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50 years McLaren


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#1 HistoryFan

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:30

McLaren celebrate their 50th birthday in the next month. I have some questions about that?

1. Why has the name McLaren suvived until now?
2. Why has the ream survived until now while other historic teams closed down?
3. What were the critical monents of the team? Were there never plans to close down after Bruce death? Who also was interested in buying McLaren when Ron Dennis become chief?
4. Why has McLaren left IndyCars?

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#2 D-Type

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:52

All this is documented in the various books that have been published about the history of the team.
Briefly
1. Because nobody involved in the management team saw any reason to change it. You could ask the same of any other car maker from Alfa Romeo to Zakspeed
2. Because those running it knew what they were doing, in particular how to manage a budget and how to attract sponsorship.
3. a. Clearly Bruce's death. The merger with Project 4. Various minor crises. Like all teams they found that success comes in waves and when you are not successful you need to find out why.
3. b. I believe that on Bruce's death his shareholding passed to his widow, Pattie. She and the other shareholders obviously discussed closing down but elected to carry on.
3. c. Ron Dennis became chief shortly after the merger with Project 4. Why do you think that someone would have been interested in buying the McLaren operation at that particular time?
4. Presumably because they felt that they could not give both formulae the fully focussed attention necessary to remain a top team so they chose to withdraw from IndyCar in order to concentrate on Formula 1. March and Lola made the opposite choice

#3 HistoryFan

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 13:56

3. a. Clearly Bruce's death. The merger with Project 4. Various minor crises.


Thank you very much for the reply!

Which minor crises?


#4 HistoryFan

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 13:49

I heard that Teddy Mayer wanted the McLaren IndyCar team to stay but then as Dennis bought the team he set focus on F1

#5 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 15:20

I heard that Teddy Mayer wanted the McLaren IndyCar team to stay but then as Dennis bought the team he set focus on F1


This seems a bit like Chinese whispers. McLaren ended its CART involvement at the end of the 1979 season, pre-dating the involvement with Ron Dennis by at least 6 months or so, so it seems unlikely to be true. I'm happy to be corrected.

#6 Tim Murray

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 15:38

In his McLaren book DCN says that McLaren were forced to pull out of Indycar racing at the end of 1979 due to lack of sponsorship.

#7 bradbury west

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 21:09

I would like to refer you all to Simon Taylor's brilliant Lunch with Ron Dennis article in the Oct 2012 Motor Sport, in which Ron is very open and frank about his life and times at McLaren, and the various deals etc. I have never seen a proper interview with Ron reported, and for a man who is always seen as guarded in his comments I think it was a serious revelation
I am very surprised we have not had a raft of comments on it in the Motor Sport thread.............
Roger Lund

#8 HistoryFan

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 21:25

Thank you

#9 Cappo

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 17:14

Don't know if this has been posted, but a nice little tribute to Bruce



#10 DN5

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 19:56

Just watching the McLaren F1 launch and they have been showing off their history. You have to love the sight and sound of the M8D!

Geoff

#11 ghinzani

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 22:18

Don't know if this has been posted, but a nice little tribute to Bruce


I was unsure too at first but Ron and the McLaren family must have seen it and said yes.


The more I watch it, the more I get it. Bruce was a hero, McLaren the legend.



#12 jj2728

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 00:57

You have to love the sight and sound of the M8D!


As far as I'm concerned, the McLaren Can Am cars were, and remain, amongst the finest racing cars ever built and raced in anger on the track.

#13 Tony Matthews

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 01:08

Don't know if this has been posted, but a nice little tribute to Bruce

I think it is appalling - mawkish and stupidly sentimental. I remember being very upset when I heard of his accident, and the last thing I want to see is someone pretending to be Bruce McLaren regarding his own death. Crass, in a word.

#14 Cappo

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:07

I think it is appalling - mawkish and stupidly sentimental. I remember being very upset when I heard of his accident, and the last thing I want to see is someone pretending to be Bruce McLaren regarding his own death. Crass, in a word.


