McLaren M10A car-by-car histories
With the introduction of Formula 5000 into the UK in 1969, McLaren built the McLaren M10A, derived from the F1 M7A. It was put into production by Trojan, and Peter Gethin took the prototype to the British championship.
The M10A differed from the M7A in having an "up-and-over" monocoque instead of the less rigid bathtub monocoque of the M7A, and as a result was a little larger and significantly heavier than its elder sister. Four cars were quickly sold to the US, but only Peter Gethin's quasi-works prototype ran in the UK. Additional cars were sold to Canada, Australia and to British hillclimbing, but it was only when Gethin's car transferred to the US very successfully in July that a second batch of cars was sold to the US. Towards the end of the year, two more cars were sold to South Africa. George Eaton was McLaren's most successful driver in the US series until Sam Posey acquired a M10A to replace his Eagles, and won at Lime Rock in September. Frank Matich and Graham McRae both won races in the 1970 Tasman series, and orders for the new 1970 M10B were brisk.
Eoin Young's book on McLaren says Trojan sold 20 M10As, but then says they only built 17. Records from a parts supplier show that coil/shock units were supplied for M10A 300-01 to 300-26 but it looks like some of these must have been kept for spares or absorbed into the M10B production. As well as the Trojan production, assumed to have started at 300-01, there was a prototype car built by McLaren that carried the number M10A/1. The highest known number for a M10A is 300-16 but as new ones were appearing as late as December, that isn't definitive. Production could be anywhere between 16 and 23 but the most likely number of complete cars, as opposed to monocoques, appears to be 16.
The nine US-based M10As continued in front-line service for several years, and several of them raced right through the 1970s. In the UK, two ran in sprints and hillclimbs until 1977, but one of the South African cars was destroyed, as were the two cars in New Zealand and Australia. Several are either still missing or are unresolved. If you can add anything to our understanding of these cars, please contact Allen Brown (email@example.com).
Peter Gethin's works car in UK series 1969. Also taken to USA for three mid-season races: US 1969 R6-R8. Sold to Doug Serrurier for Paddy Driver (SA) 1970 (4 starts plus 1 DNS) and then crashed at Roy Hesketh 5 Jul 1970 and not raced again.
Retained by Driver until May 2000 when bought by Duncan Fox and Tony Roberts of Group 7 Sportscars in New Zealand. Roberts took full ownership of the car in 2009 and - as of May 2011 - was working to have it completed for racing in 2012. The restoration continues, but in 2014, Tony Roberts bought a M10A from the US instead. In April 2016, Duncan Fox was continuing with the restoration of M10A/1. By 2018, Roberts had sold the M10A to private collection in the USA, but it was still with Fox to be finished.
Driven by: Peter Gethin and Paddy Driver. First race: Oulton Park (UK R1), 4 Apr 1969. Total of 16 recorded races.
George Eaton: US and Canadian series 1969 (#98 red, won at Mont-Tremblant 25 May 1969, second at Mosport Park 18 May 1969 - both in Canadian series - and third at Seattle 6 Jul 1969 in US series). Identified as chassis 300-02 in a letter from Eaton when Ian Fitz-Simon owned the car in 2008.
Advertised by Gary Magwood's Race Equipe CT&T June 1970. To Ludwig Heimrath US and Canadian series 1970 (7 races and 2 DNS) - Gregg Peterson (Sunnyvale, CA) US 1971 (one race only - R2 Laguna Seca 2 May 1971; advertised 4 Dec 1971) - Lou Pavesi US 1972. In conversation with Ian Fitz-Simon, Pavesi recalled that this car was damaged during unloading and the right rear suspension was knocked off. He sold the car to someone in Mountain View, CA but knows nothing more. Unknown in 1973 and 1974 but apparantly unused. When acquired by Ian Fitz-Simon in 2005, the tyres were still dated '72'.
