1969 McLaren M6 GT

Leading up to 1970, Bruce McLaren decided he was going to build the fastest mid-engine car in the world based on his potent Can-Am principles. The idea was to put a coupe body on his M6 monocoque and contend the Group 4 category in the World Sportscar Championship. This was always one of McLaren ambitions and it became one of his favorite projects.

McLaren intended to build 250 cars per year and sell the chassis and body without an engine. While the first prototypes used Chevrolet engines like his Can-Ams, Bruce imagined the seven liter Ford unit was suitable as well.

Unfortunately, homologation requirements changed, and a minimum of 50 cars had to be made for the M6 GT to race. This made the project too large for McLaren, and without the initial promotion of the cars on the track, the M6 GT race program was scrapped.

However, this didn’t detour McLaren from offering one of the most impressively equipped cars in the world, essentially a road-legal, protoype race-car. But this meant that the car had a cramped interior and no real usability.

The first prototype was built at the McLaren racing factory and became Bruce’s personal car. Two or three more cars followed and came from Trojan-Lambretta, the company that manufactured McLaren’s customer cars. One of these was raced fairly extensively by David Prophet.

Bruce McLaren used a red M6 GT as his personal transportation until his unexpected death in June of 1970. With his untimely passing, the M6GT never made it to any large scale production. Just over twenty years later, however, with the revival of McLaren in Formula One, Bruce McLaren’s dreams were realized when the McLaren F1 supercar was released in 1994.

The December 1974 edition of Road & Track did a cover article on one of the M6 GTs and despite being four years old, they christened it ‘the wildest road car’.

Bruce’s personal car, with license number OBH 500H only had 1900 miles when he died. It sold to Denny Hulme in New Zealand, eventually making its way to the Mathews Collection near Denver Colorado. Fortunately, it remains there in absolutely original condition.

In Detail

submitted byRichard Owen
typeSeries Production Car
engineChevrolet LT1 V8
valvetrainPushrod OHV, 2 Valves per Cyl
fuel feed4 Weber Twin choke Carburetors
displacement5735 cc / 350.0 in³
bore101.6 mm / 4.0 in
stroke88.4 mm / 3.48 in
power275.9 kw / 370 bhp @ 5800 rpm
specific output64.52 bhp per litre
bhp/weight462.5 bhp per tonne
torque502 nm / 370.3 ft lbs @ 4000 rpm
body / frameSheet Aluminum Chassis
driven wheelsRWD
front brakesGirling Vented Discs
rear brakesGirling Vented Discs
steeringRack & Pinion
f suspensionDouble Wishbones w/Coil Springs over Dampers, Anti-Roll Bar
r suspensionDouble Wishbones w/Coil Springs over Dampers, Anti-Roll Bar
curb weight800 kg / 1764 lbs
wheelbase2450 mm / 96.5 in
front track1350 mm / 53.1 in
rear track1350 mm / 53.1 in
length4114 mm / 162.0 in
width1854 mm / 73.0 in
height1016 mm / 40.0 in
transmissionZF 5DS-26 5 speed Manual
top speed~289.7 kph / 180 mph
0 – 60 mph~4.2 seconds


Auction Sales History


1968 McLaren M6 B GT Recreation – sold for €159,734 In 1980 a German businessman decided to have an M6 B GT built as all three original ones were not available at the time. He started with, as did Bruce McLaren before, an open M12 with chassis number 60-05, and had Northdown Racing put an original Coupe body, which were still lying around at Trojan, to that chassis number. A photographic record of these works are still available with the car. The car was commissioned to retain its roadworthiness as a road legal car, and the car was finished and road registered in the UK in 1984. The German owner subsequently campaigned the car in some races of the “Steigenberger Supersports Car Series”. He sold it in 1998 to fellow German Hanns Arnold, who has a six litre Aluminium engine fitted to the car. The car is presented in good original condition with the mechanics “on the button”. A very rare chance to purchase a road legal McLaren M6.

Auction Source: Coy’s 2010 Legende et Passion Auction