McLaren M4A car-by-car histories
The McLaren M4A, or Mark IV as it was sometimes known in the US, was McLaren's first attempt at a junior formula car. It was designed primarily for Formula 2 but examples were also sold for F3 and SCCA Formula B.
The first M4As were built by Bruce McLaren Motor Racing for the start of the 1967 Formula 2 season and both equipped with the new Cosworth FVA engine. Bruce McLaren would drive M4A/1 as a works entry using a Hewland FT200 gearbox and John Coombs entered Piers Courage in M4A/2 with a heavyweight HD5. The McLaren proved competent in F2 but was no match for the Brabham BT23 or Lotus 48.
Trojan had taken over the production of McLaren-Elva customer cars and their first taker for a M4A was American SCCA racer Chuck Dietrich, a long-term Elva customer, to be used in Formula B with a Vegantune engine. His car was delivered late June but the only other M4A customer for Trojan that season was Frank Lythgoe, who bought a car for Alan Rollinson to race in F2. Sales only really took off in 1968 when The Chequered Flag did a deal to run a pair of cars in F2 and another pair in F3, as well as Dietrich running a two-car team in Formula B and Jo Schlesser buying three cars for his F2 team.
As well as the cars listed below, Duncan Dayton (Danbury, CT) has owned a papaya-coloured M4A-FVA in the US for many years, a car that may have been previously owned by Joel Finn (Roxbury, CT). That car will be built into the histories below as more information becomes available.
Entered by Bruce McLaren Motor Racing for Bruce McLaren in F2 in 1967. Sold to Jim Palmer (NZ) 1968, then to Tony Osborne's Argo Racing in Australia July 1968, driven by Peter Macrow in 1968 and then Alfredo Costanzo from 1968 to 1971. To Ken Hastings mid-1971, who swapped the FVA for a Ford twin-cam for 1972, and the to John Sheppard August 1973. Fitted with a 1300cc Toyota Corolla engine by Geoff Kennett 1974. Later Tony Armstrong (Victoria, Australia) in November 1982 and rebuilt around 1985. At Christie's Melbourne auction 1990 where it was sold to Art Valdez (Torrance, CA). It remained in Valdez' collection for many years, until sold to a UK consortium in 2017.
Driven by: Bruce McLaren, Jim Palmer, Peter Macrow, Alfredo Costanzo and Ken Hastings. First race: Snetterton (R1), 24 Mar 1967. Total of 44 recorded races.
Entered by John Coombes for Piers Courage in F2 in 1967. Crashed at Brands Hatch in August 1967 and believed to have been rebuilt on a new tub before its next race at Albi four weeks later, but Autosport makes no mention of a rebuild nor of it being a new car. Raced by Piers Courage in the 1968 Tasman series. Sold to Niel Allen and raced in Australian events in 1968 until Allen crashed heavily at Lakeside in July, reportedly requiring another new tub to be fabricated. Raced again by Allen in 1969, then to Pat Burke for drivers Len Goodwin 1970-71 and Warwick Brown 1971. Sold by Burke and Peter Malloy to Erol Richardson but bought back by Pat Burke around 1982. Restored by Molloy for Burke and retained until sold to John Hugenholtz. To David Coplowe (England) by 1994. Raced in the HSCC Historic Formula Racing Car Championship in 1995. Raced by Coplowe until 2010, and sold to Gareth Williams (Oxfordshire) in 2012. Sold to its current owner in 2016. In May 2019, the car was for sale at William I'Anson.
Driven by: Piers Courage, Niel Allen, Fred Gibson, Len Goodwin and Warwick Brown. First race: Snetterton (R1), 24 Mar 1967. Total of 49 recorded races.