Phil Kreuger (Sausalito, CA) advertised a M10A 'incomplete roller' Autoweek 27 Sep 1975 and sells the car to Jim Jensen (Bay area, CA) who recalls that it had been crashed at Laguna Seca. Retained for many years until sold to Ian Fitz-Simon (Northern CA) in 2005, complete with wheels and engine but in very poor condition. Being restored during 2006. Sold to Graham Christie (Christchurch, NZ), the son of Poul Christie, in the first half of 2008. According to Tony Roberts, Christie still had the car in May 2011.
Driven by: George Eaton, Ludwig Heimrath, Gregg Peterson and Lou Pavesi. First race: Riverside (US R1), 20 Apr 1969. Total of 22 recorded races.
Unknown in 1969 but likely to be one of the cars entered at Round 1 for Hansen or Barker. See the 1969 mystery cars.
Unknown in 1969 but likely to be one of the cars entered at Round 1 for Hansen or Barker. See the 1969 mystery cars.
Lothar Motschenbacher US 1969 (6 races crewed by Jonesy Morris). Motschenbacherwent to England to help with the build of his car and only just made the first race. He did not continue to the late-1969 Sebring race and Motschenbacher Racing Enterprises advertised two M10As on 1 Nov 1969, one five races old (presumably meaning his usual car which had raced six times) and one brand new, now believed to be 300-12.
Autoweek reported on 1 Nov 1969 that Ron Grable will race a ex-Motschenbacher M10A in the 1970 Tasman. The car was rebuilt by mechanic and Spectre HR1 constructor Ken Holden with a shovel nose and side radiators. Entered by Don Williams for Grable (Mountain View, CA) Tasman 1970; then for Lou Pavesi (Los Altos Hills, CA) US 1970; for Jon Milledge (Mountain View, CA) US late 1970 (1 race only, St Jovite 1 Aug: crashed heavily and needed new tub which Pavesi visited Trojan to buy); rebuilt and raced by Milledge US 1971 (#91, two early-season West Coast races only). Advertised Dec 1971 still with the shovel nose and side radiators.
Next seen when entered for the Laguna Seca Pro race in May 1973 where it was to be driven by Doug Dreager, Pavesi's chief crew. Dreager crashed heavily in practice, hitting the guardrail at Turn 2. Dreager recalls that "the car was completely destroyed, last I heard it was crushed into a 2 foot square coffee table".
Driven by: Lothar Motschenbacher, Ron Grable, Lou Pavesi, Jon Milledge and Doug Dreager. First race: Riverside (US R1), 20 Apr 1969. Total of 19 recorded races.
Spent 1969 acting as a show car in Australia. Graham McRae (NZ) "new" NZ GS late 1969 (debut R3 Bay Park 16 Nov 1969), Tasman 1970 (Levin GP Jan 1970). Frank Radisich Tasman 1971. Then to Robbie Francevic Tasman 1972. Then to Gary Pederson and used in the 1972/73 New Zealand Gold Star. Duncan Fox has spoken with Gary Pederson who confirmed Duncan's research that this tub ended up in a children's playground and was eventually disposed of.
Driven by: Graham McRae, Frank Radisich, Robbie Francevic and Garry Pedersen. First race: Baypark Raceway (NZGS R3), 16 Nov 1969. Total of 28 recorded races.
Dispatched by Trojan on 17 May 1969 to Roger McCaig (Canada). John Cordts #55 1969 R6, Roger McCaig #55 R9, R11-R12; unraced 1970, 1971 - Howie Fairbanks (St Paul, MN) 1972-1975 (also raced by Dick Kantrud (Waterton, MN) at Elkhart Lake 29 July 1973 and by Jim Sechser (St. Louis Park, MN) at the Road Race of Champions (the SCCA Runoffs) at Road Atlanta in November 1973. It was raced by both Sechser and Faibanks in 1975, with Fairbanks taking it to third place at the Runoffs at the end of 1975.
In July 1977, the car was donated to a museum in Rimouski, Quebec, and it remained there until sold to Yves-Luc Perreault (Quebec, Canada) in September 1984 and extensively restored. It was sold to owner 'Berrastaquin' (Dallas, TX) 1993, then to Ron Mass (Atlanta, GA) 1997, and then to Andrew Simpson (Houston) Dec 1999. It was bought by Jesús Pozo (Madrid, Spain) in November 2005. Pozo's immaculately restored car was tested by ex-F1 driver Pedro de la Rosa at Jarama for the autopista.es web site in November 2016.
