Please help me with my F5000 McLaren M10A!
Posted 25 September 2005 - 18:28
This is my first post to this forum, I'm an Englishman now living in Pleasanton California and a total F1 fanatic.
A few weeks ago I bought a McLaren M10A from a local fellow who has had it stored in his garage since 1976 and less than 5 miles from my home. The owner, Jim Jensen, an ex Peterbuilt designer and engineer had raced Can Am cars in the 70's at club level, he'd bought the M10 with the intention of stripping the suspension parts and using them a racer of his own design.
I met Jim when I bought his old Porsche from him and got onto the inevitable subject of Motor Racing, telling him that I was trying to buy a Surtees TS5 he smiled and jockingly said "I'll sell you a McLaren" then pointing under his bench to the discarded Monocoque, truth be told he had been offered a big sum of money a few years ago, over 50k and knew that the prices had since softened.
He'd part with it but was in no rush and didn't know how to price it, it had no chassis number and therefore no history.
Looking around the garage I spotted various boxes containing suspension and other bolt on parts, the gearbox lying under a blanket in the corner and a suitable motor under cardboard coverings complete with 48 Webers on a McKay manifold, the last residents being either ##### large mice or Rats. It seemed that Jim had bought two cars from "Cal Formula" in 1976, an M10A and a B and was planning on using the McLaren uprights for a special and hadn't got much further than putting together his own space-frame style tub.
It took me quite a while with many visits and phone calls to try to persuade him to sell the car, when we talked price I told him he could get a value, I'd do the same and we'd meet somewhere in between the two.One sunny morning I received a call telling me that he'd put the old pile together and to come round with a check book.
As you can see from the pics that's exactly what I did, I am now the owner of an M10a McLaren, circa 1969 and the mortal remains of the B. I have more than 8 corners, 3 steering racks, 10 wheels, a BRAND NEW set of tires from 1972 and boxes and boxes of different gear sets for the Hewland LG500
Sadly though the A is missing many pieces, not the least, the top half of the monocoque, the wings and nose. Apparently, someone wanted to build a center seat Can Am car and took a saw to the fuselage chopping away everything above the waistline forward of the main engine/seat bulkhead.
Luckily the original rivets and outer edges of the top section are still there, no damage has occured to this vital stress point.
My intention is to chronicle the resto and I'll post updates here if anyone would like to follow the progress.
I 'm very interested in any pics or info regarding McLarens M10A's and B's especially those that lived in the locality of Mountain View, California. I believe this to be the George Eaton/Ludwig Heimrath car.
The car has been both Red and Black in its life.
Anyone with pictures of cars racing in the day, I would be most grateful to hear from you.
"Camel Hump" angle plug heads.....Valve Covers proclaim "De Long"
Rodents made their homes here,
A pic of the previous owner Jim Jensen, just the kind of bloke you'd want as your Father-in-Law, a former club racer who owned and raced Lola's, a Surtees T160 and built the "Jensen Special."
Jim's stories of racing are fantastic, I'll try to get him to post to the site
Posted 25 September 2005 - 19:46
thanks to everyone for the great replies, this will be one heck of a project and I'm bound to be upside down in the value stakes at the end of it. I should be used to that though as I am halfway through building a faithfull replica of the 914/6 GT Le Mans car, started with a rotten old wreck of an early 914/6 and have replaced virtually everything in the racing style as used by Porsche.
Please keep the info and any old pictures coming, anything will help, I will of course keep posting pics as I go along.
Posted 25 September 2005 - 19:55
All I could find was this one of Eaton...
(Copyright Yves St-Jean)
...taken at Mont-Tremblant on September 7th, 1969.
Posted 26 September 2005 - 06:25
Vince Howlett, Victoria, B.C., Canada
Posted 26 September 2005 - 09:06
I found this artical in SCW September 1969,This is the original 1st mclarenF5000. M10A......enjoy Exact 10.( just click again to get a close up)
THANKS IMAGE SHACK.
Posted 26 September 2005 - 23:56
Firstly I have to thank everyone but especially Reyna for posting the pics of George Eaton on this board.
I had this image already but not in the large size Reyna posted. It was after viewing this that I positively identified my car.
If you look at the rollbar above the drivers head you will see that the ignition coil was fitted onto the bar itself, on the right as you view. To the left you can see where the header tank was mounted, suitable brackets having been fab'd and welded on.