New to Robert Amey in June 1967 to be driven by Chuck Dietrich (Sandusky, OH) in Formula B, winning the FB class in six Central Division SCCA Nationals and also finishing firth in the Pro race at Mont-Tremblant. Dietrich bought a pair of new M4Bs for 1968 and his 1967 car was sold to Henry H. Hester (La Jolla, CA). Hester ran it in SCCA Nationals through 1968 and then sold it to Dow J. Byers II (San Diego, CA) who used it through 1969 and into early 1970. Probably the car of Clifton Wells (Lynwood, CA) at Riverside in April 1972. Believed to have gone to Chuck Hayes at some point but history then unknown until owned by Ed Donnelly (Los Angeles, CA) in 1987. Then via Jim Miller and Rob Merrel (both now deceased) to Jim Brown (San Diego, CA) in 1991 who commissioned a complete restoration including a new tub built by Marc Bahner. In 2004, Brown sold the car to Brian Andrews (San Francisco, CA) who raced it in CSRG events in 2005 and 2006. Sold by Andrews via Fantasy Junction (Emeryville, CA) to Bill Hodder (Nagambie, Victoria, Australia) in 2011. Retained May 2014.
Driven by: Chuck Dietrich, Harry Hester, Dow "Jack" Byers II and Clifton Wells. First race: Milwaukee Mile, 2 Jul 1967. Total of 29 recorded races.
Frank Lythgoe Racing bought a McLaren M4A for Alan Rollinson to drive in Formula 2 in 1967, starting at Brands Hatch in late August. The number associated with this car is '200-11F' but the basis of this attribution remains unclear. Sold to Robs Lamplough (London) for 1968 and raced all season in Formula 2, latterly under the Frank Manning Racing banner. Subsequent history unknown but quite possibly sold to the US.
Driven by: Alan Rollinson and Robs Lamplough. First race: Brands Hatch (R9), 28 Aug 1967. Total of 11 recorded races.
An unknown car presumably built late 1967 or early 1968. Based on the order in which cars appeared, this could be the little-known car that Malcolm Payne raced in the UK and then quite possibly went to Anthony Lloyd in California. This car is believed to be the tub that sat at Chuck Willis's CRW Engineering workshop for many years. In the late 1990s, a car with this chassis number was owned by Dr Jerry Miller in California who owned it for about 15 years before selling it to John Tulloch (Naperville IL). Tulloch had the car restored by Graham Collins and it appeared in vintage racing from 2010 onwards. Raced by Tulloch at Road America July 2013.
According to Trojan records, as stated on a Trojan "Verification Statement" dated 30 August 2000, chassis 200-13 was a Formula 3 car supplied to Chequered Flag Racing on 17 November 1967. The usage of this car in 1968 is unknown but as the history of the Mike Walker car is known, this is likely to be the Flag F3 car raced that season by Ian Ashley. In 2000, Trojan "allocated" this number to the ex-Max Callicott McLaren M4A despite adding that "identification of either car to its original Chassis Number is impossible at this stage". The ex-Max Callicott car now has a reproduction chassis plate bearing this chassis number.
Graeme Lawrence acquired a F2 specification McLaren M4A after he left the Chequered Flag F2 team which was identified in its logbook application and NZ registration papers as chassis number 'M4A-14', implying it was chassis 200-14. Raced by Lawrence from Pukekohe in November 1968, appearing in the 1969 Tasman series and winning the Singapore and Selangor GPs in April. The car passed to Frank Radisich later in 1969 and was raced by him in the 1970 Tasman series. Then owned by Wayne Murdoch in 1971-72 but not raced. To Neil Heney in August 1972 and raced by Doug Heney in club events in 1973, then to Jon Warring for hillclimbs in 1974 and then to Ross Calgher (Waitara, New Zealand) for national racing from 1975 to 1977. Sold by Calgher to George Begg in March 1977 and he sold it to Andrew Cunningham in 1983. Retained to 1990 and then may have passed to Australian ownership until acquired by Peter Herbert (Auckland, NZ) in 1999. Herbert's restoration was nearing an end in December 2009, but the car was not ready for the NZ Festival of Motor Racing in January 2010. On display at Hampton Downs in January 2016. By October 2021, the car was owned by Poul Christie and was on loan to the Rush Collection (Feilding).