Driven by: John Cordts, Roger McCaig, Howie Fairbanks, Jim Sechser and Dick Kantrud. First race: Road America (US R6), 20 Jul 1969. Total of 20 recorded races.
Dispatched by Trojan on 14 Jun 1969 to Nick Williamson (Mortimer, Berkshire), and raced at the International hillclimbs at St Ursanne-Les Rangiers and Ollon-Villars before making its British debut at Prescott in early September. Won all three UK outings in late 1969. Rebuilt at the factory to M10B specification for the 1970 British Hill Climb Championship. Williamson won four championship rounds and took the championship by the narrowest of margins after his rival David Hepworth lost his clutch at the last event.
Not used in 1971, and then sold to Johnty Williamson for the 1972 Sprint season. Johnty won two rounds of the British Sprint Championship, and also the Brighton Speed Trials. Roy Lane also drove the M10A/B at Pontypool that season. Johnty also won at Duxford in 1973. He recalls driving this car from early 1972 to late 1973 when he sold it to Stephen Cuff, but its history in 1974 is unknown.
Martyn Griffiths had a second M10B during 1975 (see M10B 400-07): used in British Hill Climb Championship but exact results unknown. One car advertised Sep 1975 and Mar 1976. The ex-Sir Nick Williamson car was sold to Richard White and used in the British Sprint Championship 1976 and 1977, then sold to Jack le Fort (London). According to John Venables' later history of the car, it passed from Le Fort to David Hepperson or Hipperson 1977: used in speed events and libre, then to London dealer Tony Hildebrand 1985 and raced in F5000 events at Brands Hatch, Snetterton and Thruxton. It was crashed at some point by Bill Hall (Sheffield). Then to John Venables (Florida, US) 1989, shipped to the US and rebuilt by Jim Eccles (Lakeland, FL). Advertised for sale in 1998/1999 and sold to Giles Greenfield (Seattle, WA), who had it restored by Tony Garmey in 2002.
Sold some time between 2004 and 2008 to UK-based Kiwi Grant Clearwater and raced in the Derek Bell Trophy race at Brands Hatch in 2008. Clearwater ran the car at the Tasman Revival series race at Hampton Downs January 2010, and again at the Gulf Oil Howden Ganley Festival at Hampton Downs in January 2015.
Driven by: Sir Nicholas Williamson, Johnty Williamson, Bob Rose and Richard White. First race: St Ursanne-Les Rangiers, 24 Aug 1969. Total of 50 recorded races.
Dispatched by Trojan on 24 Jul 1969 to Bob Esseks (New York, NY) #0 R8-R9, ARRC (spare for Posey at R13?). Used in SCCA Nationals by Esseks through 1970 and according to a document signed by Esseks in 2008, he crashed this car in a race at Mid-Ohio and bought a new black monocoque from Trojan to repair it. Trojan have issued a Verification Statement to this new monocoque stating it is 300-12 but as the statement gives the date of dispatch as 23 July 1969, the colour as white and the customer as Motschenbacher, that cannot relate to the black monocoque dispatched to Esseks in 1970.
Two cars now exists where there was only one so, in common with OldRacingCars.com's treatment of other cars that have been rebuilt on new tubs, the two cars that have emerged from 300-09 are given here as: "300-09 (A)", the car now built on the original tub; and "300-09 (B)", the car built on the replacement tub.
Driven by: Bob Esseks and Sam Posey. First race: Road America (US R6), 20 Jul 1969. Total of 12 recorded races.