Here are some pictures of my rollbar showing the brackets...I did manage to contact Ludwig Heimrath through John Wright the Canadian correspondant for Victory Lane. Ludwig told me that what he remembered most was the rear bulkhead "coming away" from the main structure during a race....didn't stop him taking 3rd place though! there is welding evidence that I couldn't quite work out before, now it seems to tally, look at the pics of the lower right side of the monocoque behind the seat.
I have received lots of help from Dan Davis of Victory Lane magazine and would like to thank him as well as Allen Brown, John Wright is trying to put me in touch with George Eaton which would really help
Posted 08 October 2005 - 16:29
Sorry Copyright unknown
Posted 08 October 2005 - 18:23
In order to retain strength it looks like the two originally "open"sides were joined across the bottom of the tub as you can see in this picture, (the dark grey Magnesium shapes are the forward engine mounts ) The aim, sensibly, to counter any torsional twist when the motor was wound up
Posted 09 October 2005 - 19:58
Bill Moir in Salinas CA had a bunch of new outer skins made for M10's. You might call him and see if he has any left.
Email me for the number if you are interested.
Good Luck with your project.
Posted 10 October 2005 - 16:38
Do you have an email address for Bill? He's had quite a few F5000 cars and is regarded as quite an expert in McLarens.
Posted 11 October 2005 - 01:55
I wonder what happened to that car...
The same fellow had a Jaguar E-type convertible fitted with TWO V12 engines, one behind the other. The wheelbase was extended to suit. The car was red and I have never seen it since.
The guy was kurd or armenian or somewhere from out there in dirtland. Anyone else recalls?
Posted 11 October 2005 - 02:15
Posted 11 October 2005 - 17:13
Posted 18 October 2005 - 14:17
I thought you might like to see how I got it from the owners house to the transporter, this is part of the story I am writing on the car..
.........Returning with a flatbed transporter and my trusty old friend Don Brown, collecting the car turned out to be harder than expected. Due to its long wheelbase the truck ground its chassis trying to negotiate one particular nasty bend on its climb to the top, forcing it to withdraw faster than a French front line infantry brigade. With no means of transport to the bottom there was nothing for it but to attach the olling racer by chain to the front of my Durango. Don, it was decided would act as the brakes, the McLaren would roll down the steep hill relying on gravity, whilst I dangled precariously at the end of a chain attempting to negotiate the turns .
Jim's dog "Paco" sloped off in boredom as I took my first ride in the McLaren, exciting not the least because none of the suspension fittings were tight, the steering column merely a push fit into the rack and every corner it seemed tighter than the last.
Descending the hill I watched the bolts coming out of the lower arms and other than stopping to hammer them back in, all was plain sailing. At the bottom we loaded the McLaren onto the truck, the parts boxes into my Durango and off we went.................................into the bloody expensive sunset and down restoration lane, where nothing is as it seems, all the parts you though were good turn out to be junk and the costs are always three times what you budgeted!
Posted 26 November 2005 - 16:39
Trying to track down further history or proof positive to the Eaton connection I found an advertisement from the early 70's in Canada for a pair of M10A McLarens for sale.
Trying the telephone number I found that the shop had long since disappeared but used the internet to contact the owner, Gary Magwood. It seems that Gary is an Englishman living in Canada since the 60's and had competed very succesfully in racing various types of cars and had driven against Eaton. Magwood was also a founder of the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame , knowing Eaton he tried to put me in contact with people who may have known my M10 in the day.
Attending a local race meeting Gary ran into Ralph Friskin who was the team manager/ mechanic for George Eaton and ran the McLaren throughout the 69 season, describing the car to Ralph he positively identified the cut out in the rear bulkhead, done to allow a bespoke Injection system developed by Ryan Falconer. A McKay manifold and stacks powered by a Bosch mechanical injection pump from a Mercedes Pullman limousine all built to Falconers design.
Gary put me in contact with Ralph who spent a great deal of time describing the car, the races, the problems and the various dings in the monocoque which were repaired at Carol Shelby's works in Riverside, CA. What surprised me most was when Ralph asked me if I had read "The book," apparently Frank Orr a very well respected Canadian Sports writer and journalist had spent the 69 season with the team and had written a book called "Five Minutes To Green"
I tried internet searches, EBay, Amazon etc but couldn't find a copy anywhere. Tracing Frank Orr on the internet I ended up calling the Toronto Star newspaper who gave me his home number.