Driven by: Graeme Lawrence, Frank Radisich, Doug Heney and Ross Calgher. First race: Baypark Raceway, 28 Dec 1968. Total of 23 recorded races.
This number is given for a Formula 2 car built up by Chequered Flag in June 1968 for Robin Widdows after he crashed his regular car at Crystal Palace. As this chassis number is lower than that of his regular car, it suggests that the car may have been sitting around in kit form, opening up the possibility that several other McLarens with similar numbers may have been completed out of order. Likely to have been one of the four M4As advertised by Chequered Flag at the end of 1968. Sold to Charles Kirkbride (Chatham Hills, NJ) and fitted with a 2.5-litre Climax engine for Formula A in NEDiv events from 1969 to 1972. Then unknown until purchased by a New Jersey owner in 1984 and retained by him until advertised on race-cars.com. To Richard Griot (Seattle, WA) in late 1990s or early 2000s. Still owned by Griot in August 2021.
Driven by: Robin Widdows and Charles Kirkbride. First race: Hockenheim, 16 Jun 1968. Total of 10 recorded races.
An unknown car presumably built late 1967 or early 1968. Possibly the F3 car run by Chequered Flag for Ian Ashley.
Ecurie Intersport third F2 car in 1968, used by Jo Schlesser as a T-car. If 200-18 went into French hillclimbs, then 200-17 would be one of the two cars bought from Pierre Bardinon (Aubusson, France) by Franco Sbarro (Grandson, Switzerland). These cars were both sold to Georges Schafer (Geneva, Switzerland) and he used one of them in F2 and in Swiss national events in 1971. Then unknown until for sale with Hall & Fowler in 1997. A red M4A with silver stripe has been in the Donington Museum since at least 2005. In November 2009 it was observed to be wearing a curious-looking chassis plate marked '200-17'. Rumoured to be owned by McLaren International. Still in Donington in February 2018.
Driven by: Guy Ligier. First race: Hockenheim (R1), 7 Apr 1968. Total of 3 recorded races.
Ecurie Intersport for Jo Schlesser in F2 in 1968 until his death in a F1 race in July. Presumably then the "ex-Schlesser" McLaren M4A raced in French hillclimbs by Jean-Claude Fontès (Bayonne, France) in 1969, by Hughes Hazard in 1970 and by Roger Rivoire in 1972. Then unknown until restored by an unnamed German owner in 1990. Appeared in various auctions between 1997 and 2005, in the midst of which Paul Dudley (and Steve Worrad) raced it in historic racing in 1999 and 2000. Sold at Bonhams & Brooks' Silverstone auction in September 2001 to an unknown owner who restored it in 2004 and then sold it via Bonhams Silverstone auction in July 2005. With Lindsay O'Donnell (Christchurch, NZ) in 2005 and raced for him by Ken Smith at Eastern Creek in December 2006. Still with O'Donnell in 2009. Raced by O'Donnell at Lime Rock in September 2011.
Driven by: Jo Schlesser, Jean-Claude Fontès, Hughes Hazard and Roger Rivoire. First race: Montjuich Park, 31 Mar 1968. Total of 23 recorded races.
Ecurie Intersport for Guy Ligier in F2 in 1968. The team was disbanded after Schlesser's death in a F1 race in July. If Schlesser's regular car went into French hillclimbs, then 200-19 is likely to be one of two cars acquired from the team by Pierre Bardinon (Aubusson, France) and would be the car raced by Bardinon at the Mont-Dore hillclimb in August 1968. These two cars were then traded by Bardinon to Franco Sbarro (Grandson, Switzerland) and one was sold to Georges Schäfer (Geneva, Switzerland) for use in French hillclimbs and Swiss national events in 1971, as well as a single F2 race. After crashing this car, Schäfer bought Sbarro's second car. Then unknown until offered for sale by Hans Peter (Switzerland) in August 1990. A car with this chassis number was in the Brooks Monaco auction in 2000 when it was said to be "unraced since 1968". Also at this time, Auto-Salon-Singen (Singen, Germany) advertised a pale yellow "ex-Schlesser" McLaren M4A that was said to be unraced since 1968. Subsequent history unknown
Driven by: Guy Ligier, Pierre Bardinon and Georges Schäfer. First race: Montjuich Park, 31 Mar 1968. Total of 9 recorded races.
