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Factory McLaren M8 Can-Am chassis

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#1 Martin Krejci

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Posted 14 June 2001 - 08:10

When tracing histories of all factory McLaren M8 Can-Am cars I found several doubts. Can anybody help with these?

1968 M8A - two cars built M8A/1 (later dismantled) and M8A/2 (later became M8B spare car, then sold to Metchenbacher)

1969 M8B - two cars built: M8B/1 and M8B/2 (later sold to Koveleski and Agor)

1970 M8D - four cars built: M8D/1 (during 1970 season sold to Motschenbacher and used until 1973), M8D/2 (destroyed by Bruce's fatal accident), M8D/3 and M8D/4

1970 M8F - two cars built M8F/1 and M8F/2. Both sold to Gregg Young for 1972. M8F/1 was driven by Cevert and sold to Commander Motors in 1973. M8F/2 was driven by Young himself and destroyed in an accident (possibly at Edmonton). Replica of this car was later built.

What's is listed above is most probably without doubts but I admit that errors may be there too. Intentionally I skipped comments on M8B/1, M8D/3 and M8D/4:

1) Did the M8B/1 became M8D development car (was given M8D chassis number??) and was later fitted with M8F bodywork? If yes than it is probably the car that was raced by Mike Hiss in two October Can-Am races in 1972. It was reported as 68-era chassis with M8D chassis number and M8F bodywork.

2) US Racing car in 1973 driven by Scooter Patrick was M8D/3 rebuilt as M8F for 1971 (works spare). This car was driven by John Cordts in 1974. But this was also reported as ex-Gregg Young car. Is that wrong? Hiss' car in 1972 carried number 8 which is the same as used by Patrick in 1973. Could it mean that Hiss drove M8D/3 instead of M8B/1 in 1972?

3) M8D/4 - After 1970 factory season became Dean entered car in 1971 (race number 8) and then most probably became William Overhauser Racing car in 1972-74 (usually driven by John Cordts). But great mistery is Eris Tondelli's M8D raced in couple of Interserie events in 1972 with number 31 (Imola and Keimola). It was reported as ex-Hulme/Dean car still orange with McLaren Cars on its sides. If Tondelli was really ex-Dean car what car was then the one of Overhauser Racing in 1972-74?


#2 David M. Kane

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Posted 14 June 2001 - 21:51

The Mosenbacher chassis is in the hands of John Collins in Santa
Ana, California. John is his former mehanic. He found the car in
Australia, restorted it and is now trying to sell it.

#3 Martin Krejci

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Posted 15 June 2001 - 04:50


Please, which Motschenbacher chassis do you mean? He had at least two factory cars: M8A/2 and M8D/1.

#4 David M. Kane

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Posted 15 June 2001 - 11:55

Sorry I don't have a clue. You can reach John Collins at MARCHFA
@aol.com or call him at 714/540-2591.

#5 David McKinney

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Posted 16 June 2001 - 05:50

Here’s my list, Martin. I have deliberately refrained from incorporating your information, in case mine sparks a question you can answer later. I’ve also added the M20 model, to complete the list.
Where actual chassis numbers are unknown, I have used Roman numerals

M8A/i - Hulme 1968 - rebuilt as M8B/i
M8A/2 - McLaren 1968 - Goodyear - now with BMcL Trust in New Zealand

M8B/i - spare 1969 - Motschenbacher wrote off 1970
M8B/ii - McLaren 1969 - Oscar Kovaleski 1970/71 - Warren Agar 1972
M8B/iii - Hulme 1969 - written off
M8B/iv - Hulme replacement 1969 - rebuilt as M8D

(M8C - 1970 Trojan version of 1969 works M8B - 15 built)

M8D/1 Hulme 1970 - now McLaren International
M8D/2 McLaren crashed Goodwood test 1970
M8D/3 Gurney and Gethin 1970 - in UK since 1980s
M8D/4 M8F prototype, rebuilt as M8D for Hulme late 1970. Tony Dean 1971, crashed but rebuilt on new tub and raced (as M8E) by Roy Woods team 1971, Bill Overhauser 1972/73, Hal Whipple 1974/77. In USA 1990s
M8D/? Motschenbacher 1971/73 - M8D/1 or M8D/3

(M8E - 1971 Trojan version of 1970 works M8D)

M8F/i 1971 prototype, rebuilt as M8D/4
M8F/1 Hulme 1971 - Gregg Young crashed 1972 - written off
M8F/2 Revson 1971 - Gregg Young 1972 - Herb Kaplan 1973/74

(M8FP- 1972 Trojan version, though most cars referred to as M8F)

(M12 1969 Trojan version of 1968 works M8A - 15 built)

M20/1 Hulme late 1972 races
M20/2 Hulme early 1972 races - crashed
M20/3 Revson 1972 - Roy Woods 1973 - Herb Kaplan 1974 - in USA 1990s
M20/? Andretti 1973 - supposedly M20/1
M20/? Kelleners in Europe 1973/75 - supposedly M20/1

As far as your specific questions are concerned, I can’t be of much help. Hiss probably raced more than one car: his 1972 mount was described as having previously been raced by Jerry Grant, if that helps you. I have also seen reference to him driving M8D/3 for Herb Kaplan (as did Scooter Patrick) but later research suggests this is incorrect. Perhaps it was Kaplan’s ex-Young M8F?
Dean’s original M8D/4 (the crashed one) was later rebuilt as a separate car, but I wouldn’t have thought early enough for it to be the Tondelli car. But it might have been. I believe both M8D/4s exist today.