I think that it's aimed at a much younger audience — some who would never have known that a 'real' person called McLaren existed.

#15 mfd

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:57

I think that it's aimed at a much younger audience — some who would never have known that a 'real' person called McLaren existed.

We, older ones merely read about it & imagined. Today there's an assumption that technology does it better, but you know what? They're missing something & a lot in my opinion

#16 Tony Matthews

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:33

I think that it's aimed at a much younger audience — some who would never have known that a 'real' person called McLaren existed.

Quite possibly, but do they have to be fed this drivel to understand that Bruce McLaren lived? Does it mean that they believe that zombies and vampires exist - most programmes for 'a much younger audience' seem to be about one or the other, or both. Any road up, I've made my views clear, it is only an opinion, although a strongly-held one, and if others like it...

#17 Emery0323

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:12

Don't know if this has been posted, but a nice little tribute to Bruce


It's one thing to have a dramatization with an actor playing an historic figure who is no longer alive. If anything, the biopic genre seems to be growing in the film industry ("Lincoln", "My Week with Marilyn", etc., not to mention "Rush".).

It's quite another thing to have that figure narrate the circumstances of his own death in clinical terms. Can you imagine Lincoln saying "As I sat in the theater watching the play, John Wilkes Booth shot me in the head. I lingered until the following morning before I finally stopped breathing"? It's a morbid and dramatically stilted way to tell the audience how the person died.

#18 scran

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:19

yup.....56yo Aussie - never saw Bruce race "in the flesh" - but the name "McLaren" invokes such a powerful feeling.


Tony - Way out of line mate. Shut the **** up.................................................................

#19 P.Dron

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:22

It's one thing to have a dramatization with an actor playing an historic figure who is no longer alive. If anything, the biopic genre seems to be growing in the film industry ("Lincoln", "My Week with Marilyn", etc., not to mention "Rush".).

It's quite another thing to have that figure narrate the circumstances of his own death in clinical terms. Can you imagine Lincoln saying "As I sat in the theater watching the play, John Wilkes Booth shot me in the head. I lingered until the following morning before I finally stopped breathing"? It's a morbid and dramatically stilted way to tell the audience how the person died.


"And how did you enjoy the play apart from that, Mrs Lincoln?"

Re the 'tribute' to Bruce McLaren, as Tony Matthews put it, "appalling, mawkish and stupidly sentimental".

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#20 Tony Matthews

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:40

yup.....56yo Aussie - never saw Bruce race "in the flesh" - but the name "McLaren" invokes such a powerful feeling.


Tony - Way out of line mate. Shut the **** up.................................................................

So you can voice an opinion, but I can't? If it gives you a warm glow, tingles down the spine and a tear in the eye when you watch it, fair enough. You like it, I and some others, don't. End of storey.

I assume you meant '****'. If so, man up and write it.

Edited to say, you probably did write it! Oh well, different rules for different forums.

Edited by Tony Matthews, 02 February 2013 - 11:43.


#21 DoubleM

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 12:14

So you can voice an opinion, but I can't? If it gives you a warm glow, tingles down the spine and a tear in the eye when you watch it, fair enough. You like it, I and some others, don't. End of storey.

I assume you meant '****'. If so, man up and write it.

Edited to say, you probably did write it! Oh well, different rules for different forums.


So agree with this...it seems so sad that a topic such as this - and the circumstances that gave rise to it - has degenerated into such a tasteless locking of horns. Perhaps this is a reflection of the times in which we live, or was the "****" meant to be macho?

I found it to be a strange and mawkish production and, above all, an unnecessary 'tribute' to a man who overcame childhood illness, was determined to achieve the goals he set himself, had great foresight and inspired an enormous amount of loyalty from those with whom he worked and from those who watched and followed him.

I only saw Bruce - and Denny - together once in 1968 when they were shaking down the Can-Am cars at Silverstone before setting off for that year's series. Standing on the roof of the old pit buildings, watching those orange beasts hurtle past and feeling the ground shake, is one of my indelible memories. As is, of course, the memory of hearing that he had been killed at Goodwood.