I had a wonderfully long converstaion with Frank, he told me great stoies about the car and its driver George. Discussing "Five minutes to green" he told me that the photographs were taken by a lady named Alice Bixler-sadly now deceassed, her archive of Eaton pics are nowhere to be found.
Frank's only got one copy of the book left but is going to try to find another, if anyone out there has one I'll be very happy to buy it.
Posted 09 December 2005 - 01:22
I really do owe him a Thank you for all of the parts he sold to me for pennies on the Dollar.
Digging about I've found several M10s around, there's a smashing M10a in San Jose owned by Tim Arnett, we are trading parts and trying to push each others projects along and Wes McNay's car is currently for sale at Fantasy Junction sporting its beautiful Bahner tub and 69 spec high wing.
As to repair work, the McLaren has fallen into line behind the 914/6 GT and the 911 but I've managed to have an accurate copy of the rear crossmember fabricated, three in fact, just in case I bend one
Posted 09 December 2005 - 02:16
(You don't want to know how much I paid for my copy twenty years ago)
Good luck, with the book and with the car.
Posted 09 December 2005 - 02:18
Photo copyright Tom Schultz, used by permission of Tom Schultz.
Posted 09 December 2005 - 06:02
Photo copyright Tom Schultz, used by permission of Tom Schultz.
Thanks Ray, couldn't see what I did wrong listing the picture, as you can see this is a shot of the car racing in 1969. I was told that the team had a real job keeping the temps down, they even ran with two oil coolers, one on top of the other.
Apparently they converted the oil system to a dry sump very early on, you can see the tank hanging out of the back.
Posted 09 December 2005 - 06:13
I have tried abebooks but using .com, your link is missing the end, they do not show the book at all. I have found everything he published about Hockey and a few on racing but not this title.
Can you send me a link to the page, Thanks
Posted 03 January 2006 - 05:39
Posted 03 March 2006 - 19:29
Here are some shots of the bare tub, now happily in the house and looking very nice in my office I must say! Take a look inside the back of the monocoque, you'll see the original orange paint applied by McLaren before Mssr Eaton changed it to his customary red hue.
I believe that this tub must have been one of the first three cars produced, it has some wierd reinforcements to the engine mountings on the side of the sponsons, I've seen nothing like them on any of the other M10's I've looked at.
Tony at Robin Automotive has confirmed that the rivet spacing points at the car being a very early production number, the suspension mounts have virtually half the number of rivets compared to the later A's
Behind the drivers head, facing the motor a revetment has been cut, this was for the experimental injection system built by Ryan Falconer
Here you can see remains of the Eaton red paint and below that the characteristic McLaren orange. I find this quite strange as Eaton ordered the car in red directly from the factory and according to "Five Minutes To Green" the delivery date was cancelled again and again giving the Canadian team virtually no time to "break the car in"
So that being the case, why would McLaren have painted the car orange first? It does seem rather strange, is it possible that Eaton Racing was given a hastily prepared Press Car?????
Detail of the mid sponson engine mount, I believe this was for the Ford Motor if fitted
Posted 03 March 2006 - 22:10
I just printed out the Crossle 15F restoration and it came to
100 pages....!!!! Absolutely fabulous.
Posted 04 March 2006 - 03:36
The Crossle resto was fabulous, I spent a long time looking at the various pictures you posted, if you have time I'd really like to talk to you to get your advice on suppliers and any shortcuts.
Posted 04 March 2006 - 09:16
I had nothing to do with the Crossle restoration, I was just
so very enthralled by the whole thing and the way it was
notulated and photographed that I printed it to read again
in the comfort of a salon chair.
Posted 04 March 2006 - 14:37
sorry, I thought that you were the guy who restored it!
That was a great history, I plan on doing the same with the McLaren.
I have been restoring a 914/6 to full GT spec and have over 700 images so far
Posted 04 March 2006 - 14:44
You can see where the tub has been sectioned and a new piece "let in" This is the front left hand corner
Posted 04 March 2006 - 15:07
Got to thank Tony from Robin Automotive for the advice on using Lava soap with steel wool, it works very well
This is the left rear sponson, had quite a knock there at some stage
Right hand rear suspension Pickup, Tony from Robin noted the 11 Rivets holding on the suspension outriggers, apparently a trait of the first few cars, McLaren literally doubled the rivet quantity feeling that the stresses were too great.
