McLaren M6GT

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My father and I are planning to put together a recreation of a McLaren M6GT. The McLaren M6GT was dreamed up by Bruce McLaren and was intended to be a production (albeit limited) car that would allow Bruce McLaren to take on the likes of Ferrari and Porsche at Le Mans. Bruce McLaren and his team had dominated the CanAm series in the late 1960's and he had already won at Le Mans for Ford. However, taking on the world's best in one of his own creations seemed to be the late Bruce McLaren's plan. Unfortunately, Bruce's tragic death only 2 years into the creation of the M6GT ultimately shelved the project for good.

McLaren M6GT History - Original McLaren M6GT - McLaren M6GT Replica - Progress Thus Far - End Goal

McLaren M6GT History

There were three original M6GT's built. The first was Bruce McLaren's car, which he used until his death. It used to reside in New Zealand within the Auckland Museum of Transportation. It then moved to the US where it was eventually sold to Harry Matthews where it has remained. It can still be seen at the Matthews Collection.

There was also a coupe built by Trojan for David Prophet It was then sold to a Canadian man named Andrew Fournier. This car was then sold in the early 70's to Gilles St. Pierre whom still owns it to this day.

A third coupe was built by Trojan and was used as the "Trojan show car". It was featured in "Road and Track" and is currently owned by Roger Pitts.

There were also five original M6-M12s' that were converted to coupes. Two have been returned to roadsters. The George Eaton M12 was converted by John Collins and is now in the Rosso Bianco collection in Germany. Another M12 that was run by Great Western Champagne was converted to a coupe by Larry Crossen and was in Europe.

An M6B was converted to a coupe in 1978 by Craig Pence. This M6B was purchased from Leonard Janke who had raced it in the CanAm series.

The conversion cars were made possible by Bill Jongbloed whom purchased the last original coupe body from Specialized Moldings and made moulds. Later, the Specialized Moldings body went to Manta where it was modified and turned in to the Montage.

It is very unlikely that there are any other real cars because all of the M6B and M12 roadsters are accounted for.

Original McLaren M6GT

The picture below is of the original McLaren M6GT owned and driven by Bruce McLaren himself.

Original McLaren M6GT owned by Bruce McLaren

Finding information about and pictures of any of the original McLaren M6GT's is exceedingly difficult.

McLaren M6GT Replica

If possible we would like to recreate the M6GT as close to the original as possible, as was probably the goal for all of the existing replicas. Given the difficulty in finding anything that resembles the blueprint I am not surprised there is some variation in the replicas that exist. I suppose we will go down the same road as those who have already gone before us and work with what we already have, whilst employing some kiwi ingenuity and creative license to recreate as close as possible the true spirit of the M6GT.

An example of an extraordinary example of a replica is shown below. This yellow M6GT uses Mk2 bodywork and was built by Harold Drinkwater and Ian Webb on an original Trojan M6B McLaren for a wealthy German in the mid-eighties. It is now owned by Hans Arnold.

Yellow McLaren M6GT recreation based on a Trojan M6B McLaren

Progress Thus Far

At present we have most of the Body Panels for the car and the start of the power plant. The panels come from a gentleman in Tauranga (near the middle of the North Island in New Zealand). The body panels appear to be off a kit car replica that was popular in the eighties called the Manta Montage. The panels are close in overall shape to the McLaren M6GT but nowhere near identical. The front headlight recesses are not quite the correct shape, there are ventilation ducts above the front wheels and the tail has a reasonably distinctive lip whereas the original looks to have a relatively subtle lip, if any at all

The engine that is going to be used is out of a 1990 Honda NSX. It is a DOHC VTEC V6 that with some sensible modifications should output enough horsepower (hopefully around 300bhp) to provide some pretty good performance figures. It's not quite the big block Chevy V8 of the era, but I hope Bruce approves. After all, the technology in the C30A engine is outstanding and was designed for a mid/rear engined vehicle. We just hope we can fit it in, because with the twin DOHC VTEC heads it is significantly taller than most standard V8s.

Currently we need to following information to progress:

Exact Chassis Dimensions
We have some fairly accurate Specifications from various sources on the internet, but nothing concrete as of yet. There is also a certain amount that can be deduced from the body panels, but having access to the original chassis dimensions would be fantastic. Of course having the original plans would be best, but I suspect these will be almost impossible to come by.
Front Windscreen
We haven't been able to find anywhere to get a front windscreen yet that we know will fit our center section. We are reasonably sure we can get one made to measure here in New Zealand but if anyone has any better ideas or suggestions that would be great. The windscreen for the Sakar (a kit car built by a company here in New Zealand) is supposed to fit and it actually reasonably priced.

End Goal

Once the M6GT is complete it will probably get some track time, and might also compete in the Targa Rally of New Zealand. There is a lot of hard work to be done to get the M6GT completed, and even though there is some risk involved in racing/driving a vehicle, it seems a shame to just leave a road going race car sitting idle once it is completed.

If you can provide any information that will help with the recreation of the McLaren M6GT, please contact me.