Finally, a word of warning: examples of some other cars exist today in both the US and Europe....

#6 Allen Brown

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Posted 17 June 2001 - 22:42

Now here's a subject I could expect to have nothing to add to.

But, here's a surprise! Now (with Martin's help) I have a Single-Seat Can-Am database.

Hal Whipple drove his M8D once in the Mark II Can-Am, at Sears Point in 1977. Five other M8s appeared in Mk II, Jeff Jones "M8" (possibly his old M1C?) at Mid-Ohio in 1977, Leonard Janke's M8B or M8 or M6B five times in 1977, Merle Brennan's M8F also five times in 1977 and 1978, Charles Nearburg's M8F at Road America 1977, and finally Dick Workman M8L or M8 Lola twice in 1977.

David - I think you've identified Whipple's car as M8D/4. Any clues on the others?


Edited by Allen Brown, 13 February 2010 - 12:21.

#7 Martin Krejci

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Posted 18 June 2001 - 09:43

David: Thank you for your impressive list. It is very well that you didn't include my information. I've checked it and I can just to summarize differences that adds more questions to the original topic that can be disccussed.

Agreed that Hulme's cars became M8B spare, then went to Motschenbacher and was written off. That means that this car isn't the one in John Collins hands.

According to your information it is not correct that Bruce's car was dismantled, which I read somewhere.

?! - Our chassis numbers seems to be swapped. I cannot resolve it for definite. I assume your M8A/2 chassis reference came from current owner, doesn't it?

M8B/i - OK (I believe retained M8A chassis number but not definite)
M8B/ii - quite agreed (I had it as M8B/2)
M8B/iii and M8B/iv - I didn't know about Hulme had two cars in 1969. He raced all 11 Can-Am races in 1969 and never retired except the final race because of engine failure. If it was written off that it should be in testing. Do you have any more information about the crash?

M8D/1 - my note from currently unknown source claims that Hulme's car was sold to Motschenbacher after the Road Atlanta 1970 race even not raced earlier that at Mosport 1971. That makes M8D/3 impossible for Motschenbacher's car. (But if M8D/1 is now at McLaren International than this car also cannot be in John Collins hands.)
M8D/2, M8D/3 - OK, agreed
M8D/4 - Agreed. I assume it was crashed at Mid-Ohio in August 1971 by Dean himself. My results have it usually as M8D, not M8E however.

Again our chassis number of Hulme and Revson are swapped. Are yours definite?
Hulme's car - agreed
Revson's car - I tent to believe that it wasn't Kaplan's car in 1973/74 even some sources suggest that but Commander Motor car #97 in 1973. But McLaren Trust site (http://www.bruce-mclaren.com) has Kaplan's car as M8D/3, which was rebuilt as M8F spare car.

I wanted to add them originally too but I thought it would be too long list. My list was confirmed by Bob Lee, a researcher of McLarens M8 and M20 and he claimed M20 is well known:

M20/1 - 1972 Revson, 1973 Hobbs (Roy Woods), 1974 Patrick (Herb Kaplan) - it is sometimes wrongly refered to as M20/3
M20/2 - 1972 Hulme early 1972 - crashed and after rebuilt Commander Motor Homes 1973 car #96 (turbocharged).
M20/3 - 1972 prototype car (I assume it got chassis number later when became a race car) - raced by Hulme after his original was crashed. For 1973 sold to Felder Racing and raced by Kelleners in European Interserie.

Hiss raced (twice) the same car as Jerry Grant a month before. That is OK. I think it was Hulme's M8B fitted with M8F bodywork or M8D/3 with M8F body, which I believe was raced by Partick in 1973.
I believe Tondelli's car was very likely the second M8D/4. It seems good as there is no other way how to resolve it.

#8 Don Capps

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Posted 18 June 2001 - 17:36

I am surprised how often this area is overlooked -- until I look at my notes and then realize just how much 'fun' this really is. I looked at my McLaren notes and find myself as confused as ever. I don't have my notebook of chassis numbers that I gathered from the various Can Am & USRRC races I attended or got from other kindred souls. Perhaps between Martin, David, and Allen we might get this sorted out.

Now, if you want a real challenge, there are the customer/ production cars of all types....

#9 David McKinney

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Posted 18 June 2001 - 18:44

I'll reply to your comments when I have a bit more time
Sorry - a bit modern for me. Janke raced both an M8B and an M8F in 1974, though I suspect this M8F, like many others so described, was a production M8FP rather than an ex-works M8F.

#10 Martin Krejci

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Posted 19 June 2001 - 06:41

Allen & David:
I am not sure about Janke in 1974. I would think it was M8B but I haven't photos to confirm it. Best Can-Am book available written by Pete Lyons however has M8D at Road Atlanta 1974 and M8F at Road America. I am sure it wasn't ex-factory M8F and I don't believe it was M8D however. Janke again started at Mosport 1976 WSC race where it was once described only just as M8, other report says M8D and Wimpffen's Time and Two Seats book has M8C. Probably the same car appeared in Can-Am 1977, which is descibed in SCCA reviews as M8, in Watkins Glen race programme as M8 too, but Autocorse reports have M6B. Putting all this information together I would trust that he had always one car - M8B.

It would be really great to discuss also customer cars. Am I to start the list? I should have a look what I have.
Is there any chance you would find your notebook with chassis numbers of USRRC and Can-Am? It would be a great help, I think.