There is sufficient information on that sad day to enable those who wish to recreate the events to do so inside one's head. Out-of-focus 'recreations' are, to my mind, little better than top-of-the-shelf material. Sensation seeking of the worst kind. Surely, a tribute to the courage and achievements of a man such as Bruce McLaren should be a celebration of the battles and highs of his life?

Yes, I watched it and wouldn't want to watch it again.....I clicked it off at the point when the current McLaren logo appeared at the end, thinking that it would have been more appropriate to have shown the old 'kiwi' logo first. I was also slightly confused by the fact that the Bruce McLaren shade was wearing what appeared to be Firestone overalls...Goodyear surely?

Remember him how he was and celebrate all the great things.

Mike

#22 Catalina Park

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 12:41

My thoughts were that Ron D was creating a zombie army of Bruces to take over the world.

#23 Tony Matthews

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 12:54

Remember him how he was and celebrate all the great things.

Mike

Exactly. I find it sad and odd that my view of the video is seen by some as an attack on Bruce McLaren. Nothing could be further from the truth.

#24 P.Dron

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 13:07

Exactly. I find it sad and odd that my view of the video is seen by some as an attack on Bruce McLaren. Nothing could be further from the truth.


Seconded.

#25 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 13:18

I read down to post #24 without viewing the YouTube video posted. With the apparent aggravation it's caused, I've back-tracked to see what all the fuss is about.

Nothing much to say from here...

...other than a tear runniung down my cheek.

RIP, Bruce.

Edited by Manfred Cubenoggin, 02 February 2013 - 13:20.


#26 Twin Window

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 20:43

Take a deep breath gentlemen, perhaps take the dog for a walk or pop down to your local.

It is an emotive subject. Please observe restraint.

#27 Cappo

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 21:02

Take a deep breath gentlemen, perhaps take the dog for a walk or pop down to your local.

It is an emotive subject. Please observe restraint.


God - this is probably my second innocuous post in as many months, and both posts set the “cat among the pigeons’ didn’t mean to stir up such emotions! Sorry



#28 Tony Matthews

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 21:42

Yes, it's all your fault! :)

#29 mfd

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 22:02

God - this is probably my second innocuous post in as many months, and both posts set the “cat among the pigeons’ didn’t mean to stir up such emotions! Sorry

I've seen worse occasionally, so don't worry too much :wave:

Edited by mfd, 02 February 2013 - 22:02.


#30 PCC

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:47

It is an emotive subject.

Perhaps we could use this thread as a place to celebrate Bruce, and share memories of him.

Mine is pretty banal. I saw him race and got his autograph at the age of eight, at the Mosport Can-Am in 1969. For a boy to meet a hero is always pretty special; to meet a hero and find him to be an exceptionally kind, friendly person makes a life-long impression. I only saw him race one more time, again at Mosport for the Grand Prix that September. June 2 broke my heart. I still have - and still treasure - that autograph.

My father, who took me to those races, sent me this in an e-mail today:

"My favourite memory of Bruce M is him and Denny standing around their orange Can Am cars watching all the activity in the Chaparral pits (Guys in white shop coats working under tarpaulins draped over the cars --) And Bruce saying to Jim Hall "I don't know what you guys are doing, but we came here ready to race." I think that was the time that we heard the distinctive sound of the Hydramatic transmissions changing gears in the white cars when Jim Hall and Hap Sharp went out to test. -- But my memories are admittedly coloured by things that i have read since."

By the way, I really enjoyed the controversial video, although I certainly understand the reasons why some did not.

#31 275 GTB-4

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:22

Don't know if this has been posted, but a nice little tribute to Bruce


As a great admirer of Bruce and his achievments and coming from this side of the world (pity he wasn't born on the big island :p )....I found this little tribute OK...not an outstanding documentary piece that would have included period film of the great man and his cars that would really bring a smile to the face of most enthusiasts...but OK.

