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McLaren: Colnbrook vs. Woking


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#51 BRG

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 21:59

Prior to that, they were not far away in Boundary Road, in the building by the right hand bend (coming from the town centre) now occupied by SAV Systems.

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#52 ChrisJson

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 14:00

McLaren GT is now in the old factory. It's the first building on the left as you face the gatehouse at the entry to the business park.



The two buildings on the right, lot 1 and lot2, are listed as rented by
McLaren Racing Group and McLaren Group Ltd.

Do you know what activities are going on there?


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#53 ChrisJson

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 14:02

Prior to that, they were not far away in Boundary Road, in the building by the right hand bend (coming from the town centre) now occupied by SAV Systems.



Do you know which year they moved to Boundary Road and
which year they moved on to the Woking Buisness Park?


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#54 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 16:36

Wouldn't Poole Road have been the Project 4 premises?

I recall that the first MP4 was built in Colnbrook - I remember seeing it going together, and it was such a nice, tidy, exquisitely integrated design (typical Barnard) that the M29 in the adjacent bay looked utterly, utterly outdated.

I also recall the McLaren Xmas party in 1980 was held at 17 David Road, so I would say that McLaren relocated to Boundary Road, Woking in 1981.

When they were on the Woking Business Park the building(s?) on the right (as viewed from the gate house) contained the R&D department, including the shaker rig. They may have had other departments in there - I don't know. I want to say TAG Electronics was in there initially too - I seem to remember a visit there when I was at Penske, but I may be mistaken on the venue. I wouldn't know what is in there now.

TAG Electronic Systems (nowadays McLaren Electronic Systems) was definitely eventually on the opposite side of the road, in the small business park adjacent to the railway line.

Edited by Nigel Beresford, 01 February 2013 - 17:11.


#55 Tim Murray

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 17:13

I've checked DCN's McLaren book. He says that following the merger between McLaren and Project Four in September 1980 the new team was based at Colnbrook whilst new premises were sought. Someone is quoted as saying: "We thought we'd find somewhere in a month - it took nearer six ... "

So, early 1981.

#56 ChrisJson

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 18:59

I recall that the first MP4 was built in Colnbrook


I´m a little confused over the timeline here.
I´ve read that Ron Dennis asked John Barnard to construct the MP4
carbonfiber chassis after the takeover of McLaren, that means september of 1980.

Would it be possible to construct and build such a revolutionary car in six months?


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#57 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 19:05

I believe JB was working on the car before the merger occurred. At the time of the merger there were photos showing Ron Dennis, John Barnard and Teddy Mayer holding a model of the car. Note that word... "merger"... not a takeover.

Edited by Nigel Beresford, 01 February 2013 - 19:06.


#58 ChrisJson

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 19:24

Note that word... "merger"... not a takeover.



Sorry Nigel! I stand corrected.

I think you could even call it a reversed merger.

Does that mean that McLaren, through Teddy Mayer, was involved in the
merger at an earlier date? Did McLaren have any plans for 1981 besides MP4?


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#59 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 19:37

I don't know what plans there may or may not have been for 1981 if the merger hadn't occurred. Presumably Philip Morris (Marlboro) were aghast at the continued decline in performance from 1978 through to 1980 (in spite of having drivers of the calibre of Hunt, Watson and Prost), and began to make it clear to Teddy pretty early on in 1980 that things were going to change. Frankly, I suppose the proposal was either merge with Project 4 or else lose Marlboro's investment. The latter wouldn't have been attractive to either party - Teddy for obvious reasons, nor Marlboro given the money they'd invested in creating the alliterative association "Marlboro McLaren" over the years. I don't suppose merging with McLaren would have been Ron Dennis' preference for all sorts of reasons (complicated management structure, inheriting the existing facility and baggage and so on), but he needed Marlboro's support, and as I say they already had invested a lot in the association with McLaren.

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#60 Michael Ferner

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 21:27

I distinctly remember talk of a new Project 4 Formula 1 project at the time of the early German F2 championship rounds at Hockenheim and Nürburgring, probably April (w/o looking it up). I'm not sure if the name Barnard was mentioned, but it was to be something sort-of revolutionary, or words to that effect - probably meaning the composite chassis.

#61 Diecastkiwis

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 09:00

You can believe whatever you want to blmclman, but I'll stick with the official Coroner's Report into Bruce's untimely death, which concluded that the crash was caused by the failure of an incorrectly fitted bodywork fastener that fell out and onto the track, allowing air to get under the rear body section, and lifting it off the car.

I normally make it a rule not to respond to anything including the word 'bullshit' but I'll make an exception in this case, as your last post is seriously misleading. You've clearly never seen the rear body section of a Can Am racer like the McLaren M8, they're great big floppy mouldings that no-one in their right minds would dream of trying to use as anything much more than an aerodynamic covering, certainly not as an important part of the car's load bearing structure. Bruce McLaren was a clever man, and a brilliant intuitive engineer. His 1969 M8B had a large wing mounted directly onto the rear uprights, it wasn't connected to the bodywork in any way, and after a year's experience of racing and winning all 11 races in the series with this car, Bruce was well aware of the kind of forces a wing of this size could generate. When the 1970 CanAm rules prohibited suspension-mounted wings, Bruce came up with the M8D's wing, which was mounted on fins that extended from the rear body sides. These fins were an integral part of the GRP moulding, but bonded inside each one was a hefty machined duralumin plate that went from the rearmost wing mounting point to extend as far forward as the rear wheel cut-outs. Under the body there was a fabricated structure mounted on the rear crossmember, and it was through this and the monocoque that aerodynamic load was applied to the rear suspension, and most emphatically not to the rear body as a whole. Certainly it’s true that the supporting struts added later were an important additional safety factor, but to describe the crash as ‘inevitable’ or the original design as an accident waiting to happen is disrespectful to Bruce’s memory. However you want to dress it up, Bruce died because someone failed to replace a pip-pin correctly, it’s as simple as that.

some one who was theres says the pins were ok just cant remember who that was



#62 Diecastkiwis

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 09:01

accoeding to Mika Hakkinen the spirt of Bruce as still at Mclaren when he was there



#63 dsmerritt

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 22:33

You can think what you want, but the wing at the back generated an overturning moment that would try to pivot the front of the tail up. On the M8B there were no wing generated aero forces trying to lift the front of the tail section. The fact that extra pins were added speaks to the need to resist these previously non existent forces.

This was really Colin Chapman's fault for screwing up wings mounted to the uprights for everybody else. As noted, the M8B had no problems with putting the downforce directly into the tires, while feeding the loads into the sprung structure plays hell with the spring rates, and is generally a bad idea which can be made to work.

There are a number of vintage racers with suspension mounted high wings that work fine with no failures.

Once again, instead of enforcing a safe implementation we get a stupid rule, still in effect almost 45 years later. I'm sure the fan boys would scream because "it's not a race car without a wing", but I'd like very much to have Ron Tauranac come up with rules that would eliminate aero as he proposed in Race Car Engineering years ago. Instead we have stupid ugly cars with no suspension save the sidewalls of their "state of the art" 13" tire sidewalls.

#64 dsmerritt

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 22:46

And while we're at it carbon fiber structures generally incorporate two sheets of carbon composite sandwiching a composite honeycomb core. Really. Which has all the same issues of how you feed in a point load.