After M10A 300-09 had been rebuilt on a replacement monocoque in 1970, the original monocoque remained with the rebuilt car until 1988 when Wes McNay and Henry Alexander completely restored the M10A for US vintage racing using the original monocoque. McNay finished 4th overall and first in class at the Brian Redman International Challenge at Road America 18-20 July 2003 in this car. Sold to Dave Isselhard (Battle Ground, WA) Dec 2005 and raced in vintage racing in the US northwest with Oregon Region SCCA. Sold in 2014 to Tony Roberts (Auckland, New Zealand), who replaced the 410 ci 750 bhp (!) sprint car Chevrolet engine with an iron block 5-litre unit. Raced by Roberts in the F5000 Tasman Revival in 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2017/18. Also raced at the Monterey Historics in 2015. In 2018, the car was on display at the Bruce McLaren Heritage Centre, at Hampton Downs, near Auckland.
After 300-09 was rebuilt on its new tub, Bob Esseks (New York, NY) finished 2nd at 1970 ARRC. The car (and its damaged original tub) sold to Wil Painter (Canton Country, CA) in Dec 1970 according to Esseks' statement but adverts suggest it was some time in 1971. Raced by Painter once in the 1971 US Pro series, at Mid-Ohio 5 Jul 1971. Sold to Merle Brennan (Reno, NV) Dec 1971, apparantly replacing the M10A Brennan had used in 1971: US 1972 (2 California races), SCCA Nationals 1972 (at least three races; all won); US 1973 (2 West Coast races), SCCA Nationals 1973 (at least two races; at least one win) - Glenn Brown (Kent, WA) late 1973: raced in Pacific Northwest for two years - Jan Labell (Olympia, WA) Nov 1975: raced in Pacific Northwest for three seasons, winning SCCA NorPac FA title in 1976 and 1977 and breaking the Portland FA track record - via Tom Fredericks - Chuck Haines (Manchester, Missouri) Sep 1985 - former M10A racer Lou Pavesi (Los Altos, CA) Sep 1986: used in Vintage racing. Then sold to Wes McNay and Henry Alexander (Menlo Park, CA) 1988 who rebuilt the car on its original monocoque. The second monocoque was then sold to Kirt Bennett of RM Motorsports Inc (Wixom, MI) who built it up into a second car. This car was then sold to Daniel Lipetz (Vancouver, BC) 2006.
Lipetz reported that this replacement chassis had a "Verification Statement" from Trojan dated 10 Sep 1990 which identified the car as 300-12. Instead of identifying a spare monocoque supplied to Esseks in 1970, it would appear that Trojan mistakenly gave the details of a car sold to Lothar Motschenbacher in 1969. It is quite clear from Trojan's statement that if 300-12 was sold to Motschenbacher in July 1969, it cannot possibly be the monocoque provided directly by Trojan to Esseks some time in 1970. Therefore the number '300-12' cannot be applied to this car.
This car was sold to George Frey (Englewood, CO) in 2008. Still with George Frey of RaceKraft & Design (Englewood, CO) in November 2014. Raced at Road America in July 2016, July 2017 and July 2018.
Driven by: Bob Esseks, Wil Painter, Merle Brennan, Glenn Brown and Jan Labell. First race: Road Atlanta, 29 Nov 1970. Total of 24 recorded races.
New to Frank Matich (Cremorne, Australia) late 1969. Raced in the 1970 Tasman series, taking four pole positions and winning at Pukekohe and Wigram. Damaged in an accident during a preliminary race at the Singapore GP in March 1970 and replaced with a new M10B. The M10A was repaired, fitted with a Repco Holden engine and sold to Don O'Sullivan, who was entered by Team Matich in the 1971 Tasman series. O'Sullivan crashed at Teretonga and the car was destroyed. Parts were later used in O'Sullivan's Gardos F5000 car.
Driven by: Frank Matich and Don O'Sullivan. First race: Surfers Paradise, 26 Oct 1969. Total of 11 recorded races.
Unknown in 1969. See the 1969 mystery cars.
Unknown in 1969. See the 1969 mystery cars.
