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1972 McLaren M20

For 1972 Can-Am season, McLaren developed the M20 which took Denny Hulme to two victories in the Porsche 917/10 dominated series.

Compared the M8F it replaced, the M20 had a rear-mounted radiator which made way for a front-mounted air spoiler that dramatically increased from grip.

Unfortunately, the car’s massive 509 cu. in. (8,340 cc) Chevrolet engine was the main cause of retirements in the 1972 season, but offered an ample 750 bhp.

At the end of the 1972 season the Bruce McLaren Motor Racing M20’s were sold to privateers and continued to race. Denny Hulme took second place in the championship that year.

Story by Richard Michael Owen

In Detail

tags canam
submitted by Official Galleries
type Series Production Car
production 3
engine Chevrolet 90º V8
position Rear, Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
valvetrain OHV, 2 Valves per Cyl
displacement 8341 cc / 509 in³
bore 114.3 mm / 4.50 in
stroke 101.60 mm / 4.00 in
power 586.9 kw / 787 bhp @ 6400 rpm
specific output 94.35 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 1140.58 bhp per tonne
torque 1003 nm / 739.8 ft lbs @ 4400 rpm
body / frame Fibreglass Body over Aluminum Monocoque
driven wheels RWD
front tires Goodyear
rear tires Goodyear
steering Rack & Pinion
f suspension Radius Arms & Lower Wishbones w/Coil-over-Dampers
r suspension Radius Arms & Lower Wishbones w/Coil-over-Dampers
curb weight 690 kg / 1521 lbs
wheelbase 2540 mm / 100.0 in
front track 1570 mm / 61.8 in
rear track 1524 mm / 60.0 in
length 4521 mm / 178.0 in
width 2057 mm / 81.0 in
height 1168 mm / 46.0 in
transmission Hewland LG Mk II 4-speed Manual


Auction Sales History


1972 McLaren M20 Can-Am M20-1 – sold for $2,000,000 Factory McLaren team car chassis M20-1. The only team McLaren M20 that retains the original tub and bodywork. Jackie Stewart initially tested the M20 and was to be Denny Hulme’s team mate. Raced in 1972 by Peter Revson and tested by his team mate Denny Hulme. Raced in 1973 by David Hobbs and Derek Bell in Carling Black Label livery. Raced in 1974 by Scooter Patrick and won the last official Can-Am race at Road America. Raced in 1975 by Milt Minter, US Racing. Raced in 1976 George Follmer, US Racing. From 1987-Present raced and exhibited at numerous vintage events and Concours d’Elegance shows. Restored in 2005-2006 in preparation for the 40th Can-Am Reunion at Road America.
Auction Source: Monterey 2014 by Mecum Auctions