cars. As a result, the 570S is one of the most technologically advanced and fastest sports cars on the market in terms of performance, safety and efficiency. That is why it has become one of the premier sports car brands in the world. Until this day, it is considered by many to be among the best cars ever for drivers.
The 570S can attain a top speed of 204 mph and reach 60 miles per hour in 3.0 seconds, much like other luxury sports vehicles. That may not be considered a lot, but it’s quite a feat considering this automobile’s size.
Thanks to these handling capabilities, you’ll be able to zip around town or hit the highway quickly. Plus, the advanced suspension system allows you to hit those speeds while maintaining control of your vehicle. This model is one amazing sports car!
Also, this wonder is one of the most technologically ambitious sports cars ever made. It boasts a carbon fibre tub that weighs less than a tub made of aluminium. That makes it one of the lightest production vehicles on the planet, putting Mclaren exactly where they want, beautifully natural agility with a V8 twin-turbo engine.
And yes, it’s the result of pursuit Mclaren to build a complete, smooth system supporting a technological marvel and a future-forward car in steering, shifting, and accelerating.
Essentially, Mclaren offers to personalise your car by picking out your colour scheme and interior design elements instead of letting the company do so for you- a refreshing approach in today’s marketing-saturated world!
The car is developed in two editions: Coupe and Spider, with a price, starting from $191,100 and almost the same features. And, if you are determined to know the difference, remember that the first is faster than the second (204 mph vs 119 mph).
However, we see that both cars are epic at all levels, with more speed than you probably want on the road.
McLaren MP4-12C (2011 – 2014)
McLaren MP4-12C is one of the most excellent cars in the history of McLaren. It has an astounding 627 horsepower and can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds. It can reach 217 miles per hour and keep going until it reaches 204 mph. However, all this power and speed comes at a price, and the MP4-12C costs $230,000.
Mclaren introduced this car after a prolonged dormancy, but it was worth waiting. Finally, the company has returned with a striking model that creates a mighty bang that famous collectors are always keen to find one to add to their precious array till today.
With top-notch performance and genuinely-advanced aerodynamics, it was an authentic sports car design and touch.
Designed by Frank Stephenson, the same guy responsible for building the Ferrari F430, Ferrari FXX, and Maserati MC12, powered by a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine. With its impressively flooding roof system, the car becomes identical for those who want a convertible vehicle as stiff as a coupe.
A year later, Mclaren announced an upgraded model of 12C with minor differences in performance, presenting a combo of functionality, usability, and of course, all world-class finishing with an aptly and lavishly appointed interior.
In less than a decade, Mclaren now solidifies itself as one of the world’s best, fastest, and most luxurious sportscars. Not to mention the company has increased its road car production, building a bunch of masterpieces and the best cars ever made, ranging from the MP4-12C, the P1, the Senna, and more.
And that’s it; a story is beautifully crafted by Bruce Mclaren 🙂