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McLaren team M8F and M20 tag switches

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#1 Duncan Fox

Duncan Fox
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Posted 13 June 2014 - 22:54

Can I please ask if any of the TNF community can help me with any new information on the chassis number  usage on Team McLaren M8F’s and M20’s during seasons whilst under the control of McLaren.  I have been involved in the repair and rebuild of two of these cars and on both occasions ex Team members advised me they were tagged incorrectly. So as part of the rebuilds I endeavoured to “set the record straight” for each of my clients.


When Chris MacAllisters M8F arrived in my shop it had an obviously non original copy of a team chassis tag. I had been told that the tags from both the F’s had been removed from their respective chassis at some time in their private ownership history, remembering that both cars were together through the YAR and Commander ownership period. So it was clear that it could not be relied on that the numbers were indeed with their respective chassis. So Team running records and set up sheets supplied by ex team personal were used, as we considered this irrefutable.  I presented all the evidence I had  to Chris and we went ahead on that basis. I have made the comment previously on another forum that the “jury was still out on this”. There is a log book in existence that has entries in it that confuse the issue. I am reliably informed that it was altered to give substance to a situation where a claim was made pertaining to a Peter Revson M8F provenance. This claim was subsequently overturned by a group of dedicated people, many who post here in order to put the history rightly where it should have been.


As to the M20's. When repairing the Mathews car, team members who actually crewed on this car questioned the Revson #3 tag it carried and all confirmed it was in fact chassis one. This was supported by several other sources including team setup sheets and running records and further by Doug Nye in his excellent book McLaren. I gave Harry a complete file with the rebuilt tub which convinced him at the time. I understand  he then discussed it with Don Devine ,the owner of the Revson car at RA that year in an attempt to rectify the tag switch  carried out at the end of McLarens season when the prototype  #1 chassis left  for Europe. Don dismissed the switch at the time and the subject came up again when I posted the scenario recently on a dedicated forum. Unfortunately my timing was off as I now understand the car will be auctioned in August. It doesn’t change the fact that there is no doubt about the Revson history, and my intentions are not to undermine the sale.

Are there any ex team folks who recall or worked on building up the prototype m20 at Colnbrook to replace the car Denny flipped  There are several switch scenarios that can have happened and I have previously  posted one example that just confused things. I don’t think there were ever all 3 cars in the US and I’m now reliably told by crew that the 3 tag was on the Revson car all season. We are now forming the opinion that the swop happened as the two cars passed each other in the UK one going to Kelloners and the other for turbo testing at Livonia.

So,  maybe my timing isn’t too bad after all , maybe we can put these two tag switches to bed once and for all


Thanks all



#2 Doug Nye

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 02:53

Duncan - I have sent you a private message.