Unknown in 1969. See the 1969 mystery cars. Reappears 1991 when owned by Bill Schley (Hartland, WI). Bill had a bare tub and had been told that it was an unused spare. Sold later that year to Tom Frederickson. It became part of a package deal with three Can-Am cars which were restored one at a time with the F5000 getting lowest priority. At some point this work moved to Dan Gallant's Gallant Racing Supplies (Oakland, CA) and the owner was then said to be "a doctor in Sacramento". From 2002 to 2004, Gallant advertised a "complete but unassembled" M10 alongside a 'sold' Can-Am M6B and M8E 80-09 on a largely unchanged web page.
The M10A was bought by Tim Arnett (San Jose, CA) in early 2002. It has the original white paint covered by a Gulf paint scheme which was presumably done in the 1970-1973 timeframe. Displayed at the Monterey Historics in 2015, when it was not quite ready to run. Still with Tim in November 2016.
Bob Olthoff SA 1970, 1971. Mike Domingo SA 1972. Became the Domingo's second car after the acquisition of M10B 400-18S in 1973. Domingo Brothers 1973 and maybe 1974. At some point caught fire and not used again. The brothers' second car thereafter used the tub from 400-16(A) and parts from 300-15. The fate of the 300-15 tub is unknown and may have been destroyed.
Driven by: Bob Olthoff and Mike Domingo. First race: Killarney (R1), 10 Jan 1970. Total of 26 recorded races.
Garth McGillewie (SA) 1970 for South African series (3 starts in January then DNS at Roy Hesketh in March due to engine problems and not seen again). Sold back to England to Jack Lilley, backer of Fred Saunders' Crosslé, fitted with Rover V8 engine and raced by Jake Allport and Rob Taylor in UK series 1971. Advertised by Jack Lilley (Shepperton) "Rover V8 5-litre" "McLaren M0A/B" 15 Jun 1972.
Andrew Carvell UK 1973: raced by John Bowtell (Witney, Oxfordshire) UK 1973. Later advertised by Bowtell as McLaren M10B "ready to race sprint or hill climb. 5-litre Rover engine" through 1974. Sold to Simon Riley (Chiswick, London), sponsored by 'Monsieur Houbigant' cologne: British Hill Climb 1975 (9th at Bouley Bay 24 Jul 1975) and sprints 1975 (e.g. 2nd at Longton AS 27 Mar 1975 p50). 5.0 M10B-Rover AS 3 Apr 1975 p46. Wins at Curborough early April 1975 (picture) AS 10 Apr 1975 p51. Sold to John Peskett (Leicester) 1977; retained 2001 still in Houbigant colours. On display at the Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting in September 2009.
Driven by: Garth McGillewie, Jake Allport, Rob Taylor, John Bowtell and Simon Riley. First race: Killarney (R1), 10 Jan 1970. Total of 17 recorded races.
If Eoin Young is right that 17 were built and if 300-13 was built, the last production car would have been 300-17. There is no sign of this car and it is possible it became an early M10B instead. Could this be the replacement tub that Bob Esseks is said to have bought for 300-09 or the tub Lou Pavesi bought for 300-05?
If Eoin Young is right that 17 were built and if 300-13 was not built, the last production car would have been 300-18. There is no sign of this car and it is possible it became an early M10B instead. Could this be the replacement tub that Bob Esseks is said to have bought for 300-09 or the tub Lou Pavesi bought for 300-05?
The 1969 mystery cars
As well as the cars mentioned above (Eaton's 300-02, Motschenbacher's 300-05, McCaig's 300-07 and Esseks' 300-09), five other M10As were seen in North America in 1969. These were presumably 300-03, 300-04 (probably Hansen and Barker); then 300-11, 300-12 and 300-14. This is exactly (but probably coincidentally) matched by five unknown M10As racing in the US.
'the Pete Botsford car'
Entered by Pete Botsford (Boulder, CO) for John Barker (Denver, CO) to drive in the 1969 US series. The car was entered as the #6 entry at the opening round but was not actually seen in either Pro or SCCA racing until Lime Rock on 1 September, where Barker was entered as #8. Barker retired early at Lime Rock, and then crashed the car during practice for the next race, at Mont Tremblant. The early entry suggested it was one of the first cars, so probably 300-03 or 300-04 - or possibly 300-06 if that car spent 1969 in the US before McRae acquired it.