This number is given for a Formula 2 car entered by Chequered Flag for Robin Widdows until he crashed it at Crystal Palace in June 1968 and it was replaced by a new car, or at least a new monocoque. The car somehow survived and is said to have raced in UK club racing in the 1970s. Found by Lincoln Small and others in an Essex barn c1990. Raced by Small 1996-97 and then by someone else before 1999 Coys Silverstone auction. With Graham Earl in 2000 and sold by him to the current owner in 2002. Repainted in Chequered Flag colours in 2012. Advertised by Legends Automotive Ltd (Cheltenham, Gloucestershire) on behalf of the owner in 2014.
Driven by: Robin Widdows. First race: Montjuich Park, 31 Mar 1968. Total of 6 recorded races.
This number is associated with the Formula 3 car entered by Chequered Flag for Mike Walker but the basis of this attribution remains unclear.
This number is given for a Formula 2 car entered by Chequered Flag for Graeme Lawrence early in the 1968 season, then Frank Gardner and then Mike Walker. Likely to have been one of the four M4As advertised by Chequered Flag at the end of 1968.
Driven by: Graeme Lawrence, Frank Gardner and Mike Walker. First race: Montjuich Park, 31 Mar 1968. Total of 11 recorded races.
An unknown car presumably built in 1968. Possibly the Formula B car of Brian Robertson.
An unknown car presumably built in 1968. Possibly the car built with a Rover-Buick engine for John Bosomworth.
An unknown car presumably built in 1968. Possibly the replacement monocoque used to rebuild Niel Allen's car in 1968.
Sold to Martin Sellers (Columbus, OH) for Formula B in 1968. The sale was arranged by Chuck Dietrich (Sandusky, OH) who had run a M4A in 1967 and was now buying a new car for himself as well. Dietrich and Sellers ran together as a team in 1968. Retained by Sellers for 1969 but he had engine troubles through that season and after that only raced the car rarely. In the 1990s, he brought the car out again for historic racing and ran at Sears Point with the SCCA in 1997. More recently a member of the CSRG. Chassis 200-26 is a very rare 1960s racing car that has only had one owner from new. Still owned by Sellers in March 2014.
Driven by: Martin Sellers. First race: Cumberland Airfield, 12 May 1968. Total of 10 recorded races.
For Chuck Dietrich (Sandusky, OH) in Formula B in 1968, replacing the similar 200-10B that he had raced in 1967. Subsequent history unknown until bought from Joe Zuniga (St. Paul, Minnesota) by James Harayda (Bloomington, Minnesota) in April 1978 as a FB car. Harayda raced it in FB in 1978 then converted it to FC for 1979. Traded to Scott Livingston (St Louis, MO) in 1980 then on to Jon Rhodes (Webster Grove, MO) 1981 who converted it to CSR with an Alfa engine and qualified for the Run-Offs in 1982. Sold to Scott Holman (Frederick, MD) July 1983 and continued in CSR until 1989 when sold to Henry Alexander and Wes McNay. Rebuilt with a new Marc Bahner tub which was modelled on Jim Brown's 1967 monocoque. Restored to Formula B specification and sold to Harry Mathews (Arvada, CO) March 1996 for his Mathews Collection of McLarens. Sold to Shigeru Motohashi (Japan) 2004 and raced in the Japanese Interclub Historic Car event at Tsukuba in 2009.
Driven by: Chuck Dietrich. First race: Cumberland Airfield, 12 May 1968. Total of 15 recorded races.
