Biggest-ever gathering of McLaren cars planned for Bruce’s 80th
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Next month’s Silverstone Classic in the UK will pay special tribute to New Zealand racing legend Bruce McLaren.
The motorsport icon tragically lost his life in a testing accident at Goodwood in 1970 aged just 32. Before he passed, the racer won the Le Mans 24 Hours, two Can-Am titles and four Formula 1 Grand Prix’s.
But McLaren’s legacy is best remembered as a car designer, builder and constructor – forging an automotive brand and reputation that lives on to this day.
The history books show that the team Bruce founded has won 20 F1 World Championships – 12 for drivers, eight for constructors – and 182 Grands Prix. McLaren cars have also won Le Mans and the Indy 500.
Today’s company is also a prolific maker of GT road cars, and to mark what would have been Bruce McLaren’s 80th year, the McLaren Owners Group has organised what will be the largest-ever gathering of McLaren road cars in the same place at the same time.
The initial plan was to gather together 80 McLaren road cars, ranging from the 1992 F1, to the P1 hypercar and the latest 570GT.
However, word of the gathering has spread across Europe and proved so popular that, to date, 117 cars have registered.
Leading the parade will be another McLaren in a McLaren – Bruce’s daughter Amanda, his only child who was just four years old when he lost his life. Today, Amanda is a McLaren Brand Ambassador.
“I am very excited to be attending the McLaren Owner Group’s national event at the Silverstone Classic, celebrating what would have been my father's 80th year,” said Amanda McLaren.
“His dream to build road cars began with his prototype M6GT and has now been realised by the cars McLaren Automotive is producing. I am looking forward to seeing so many of these cars in one place, knowing how proud my father would have been.”
Jeff Vaudrey, Administrator of the McLaren Owners Group, said the group has grown to over 250 members in the UK, and he expects many of them will be headed to Silverstone next month for the largest-ever gathering of McLaren road cars in one place.
Collection of McLaren cars that took part in the McLaren Epic Tour in New Zealand. Photo / Matthew Hansen
“We are excited to be joined by Amanda McLaren to pay tribute to her father with a spectacular track parade at the Silverstone Classic,” said Vaudrey.
The McLaren parade isn’t the first time the Silverstone classic has arranged a sizeable meeting of iconic cars.
Previous parades include a 25th birthday tribute to the Ferrari F40 back in 2012, when 60 cars circulated the Grand Prix circuit.
In 2011, 767 Jaguar E-types celebrated the model’s 50th anniversary, while two years later, another 50th birthday was marked when an incredible 1,208 Porsche 911s took to the circuit.
These track pageants are just one aspect of the Silverstone Classic weekend.
Track action will see more than 20 races and demonstrations with entries from more than 1,000 historic racing cars, including Jim Richards in his JPS BMW.
Other action includes air shows, classic car auctions, displays from over 120 car clubs, a vintage fun fair and a shopping village.
The Silverstone Classic takes place between July 28-30.