Sold by Botsford to his old friend Barry Blackmore (San Marino, CA), who repaired it and raced it in US series 1971 (first three races of season only). Sold to Vanguard Racing (Len Miller) for Benny Scott in 1972, and used in a couple of SCCA Nationals and in five Pro races, with a best result of 14th at R5 Brainerd in July. Then to an unknown owner who stored it at Swanson Motor Racing (Costa Mesa, CA) in 1974. To Ali Roushan (Costa Mesa, CA) in 1975, and modified for road use, appearing in a Road & Track feature in June 1976. To Michael Duncan (Los Altos, CA) June 1988. Sold to Bill Moir (Salinas, CA) 1988. Michael believes that Moir restored the car and then sold it but history then unknown until the car was restored by Mike Dobudja at MPH Mikes Performance Headquarters (Phoenix, AZ) in the 1990s. To Steve Cottrell (Phoenix, AZ) in 1995, and after he died in 2016, the car passed to his son Steve Cottrell Jr (Scottsdale, AZ), who advertised it in November that year. Sold in 2017 to Rob Ward (Tauranga, New Zealand). Still with Ward in June 2020, when it was nearly ready to hit the track.
Driven by: John Barker, Barry Blackmore and Benny Scott. First race: Lime Rock (US R10), 1 Sep 1969. Total of 11 recorded races.
'the Jerry Hansen car'
Jerry Hansen raced a McLaren M10A in the US series in 1969 (#44 and probably orange). He was first seen on 20 April, so his car would have been one of the early ones; most likely 300-03 or 300-04. Hansen had a huge accident in the car at Road America in July 1969, and Autoweek reported that Hansen's McLaren was "wiped out". However, John Mahler had a McLaren M10A at the November Runoffs and also at the Sebring race at the end of December 1969, where his car was said to be "ex-Hansen".
To Fred Baker (Mounds, MN), and raced in the 1970 US series. The car was still orange, but now entered as #29. Baker performed well in the car, finishing fourth at Riverside in April, and at Sears Point in June. At Brainerd in August, Baker went off during practice and received a back injury, for which he was hospitalised. He was reported to be still recovering the following May. No details of the accident have been found, and it is not known if the McLaren was seriously damaged. Baker did not reappear, and the subsequent history of the McLaren is unknown.
Driven by: Jerry Hansen, John Mahler, Fred Baker and Hiroshi Fushida. First race: Riverside (US R1), 20 Apr 1969. Total of 13 recorded races.
'the Jon Ward car'
Jon Ward (Saugus, CA) entered a blue #35 McLaren at R4 Continental Divide in June 1969 but did not arrive. Ward had driven a Chevrolet Camaro, later transformed into a Pontiac Firebird, in SCCA's A Sedan class in 1968 and early 1969, having previously been a regular in sprint car events. With the McLaren, Ward finished fifth at Sears Point on 22 June, but his driving was protested after the race by George Wintersteen, claiming Ward had blocked him. At Seattle in July, Ward qualified impressively in ninth position, and and finished seventh, but did not appear again that season. By September, the car was on display at Friendly Chevrolet in Rialto, CA, and Ward also advertised the car that month.
In 1971, Ward reappeared in Formula A, entering a "Nova Mk 1" at Riverside in April. He qualified well down in 27th, but went very strongly in Heat 1, finishing in a very strong sixth position. He retired from Heat 2 with engine problems, and was classified 10th overall. His car was described as a McLaren "M10B" at Mid-Ohio in July, suggesting the Nova was actually rhe old McLaren M10A rebuilt. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Jon Ward. First race: Sears Point (US R4), 22 Jun 1969. Total of 4 recorded races.
'the Sam Posey car'
New to Ray Caldwell's Autodynamics Corp for Sam Posey (Sharon, CT) to race in the 1969 US series, replacing a pair of wrecked Eagles. Posey first appeared in this car at Lime Rock on 2 August. It was sponsored by television personality Steve Allen and Classic Wax, a brand of car wax, and wasentered at #1 as Steve Allen's Classic Wax Special. Posey used it in seven races, and had one win, back at Lime Rock again on 1 September, where he also took pole position. Given the timing of its first appearance, this would probably have been chassis 300-11, 300-12 or 300-14. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Sam Posey. First race: Lime Rock (US R7), 2 Aug 1969. Total of 7 recorded races.