Posted 04 March 2006 - 16:08
Posted 04 March 2006 - 17:29
It'll be great to see what you do with all those pics.
BTW.. the company I worked for 25 years went bankrupt recently, so I am
on the dole now
If you need a hand typing out your notes, feel free to send me a mail.
Posted 05 March 2006 - 20:10
Posted 06 March 2006 - 00:02
I don't think that this duct was a McLaren fitting as the hole is cut out too crudely, was it done during the Eaton period for more cooling to the driver or later when the car was sold to Ludwig Heimrath?
In conversation with Ralph Frisken yesterday he described an additional tank, fabbed to fit over the drivers legs to increase the fuel capacity, the Falconner Injection was thirstier than the standard Webers, especially on long circuits like Elkhart Lake and Minesota.
I wonder if this is the tank? Problem is that this might have been added later in its life, racing cars being "A work in progress." The cap is a screw on affair
More people to thank especially Jerry Entin who is working as my connection to George Eaton. Jerry needs no introduction, he's quite a contributor to this site, a good driver in his own right he later went on to run such greats as Jody Schekter and hosted Graham Hill's protege Tony Brice when he visited the USA.
Ralph Frisken who's writing a letter authenticating the car, this will go to Charlie Agg at Trojan in order to get FIA papers.
Frank Orr for very kindly sending me a copy of "Five minutes to green" suitably autographed. I'm going to try to get all of the rest of the team and those who've helped to sign their names to it as well.
Hopefully tomorrow Ralph will visit this site, so too Ludwig Heimrath as I've just sent him the link.
Howden Ganley has already seen the car on line and this morning he came along for a look.
Here's Howden who, as a works driver alongside team mate Gethin raced an M10B , that before his F1 BRM days. I'm the shady looking fellow in the red sweater.
Howden tells me that his and Gethin's rides were built at Colnbrook and not, as was the case with customer cars, by Trojan. Seemingly Bruce didn't want to run them as "Works" cars (beating the clientel was considered bad form.) They were entered under "Church Farm Racing" although they did carry "Mc Laren Cars" boldly down either side giving the game away!
We discussed the various changes in upgrading the A into a B, those included dry sumping the motor, thereby lowering the drivetrain and center of gravity, another major change was to the front suspension geometry-many drivers had complained that you had to really manhandle the car around the corners. Different wheels with much less offset and more inset mated to longer suspension arms oriented the balljoint nearer the center of the wheel improving the Scrub radius and providing better turn in.
Howden experimented further with his car lowering the motor in the chassis to the point where they had to cut the sump down so that it would clear the ground.
Here's my youngest in the McLaren's Office
I have arranged with Bahner engineering to rebuild the tub and it will be going down to Ojai next week, or the week after, or the week after that, well, as soon as they call me anyway!
Posted 06 March 2006 - 18:06
It documnents a lot of "offs" that account for the various dings
Posted 12 March 2006 - 19:07
I've since heard from Ralph Friskin and after viewing this site he say's that this is positively the George Eaton car, as such he's writing a letter for me to take to Trojan in England in order to get a chassis plate.
"She Who Must Be Obeyed" went out on a shopping run yesterday, much akin to a Viking raiding party, except the victims are rubbing their hands in glee, so while she was out I managed to smuggle in the front suspension. Here's a dry run with the suspension fitted, that's an M10B nose, part of the Greenfield donation stash mentioned earlier. It's actually the nose from the Sir Nicholas Williamson McLaren, a highly succesful Hillclimb-Championship winning car Greenfield restored without care for cost. If anyone out there is in the maket for an M10, Giles' car is for sale right now in England at a company called Retro Track and Air. It's probably the best M10 on the market today and he's selling it for less than the restoration cost never mind the original purchase price. Email me if you are interested and I'll pass on the info
Posted 29 March 2006 - 01:45
Posted 06 May 2006 - 05:43
After a phone call I made to Ryan a few weeks earlier to discuss the specs of the motor, Luck would have it that just one system remained, almost complete and from the original batch made way back in 69.
A long discussion with Mssr. Falconer had convinced him to search his now depleted store for all of the important peices of the set-up. The manifold is a Hilborn, the injection pump and injectors from
a Mercedes 500 Limousine (the 6.3 liter V8 variety.) The gears, front castings, pump control unit-all Falconer special designs and according to Ralph Friskin this system made tons of power over the standard carbs - running a Bosch pump and injectors gave the car a true injection system.