The 1968 mystery cars
Assuming that Trojan production chassis numbers started with Robert Amey's 200-10 in June 1967, then the chassis numbers for which we do not have known first owners are 200-12, 200-16, 200-21, 200-23, 200-24 and 200-25. These are likely to be the cars driven by Ian Ashley and Mike Walker for Chequered Flag in F3, by Malcolm Payne in libre, by Brian Robertson in FB, and by John Bosomworth in hillclimbs, leaving one car unexplained. It is likely that other monocoques were built to rebuild the cars of Courage, Walker and Widdows, but it is uncertain whether these tubs would have had separate numbers.
Entered by The Chequered Flag in Formula 3 in 1968 for Ian Ashley. Likely to have been one of the four M4As advertised by Chequered Flag at the end of 1968. Very probably sold to the US for 1969. Subsequent history unknown
Driven by: Ian Ashley. First race: Pau, 21 Apr 1968. Total of 12 recorded races.
Entered by The Chequered Flag in Formula 3 in 1968 for Mike Walker. Won at Oulton Park in April but crashed in practice at Monte Carlo in May and "written off". Repaired, retubbed or replaced in time for Chimay a week later. Also raced once by Philippe Vidal in July. Crashed heavily in qualifying heat at Brands Hatch 2 Sep 1968 and not seen again. Reskinned by Flag before sale to New Zealand F3 driver Bill Stone and raced in F3 across Europe in 1969. Sold by June 1970 to Scottish hillclimber Talbert 'Tab' Phillip (Dundee), who had been racing a Brabham BT18 in Scottish hillclimbs and libre racing over the previous 12 months. Philip entered the McLaren M4A for a libre race at Croft in June 1970 and another at Ingliston in July but did not appear again on the entry of any Ingliston libre race, nor did he appear in the Runoffs of any Scottish championship hillclimb. The subsequent history of the McLaren is unknown.
Driven by: Mike Walker, Philippe Vidal and Bill Stone. First race: Oulton Park, 12 Apr 1968. Total of 15 recorded races.
Late in 1967, Malcolm Payne (Fakenham, Norfolk) was entered in a McLaren M4A by Vegantune at Brands Hatch 10 Dec 1967. He did not appear and did not actually race the car until Mallory Park in May 1968. Not seen again and Payne bought a brand new Brabham BT23C later in the season. From May to July 1968, Williams had advertised a 'F2' McLaren with Vegantune (i.e. Ford twin cam) engine and it is quite possible that Payne's car went to Williams in a trade for the Brabham BT23C. As this McLaren would have been in Formula B specification, it is likely to be the car sold by Frank Williams to Anthony Lloyd in the US in 1968.
Driven by: Malcolm Payne. First race: Mallory Park, 12 May 1968. Only one recorded race.
Brian Robertson (Brockville, Ontario) bought a McLaren M4A for 1968 and raced it in both the US SCCA Pro series and in local Canadian races, generally as #35 and with support from Indusmat Inc. He reappeared with the car in July and August 1969 before replacing it with a new Brabham BT29. To Kris Harrison (Montréal, Quebec) for a handful of events in September 1970 at Trois-Rivières and Mont-Tremblant. Harrison would later found Ecurie Canada, the team that launched Gilles Villeneuve's career. Subsequent history of the McLaren unknown
Driven by: Brian Robertson and Kris Harrison. First race: Mont-Tremblant, 2 Jun 1968. Total of 12 recorded races.
John Bosomworth (Ilkley, West Yorkshire) had a McLaren hillclimb special built for 1968 using a McLaren M4A tub and equipped with a Buick engine as used by Rover in the development of their V8. The engine was built by Alan Smith and the car was run out of Bosomworth's Otley Road Garage (Skipton, North Yorkshire). Finished in dark blue with an orange nose, the car was mentioned as early as April 1968 in Ken Hammerton's preview of the 1968 season, and it was on the entry list for the June 1968 Harewood meeting, its engine then given as a 3598cc Oldsmobile.
With an extra six inches of wheelbase but the same track, Bosomworth found "the car was utterly lethal and on a circuit could snap out of control in an instant". It was raced in libre, primarily at Croft, in 1969 and 1970. At a hillclimb at Shibden Park in Halifax in August 1970, John reports that "it had a mind of its own and snapped into a crash". Bosomworth's feet were shattered in the accident and he lay covered in fuel until he could be rescued. The car was very badly damaged and although it was later rebuilt, it did not race again.