The narrator's effected accent is apalling...why didn't they just get a real Kiwi to do the job :|

#32 jj2728

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 14:06

Perhaps we could use this thread as a place to celebrate Bruce, and share memories of him.
By the way, I really enjoyed the controversial video, although I certainly understand the reasons why some did not.


That's a good idea. I met Bruce for the first time at The Glen for the '67 USGP. A very pleasant gentleman. Patient enough in the crowded Kendall Tech Center to give this 12 year old his autograph and say a few words to my brothers and I. The shot below is one of the last that I ever took of him at the '69 USGP. As far as the video is concerned, I actually thought it was ok.

Posted Image

Copyright JAG



#33 VWV

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 15:22

Perhaps we could use this thread as a place to celebrate Bruce, and share memories of him.


By the way, I really enjoyed the controversial video, although I certainly understand the reasons why some did not.


I agree that this thread should be about the celebration of Bruce Mclaren. I have spent the last 12-15 months reading and researching everything I could find on Bruce Mclaren (I own 7 books on Bruce plus all the Can Am books), watched alot of video from the 60's. I have greatly enjoyed the posts on TNF from people who were there and the photos that have been posted. I was born in 1965 so this was all before my my time and I want to learn all I can about the man, the team and the scene. The more I read the more I admired the man and his accomplishments. George Begg's book Bruce Mclaren, Racing Car Constructor is excellent and highly recommended.

I actually enjoyed watching that tribute from Mclaren (the first of 3 videos to be released in 2013). I can understand why some disliked the video but consider my take on the video and what Mclaren are trying to show with this video. This is my interpretation. The ghost Bruce is telling us his story, setting the stage of what he started and the present team Mclaren is trying to show that the spirit or essence or DNA Of Bruce is still present or part of the team.

That is an interesting topic of discussion here, How much of the spirit of Bruce Mclaren is still present in the team?

Edited by VWV, 03 February 2013 - 17:11.


#34 mfd

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 16:57

How much of the spirit of Bruce Mclaren is still present in the team?

The current McLaren group are evoking the spirit - it is after all 50 years since. This is all they can do to build on their brand. They're trying to sell a "Supercar"

#35 MCS

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 17:20

The current McLaren group are evoking the spirit - it is after all 50 years since. This is all they can do to build on their brand. They're trying to sell a "Supercar"


And that's the perspective really - very well put.

Have to confess though that I side with Tone and Drone regarding the video - I did find it unsettling.


#36 PRD

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 20:17

And that's the perspective really - very well put.

Have to confess though that I side with Tone and Drone regarding the video - I did find it unsettling.


The video has grown on me and I do like it now very much as a tribute to the man and the spirit of the sport, which although I accept is so much commercial now, I believe still exists.

My son who is age 28, "got" it at once and loves it

#37 Phil Rainford

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 21:54

The current McLaren group are evoking the spirit - it is after all 50 years since. This is all they can do to build on their brand. They're trying to sell a "Supercar"


Indeed ............they are trying to sell a road car against Ferrari, Porsche etc and therefore have to use all the marketing tools at their disposal

Having said that I have visited McLaren on a number of occasions and one is left in no doubt that this is a company that is extremely proud of their roots/history


PAR

#38 MCS

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 22:10

Indeed ............they are trying to sell a road car against Ferrari, Porsche etc and therefore have to use all the marketing tools at their disposal

Having said that I have visited McLaren on a number of occasions and one is left in no doubt that this is a company that is extremely proud of their roots/history


PAR


Good on them and good to hear as an outsider!


#39 mfd

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 23:51

Indeed ............they are trying to sell a road car against Ferrari, Porsche etc and therefore have to use all the marketing tools at their disposal
PAR

Exactly so & nowadays a totally different approach to selling the F1 (3 seater) where those cars were effectively sold direct from Woking.

With dealerships now established worldwide, all the staff out there are being trained in the history of McLaren as they need to have knowledge to establish their pedigree to a Porsche or Ferrari owner. They can talk about the iconic F1 but still need an answer to "what have you made since 1992?" (as they don't want to include something badged as a Mercedes) so it's useful to extend or default to their racing pedigree ...established in 1963, winning Grand Prix since 1968, Indy 500 in 1974, World F1 1976 etc. all achievements of the past, before the current company was established.