I'd obviously met Ryan both at the right and wrong times, he was cleaning out his premises in order to move his famous Salinas workshop to Arizona and was quite happy to get rid of some of his accumulation of old systems, that was a plus, what was not, I'd come rather late and missed a lot of the essential pieces needed to finish the system in order to make it work.
Here are some pics of Ryan at his Salinas shop- An Ali Barbars cave of high performance motors.
The workshop is neatly packed with all manner of internal combustion fun from exotic V12 marine units to "souped up" Fiat Topolino flatheads, tweaked to produce more than three times the HP of the original four banger fitted by Enzo Ferrari's benefactors way back when.
40 years in the business, drawings and pictures abound the walls, my favourite, a scaled down motor produced to power a 2/3rds size Mustang fighter plane.
The original Mustang, propelled of course, by the legendary RR Merlin, the sound of which makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!
I'll post up some pictures of the unit as soon as I get it unpacked, check back soon-here's a taster!
Posted 07 May 2006 - 04:18
Posted 08 May 2006 - 00:12
The manifold needs some finishing work such as maching of the forward most web between the intake uprights, this is where the pump nestles having been bolted to the Falconer casting, also the injector bosses themselves have to be rheamed out, then threaded to suit the Mercedes injectors.
Don Enriquez at Hilborn will supply me with the butterflies and their bars, the linkages will have to be Jerry built and I'll be looking for a Magneto to deliver the spark.
Ryan threw into the deal a set of his signature red valve covers, fuel pump, fuel filter, some end fittings for the fuel lines and the original flaring tool. I am missing all 8 injectors and 3 of the pipe ends. If anyone has any I'd be very happy to hear from them!
Here you can see the Bosch pump.
I am waiting for the control unit which was a Falconer special design, in order to fit that, the back of the pumps driveshaft was cut down.
A picture of the "bosses" welded onto the unfinished Hilborn manifold, these need to be drilled, threaded and port matched to suit the Bosch Injectors.
This is the Bosch flaring tool used to make the steel fuel lines that run from the pump to the injectors, opening the box we found the original piece of paper with all of the length measurents for the Eaton car
Posted 08 May 2006 - 01:02
Posted 08 May 2006 - 13:52
I guess you've already spoken to Chuck Haines:
Originally posted by Exact10
Just to let anyone who is watching know.
I am looking for any parts that might help in the restoration of the M10. If you have anything or know anyone that has, I'd be very glad to hear from you.
Posted 09 May 2006 - 03:01
I have spoken to Chuck several times, he's a very knowledgeable and helpful guy.
Thanks for the contact though
Something that might interest you, I was reliably informed that you can trace the chassis numbers of the McLarens by the serial numbers on the bag tanks
Posted 09 May 2006 - 07:49
Very interesting. Do you mean that the bag tanks are numbered with the chassis number or do you have to have a table showing which tanks went into which car?
Posted 14 May 2006 - 20:37
here are some of the things I've managed to buy, be given, find and generally beg!
Frank Orr really came through, sending me a signed and dedicated copy of "Five Minutes To Green"
I'm going to be sending it to all who were involved with the car, asking them to autograph it suitably,
so far I've Howden Ganley's moniker along side that of Mr Orr. It's currently with George Eaton along with the steering wheel and will go on to Ralph Frisken and anyone else I can track down.
Here are some of the cloth patches used in the 60's by the McLaren team, the orange one (70's I'm reliably informed! Thanks twin window) I got on EBay, same for the lapel badge. The cloth shield was given to me by a very kind EBayer called Tim Fitzgerald when I was the underbidder on his auction for a genuine McLaren item, his Ebay tag is timmy040
Here's what he said
"I've got an Mclaren patch that was sold by Cocoa-Cola in the 70's when they were a sponsor of Mclaren. It's not the same as the original but it has the same motif. Kiwi and open wheel car etc. I'll send it to you free of charge as i feel bad you didn't win it and I would like to see you wear it on your suit. Send me your address and I'll get it out to you this week."
The reason I've given his Ebay name is that he might be listing more McLaren items soon, I want them of course, but have to see him get some fair bids on whatever he lists...You gotta look after your friends!!!!
Final Thanks go to "El Dougo" he gave me his copy of Sports Car World September 1969, he actually listed pics of it earlier in the posting but very kindly sent it to me all the way from Australia so Doug take a bow, Thanks very much!!