'the Alan Bouverat car'
Alan Bouverat (Palos Verdes Estates, CA) US 1969 (R13 Sebring 28 Dec 1969 only), US 1970 (3 races - last seen R5 Sears Point 28 June 1970). Bouverat Racing's 15 Aug 1970 advert calls it a new car. Maybe 300-12 or 300-14? It's worth noting that Motschenbacher did not continue to the late-1969 Sebring race and Motschenbacher Racing Enterprises advertised two M10As on 1 Nov 1969, one five races old (presumably meaning his usual car which had raced six times) and one brand new. In 1990, Trojan issued a Verification Statement saying that chassis 300-12 was sold to Motschenbacher in July 1969. It would appear that was Motschenbacher's second "brand new" car.
Like Bouverat, Motschenbacher wore #11. Could Bouverat have bought Motschenbacher's brand new car?
Driven by: Alan Bouverat. First race: Sebring International Raceway (US R13), 28 Dec 1969. Total of 4 recorded races.
The 1970 mystery cars
The main mysteries are in the US but there might also be one in the UK. Nine cars had run in the US in 1969 and eight can be accounted for in the known end-of-season movements. Grable took over Motschenbacher's 300-05, McCaig retained 300-07, Esseks retained 300-09, Eaton's car went to Heimrath, Hansen's to Baker and Botsford's to Blackmore, while Ward and Bouverat retained their cars. So only Posey's car goes missing. The ex-Botsford car spent 1970 being rebuilt by Barry Blackmore.
Just one unexplained car appears in 1970: John Bisignano of Denver, CO doing a full season. This was presumably the ex-Posey car.
Meanwhile in England, John Bosomworth was reported to have taken delivery of a McLaren M10A to replace his Rover-engined M4B but Roy Lightie, who worked for Bosomworth, confirmed in August 2015 that had retained his older M4-based car for 1970.
In October 1970, Ted Hummell (Englewood, CO) advertised a M10A. This may be the Barker or Bisgnano car.
'the John Bisignano car'
John Bisignano (Denver, CO), later a F1 commentator for ESPN, raced a M10A in the US Pro series in 1970. Advertised 20 Mar 1971. To Palumbo Lees Racing: driven by John Marshall (Sandusky, Ohio) US 1971 (three races only: R4 Mid-Ohio 5 Jul, R7 Brainerd 15 Aug and R8 Lime Rock 6 Sep); later driven by Tony Palumbo (Toledo, Ohio): US 1972: only two known entries: R3 Watkins Glen 18 Jun 1972 (unknown entry) and R4 Elkhart Lake 16 Jul 1972 (DNS). Palumbo sold the car in 1974 to Patrick Garmyn (Archbold, Ohio) who was stepping up from karts straight into F5000. He raced the car a total of 18 times, including Blackhawk Farms in August 1975, the 1975 Runoffs and a SCCA National at Nelson Ledges 23 May 1976. He sold it at the Kruse Classic car auction to Tommy Turner BMW (Houston, TX) who was buying it to put in his showroom.
Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: John Bisignano, John Marshall, Tony Palumbo and Patrick Garmyn. First race: Riverside (US R1), 19 Apr 1970. Total of 15 recorded races.
The 1971 mystery cars
For 1971, Jon Milledge retained 300-05, McCaig still had 300-07, Will Painter acquired 300-09, Gregg Peterson acquired the ex-Eaton/Heimrath car, Palumbo Lees acquired the Bisignano car, Blackmore brought out the ex-Botsford/Barker car and Jon Ward appears to have retained his car. The cars of Fred Baker and Bouverat both disappear at this point, but one new M10A driver appears: Merle Brennan in his first M10A.