The car was sold to Barry Taylor, who John describes as "a sort of wheeler dealer in racing bits for very little money". He later died and the fate of the car was unknown until the early 1990s when John was contacted by the son of the man who had rebuilt it. This would coincide with the author being asked to authenticate "the ex-F1 McLaren M4B" by a father and son team of restorers, The simple application of a tape measure proved that it was the Bosomworth car, despite an attempt to paint it in works colours. The manufacture date of its hillclimb tyres quickly silenced any protests.
The current whereabouts of this car are unknown but it is distinctly possible that another attempt has been made to pass it off as the ex-F1 car. In August 2012, an anonymous claim was made on a forum that the ex-F1 M4B was "a project" in New Zealand.
Driven by: John Bosomworth. First race: Croft, 14 Sep 1969. Total of 8 recorded races.
The 1969 mystery cars
The Chequered Flag advertised four McLaren M4As at the end of the 1968 season and it appears that all four of them went to the US, one to Charles Kirkbride on the east coast and two or three to an operation run by Dick Barbour in southern California. As well as these cars, five others were already running in Formula B: Chuck Dietrich's original car now in the hands of Dow Byers in California, Anthony Lloyd's car also in California, Dietrich's two 1968 cars in the mid-west and Brian Robertson's car in Canada; making a total of nine in North America. Elsewhere in the world, the two original BMMR cars were racing in Australian and New Zealand together with Graeme Lawrence's car; Jo Schlesser's three cars were last seen in France; and Bill Stone had acquired another ex-Flag car for F3 in Britain. Still unaccounted for were Robs Lamplough's F2 car and Malcolm Payne's Vegantune car, both last seen in England, although the latter is quite possibly Anthony Lloyd's car.
Ron Attig (El Cajon, CA) had a McLaren Formula B in the early months of the 1969 season. After failing to start at SCCA Regional at Stardust International in February 1969, Attig competed in the Riverside and Laguna Seca Pro FB races in April and May but was not seen again. The SCCA Southern Pacific Division Formula B table for 1969 shows him scoring four points for San Diego Region, but in a Brabham. Nothing more known.
Driven by: Ron Attig. First race: Riverside (R1), 20 Apr 1969. Total of 2 recorded races.
Stan Huddlestone raced a McLaren Formula B in the Riverside Pro FB race in April 1969. He was not on the entry list, and was near the back during qualifying. Huddlestone did not appear again in Pro FB but the SCCA Southern Pacific Division Formula B table for 1969 shows him scoring four points for CSCC Region (Cal Club). However, his car is shown in the table as a Brabham, and it maybe that he drove a Brabham at Riverside which was misreported as a McLaren. Nothing more known.
Driven by: Stan Huddleston. First race: Riverside (R1), 20 Apr 1969. Only one recorded race.
Skeeter McKitterick raced a McLaren M4A in Formula B in 1969 using a fuel-injected Alfa Romeo engine built by John Shankle's company, Shankle Automotive Engineering (Van Nuys, CA). The car was owned by San Diego Alfa Romeo dealer International Automotive although the original plan was for it to be run as part of a four-car team run by Automotion, Dick Barbour's Porsche business on Mission Gorge road in San Diego. The next owner of the car was probably Phil Lester (Van Nuys, CA) in 1970. Soon after it passed to Bruce McCaw (Seattle, WA) who raced it once or twice with the Alfa engine and found that the bag tanks leaked. It was put aside until reassembled by Tony Garmey between 1993 and 1998 at McCaw's Vintage Racing Motors. Sold in 1998 to Pat Hart as a rolling chassis. Sold to Tony Garmey (Seattle, WA) in 2012 with a Ford twin cam engine and Hewland Mk 5 gearbox. Still with Tony in January 2022.
Driven by: Skeeter McKitterick. First race: Laguna Seca (R2), 4 May 1969. Total of 4 recorded races.