Where ordinarily other F1 teams might just show their new car, the McLaren F1 launch was prefaced by a visual history lesson with a series of cars being driven into their foyer from the Can Am M8D of 1970 followed by M23 & MP4/4 before another sporstscar, the LM winning GTR, another pair of F1 winners followed by the MP4/12C & the new P1 sportscar, using this opportunity to show their full pedigree to the wider world.

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#40 Muz Bee

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:50

While I find myself agreeing with pro and negative views on "that video" I applaud the way McLaren have always been extremely proud of their origins. Bruce achieved so, so much in his quite modest and understated Kiwi way and somehow the narrative of the video doesn't seem to fit so great. However anything which may illuminate this so very important F1 figure to a younger crowd gets my vote. For that matter Enzo should get more exposure as well, I get the feeling that the yuppies who drive the Maranello beauties care not a wit for the extraordinary nature of the founder.

I did like the way the little story (cutting the hole in the body) was used to paint a picture of intuitive car development in the sixties, arguably the most exciting era of F1. I am motivated to start a thread on the "nostril" development in car design.

#41 mfd

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:43

However anything which may illuminate this so very important F1 figure to a younger crowd gets my vote.


An excellent documentary about McLaren, Hulme & Amon here

http://www.nzonscree...at-the-top-2001

#42 SEdward

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 15:08

The video is rather fishy, but it has the merit of reminding us all just where Mclaren started.

I remember seeing recent photos of the Mclaren garages at a Grand Prix with big photos of Bruce posted on the walls. I thought that this was very cool at the time, and I think that this video was produced in a similar spirit.

All credit to Big Ron for keeping the name and the memory of the man alive.

Edward

#43 mfd

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 15:26

All credit to Big Ron for keeping the name and the memory of the man alive.
Edward


Of course he was there although he worked for Cooper then Brabham

#44 kayemod

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 15:35

Of course he was there although he worked for Cooper then Brabham


At both of those teams, Ronald was Jochen Rindt's personal mechanic, Jochen thought very highly of him. If Ron had followed Jochen to Lotus, he must have been asked, just think how the course of motor racing history might have been changed.


#45 kayemod

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 15:39

I seem to remember that at the time of the merger it was reported on Autosprint that there was plan to rename the company as MP4 International. Was that ever a possibility?


A distinct possibility I'd say, the 'M' in MP4 originally stood for Marlboro who largely financed Ron's original share of the company, though now of course, the 'M' stands for McLaren.


#46 SEdward

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 16:01

>>Of course he was there although he worked for Cooper then Brabham

And so what? That hasn't prevented him from keeping the McLaren name alive and making it outstandingly successful, while many others have disappeared (I'll spare you the list).

I find this kind of petty nit-picking rather irritating. Look at the big picture, mate.

Edward

#47 mfd

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 16:27

I find this kind of petty nit-picking rather irritating. Look at the big picture, mate.


What I was saying was "he was there at the time" ergo he knew first hand Bruce McLaren even though he worked for other teams.
As for a teams that failed - enough of them disappeared in my working experience with unfortunately a couple owing me money, so mate we can leave that one...

#48 SEdward

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 16:34

What I was saying was "he was there at the time" ergo he knew first hand Bruce McLaren even though he worked for other teams.
As for a teams that failed - enough of them disappeared in my working experience with unfortunately a couple owing me money, so mate we can leave that one...


Sorry mfd. It was the "although" that bothered me. Apologies...
Virtual communications are sometimes misunderstood. I thought that you were belittling Ron's achievements.

Edward

Edited by SEdward, 04 February 2013 - 17:18.


#49 SEdward

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 17:07

Dumb question time.

Have any other makes of car won the Formula 1 World Championship (drivers and constructors), the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Indianapolis 500?

Edward

#50 D-Type

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 17:21

Lotus (sort of) - if you count the Le Mans Index of Performance as a win.