'the Merle Brennan car'
Merle Brennan (Reno, Nevada) raced a car through the 1971 season, first seen at the SCCA National at Riverside 14 Feb 1971. As well as a full season of Nationals, Brennan also appeared at three west coast Pro races in April and May and at the USAC Seafair '200' in August. At the end of 1971, Brennan is said to have bought 300-09 from Wil Painter so Brennan must have had two M10As. It seems unlikely that he would sell one M10A only to buy another so maybe his 1971 car was wrecked? Subsequent history of his 1971 car unknown.
Driven by: Merle Brennan. First race: Riverside, 14 Feb 1971. Total of 12 recorded races.
The 1972 mystery cars
Six M10As continue service into 1972. Of the ones already covered, Howie Fairbanks buys 300-07, Brennan buys 300-09, Pavesi buys Peterson's ex-Eaton/Heimrath car, Len Miller and Benny Scott buy Blackmore's and Palumbo's car is retained. Of the other 1971 runners, Milledge's 300-05 and Ward both disappear. Brennan's 1971 car also disappears.
Fairbanks, Brennan, Pavesi, Scott and Palumbo are joined by Tony Settember in a highly modified M10A.
'the Tony Settember car'
The McLaren M10/18 of Tony Settember (Penngrove, CA) in 1972 was 'a much modified M10A chassis which had been cut front and back, lengthening the wheelbase by 5"' according to the Motoring News report on Road Atlanta 1972. The car was prepared by Bruce Burness, who had been George Follmer's mechanic in 1971. Raced by Settember in the US series in 1972 (6 races); and in 1973 (7 races; best finish 4th at final race at Seattle). Raced by Jim Mullins (Gresham, OR) in SCCA Northwest Regionals in 1974, leading at the Kent Regional 19 May 1974. Advertised Mar 1975 and presumably the same car raced by Mullins at Sears Point April 1976.
To Bert Frank (San Francisco, CA) later in 1976 and raced by him in SCCA Regionals that year. Advertised in January 1977 and sold to Fred W Cornelius (Reno, NV). Frank advertised it as Settember's 1973 car and Cornelius recalls that it was fitted with a sports car nose. Cornelius ran it in Formula A in SCCA Regionals on the west coast in 1977 and 1978, then sold it to former M10A owner Merle Brennan (Reno, NV). Brennan crashed badly at the Laguna Seca June Sprints on 24 June 1979, and the car caught fire, leaving Brennan with a head injury and major burns. The car was destroyed by the fire, and Cornelius recalls that it was buried at the landfill east of Reno. Brennan was in a burns unit for three months, and the head injury he suffered was believed to be the trigger for Alzheimer's disease that worsened over the next few years. He returned to competition in July 1980 with a Can-Am Lola, and the SCCA allowed Brennan to continue to drive even after he could no longer remember his wife Norah's name, and in 1984 she had to plead with SCCA officials to withdraw his licence. Merle died on Christmas Eve 1996 after many years in a nursing home.
Driven by: Tony Settember, Jim Mullins, Bert Frank, Fred Cornelius and Merle Brennan. First race: Laguna Seca (US R1), 7 May 1972. Total of 21 recorded races.
The later mystery cars
In 1973, only Merle Brennan (300-09), Howie Fairbanks (300-07) and Tony Settember carry on with their M10As in pro races. After the end of 1973, no M10As appear again in Pro races. Brennan's car goes to Glenn Brown and then to Jan Labell in the Pacific Northwest; Fairbanks keeps his until 1975 when it goes into a museum; and Settember's goes to Jim Mullin for 1974.
'the Martin Fogel car'
Martin Fogel (Hermosa Beach, CA) raced a McLaren M10A in US vintage events. He reports that he acquired the rolling chassis from Merle Brennan in 1973 but the monocoque was rendered unusable by sea air and a new monocoque was built by Marc Bahner, one of the US's top fabricators, in October 2000. Raced at the Wine Country Classic May 30-June 2, 2008. Also raced at the Legends of Motorsport event at Laguna Seca 14 Jun 2013. Raced by Fogel at Monterey in August 2018.
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