Bought second hand from Frank Williams by Anthony Lloyd in California early in 1968 and fitted with custom built front and rear wings by Paul Lamar of Chaparral fame. After Lloyd's death in a non-racing accident, the McLaren was raced by Judd Mangurian working out of Centaur Racing (Hawthorne, CA) in 1969 and 1970 before being sold. Mangurian also died in 1971, aged just 26, and the car was sold for him by Centaur Racing to Leroy Brandon (Los Angeles, CA). The car was then fitted with a BRM Phase III engine and Hewland FT200 gearbox. Brandon ran it in SCCA races at Riverside 18 July 1971, Orange County Raceway 8 August 1971, the Great Salt Lake Road Race 6 September 1971, Riverside 13 February 1972 and at Holtville 12 March 1972. In the latter race he retired due to the front bulkhead cracking. After repairing the car, he sold it. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Judd Mangurian and Leroy Brandon. First race: Sears Point (R4), 22 Jun 1969. Total of 6 recorded races.
Dick Drexler (Pewaukee, WI) had a red/grey McLaren M4A which he entered in local SCCA Formula B events from 1969 to 1972, usually as #5 or #51. A one-time Regional Executive of the SCCA Milwaukee Region, Richard W Drexler was president of Milwaukee-based oil refiner Lubricant, Inc. Records of him actually starting a race are rare but he was a regular entry at his local Road America and Blackhawk Farms circuits or even as far afield as Brainerd. He returned in 1973 and 1974 with the car now fitted with a 1-litre engine for Formula C, qualifying for the Run-Offs in 1973. He scored his last FC points in 1975. Acquired in 1987 by Dave Hammers (Sea Cliff, NY), restored, and put on display. Still with Dave Hammers in March 2018.
Driven by: Dick Drexler. First race: Milwaukee Mile, 23 Aug 1969. Total of 9 recorded races.
Max Callicott (Anaheim, CA) raced a McLaren M4A in SCCA events. His earliest known race in the car was at Willow Springs in August 1969 but a letter from Callicott dated 1996 that is with the car says that he bought it direct from The Chequered Flag in 1968. The letter states that it had been a F2 car raced by Ian Ashley and "Pierre" Courage; neither Ashley nor Piers Courage raced for Flag in F2 but Ashley raced for them in F3 so this may actually be his F3 car. Callicott sold it to Peter Boyd (Anaheim, CA) in 1981, then to Richard Wells in 1983 and Mike Fazzi from 1988 to 1995. Rebuilt with a new Marc Bahner tub while Fazzi owned it as the rear of the original tub had been cut off. The new tub was modelled on Jim Brown's 1967 car but used the original bulkheads. The rebuilt car was with Tom Crowther in 2000 when Trojan "allocated" it the identity '200-13' on the basis that 200-13 was one of the F3 cars sold to The Chequered Flag. Owned by Tom Lee (Seattle, WA) by 2009. Advertised by Kim Baker's Vintage Race Car Sales (Pittsfield, MA) and sold to an unknown UK owner in 2013.
Driven by: Max Callicott. First race: Willow Springs, 3 Aug 1969. Total of 7 recorded races.
The later mystery cars
New Zealand F3 driver Howden Ganley performed some testing for his friend Bruce McLaren on the Can-Am M8A in early 1969, and as part of the deal was able to build up a car for a Formula 2 campaign. The car used a McLaren M4A monocoque but with special bodywork designed to make it a "mini-M7". Money problems and delivery delays meant that Ganley never raced it, focusing instead on a successful F3 season. The McLaren was next seen when advertised by Jim Gleave of MRE (Bourne End, Buckinghamshire) in May 1971 as a "brand new" McLaren 'M4C' built for Ganley. It was sold to Jan Bussell (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) in time for the Malaysian GP in early September. The car was then reported to have used second-hand M4B F1 suspension and a new body based on the M7 F1 cars. As well as the designation 'M4C-1', it was also reported to carry the chassis number 'FJB4' for Bussell. It was modified to take a Ford twin cam engine and used by Bussell at the Malaysian GP, the Macau GP in November 1971 and at the March 1972 Singapore GP, during which it was damaged by fire. Its history is then unknown until it was found in Malaysia by RAF engineer Irwin Lindsey and brought back to England where it was sold in June 1984 to McLaren's Leo Wybrott. Wybrott subsequently reported that the car had been built using the original monocoque from M4A/2, crashed at Brands Hatch in August 1967, and he restored the car over some period to the same specification as M4A/2. It was on display in the Donington Museum and at the Midland Museum from 1992 until 2005, when Leo moved to Australia, and the M4A moved to the Fremantle Motor Museum in West Australia. Raced by Leo at Barbagallo Raceway in August 2010 and at the Collie circuit in Western Australia Feb 2014. Owned by Leo until 2016, when it was sold to a UK owner. In June 2019, it was for sale at McLaren Manchester.
Driven by: Jan Bussell. First race: Batu Tiga, 5 Sep 1971. Total of 3 recorded races.
Derek Palmer (Douglas, Scotland), who appeared on Ingliston entry lists as A.H.F. Palmer, entered a McLaren in Ingliston libre racing during 1972. It was described as having a 997cc engine at the 14 May 1972 meeting, where he did not arrive, then as a 1580cc engine at the 20 August 1972 meeting, where he retired from the libre race. He also entered the car at Croft in August, but again did not arrive. The only McLaren at that time built for such small engines was the McLaren M4A, so this may be the car bought by Talbert 'Tab' Phillip (Dundee, Scotland) in 1970 but rarely seen. As McLarens were uncommon in Scotland in the early 1970s, this is then likely to be the McLaren M4A entered by Ziebart Vehicle Rustproofing Scotland for Ian Stirling (St Andrews) to drive twice at Ingliston in 1974, although he did not arrive for either race, and then by John Mackie (Kirkcaldy) three times in 1975, starting two races but retiring from both. Nothing more known.
Driven by: Derek Palmer and John Mackie. First race: Ingliston (R4), 20 Aug 1972. Total of 5 recorded races.
In the mid-to-late 1970s, James Gardner and James Hunt, both club racers from the Preston area of Lancashire, ran a number of single seaters in libre racing. First of these was a McLaren M4B, which Gardner ran in a sprint at Oulton Park in early 1975 and Hunt then raced in minor club libre later in the year. The identity of the McLaren remains unknown.
Driven by: Paul Gardner and James Hunt (II). First race: Oulton Park, 6 Apr 1975. Total of 2 recorded races.
Frank Lyons (Felsted, Essex) acquired a dark blue McLaren M4A in 2009 and it was first raced by son Michael at Silverstone in October 2009. It was said to have been "acquired via Mike Scott as a box of bits stored in a French barn. No chassis number is known. But the car had been run by Patrick Jamin Racing in France".
How many McLaren M4s were built?
Without access to Trojan records, it is very difficult to know exactly how many McLaren M4As were built. In estimating a number, it is helpful to distinguish between cars built for Formula 2, Formula 3, Formula B and other categories. From the cars known to have existed, our best estimate is that 10 were built for F2 (Bruce McLaren, John Coombs, Frank Lythgoe, Graeme Lawrence, plus apparantly three to Chequered Flag for Robin Widdows and Graeme Lawrence, and three to Ecurie Intersport), two for F3 (to Chequered Flag for Ian Ashley and Mike Walker), and five for Formula B (Robert Amey, Brian Robertson, Martin Sellers, Chuck Dietrich and Malcolm Payne), plus a one-off hillclimb car for John Bosomworth, making a curiously low total of 18.
These histories have been constructed with the kind help of David McKinney, Chris Townsend, Tony Garmey, Duncan Fox, Andrew Fellowes, Tom Johnston and many of the current owners, past owners and dealers. Thanks to Lee (Leroy) Brandon for adding to the history of his car.
In addition to the above, unknown McLaren M4As were driven by Mike Eyerly and George MacDonald.
These histories last updated on .