The M8E Can Am McLaren arrival

8 July 2011 

This month we had Ecurie Investments bring in this monster for a McLaren loving fanatic... Arguably the greatest car of the year into Australia. Mention the name of Mclaren Can Am and any hardcore car fanatic will go weak at the knees. Pics below will show why!



These early seventies monsters were part of one of the most significant race series ever concieved, with all the greatest drivers of the era the world all racing 

these different beasts. Built by a range of different manufacturers to do just one thing, go as fast as humanly possbile. Faster than even the F1 cars of the era, nothing could stand above or even close to the beasts in Can Am. From 1969 till 1972 the biggest name was Bruce McLaren, a talented NZ driver who understood hwo to make things go fast and drive them accordingly. With his team mate Denny Hulme they dominated the series which became known as the Bruce and Denny show in their mighty M6 and M8 Mclaren's. 




This 1971 M8E, #80-04 was one of a dozen customer cars built, with this specific car originally raced by Vic Elford for Roy Woods racing in the 1971 Can-Am series. With a few podium finishes, It finished 9th overall. Later raced by Sam Posey, Bill Cuddy, Merle Brennen and others.  Last raced in the Can-Am series by Dick Workman in the 70's. Chuck Haines purchased the car in 1979 from Mr. Workman.




#04 received a comprehensive ?tub-up? restoration by Symbolic Motorsport in La Jolla California. Its great 1971 ?American Racing Associates? livery that Vic Elford ran was chosen. This car is an outstanding example of an 8-Series McLaren big block Can-Am racer.  Car is totally fresh with no track time.

#04 is powered by an all aluminium 496 Chevy Lucas timed fuel injection, Weaver Brothers dry sump. Steel crankshaft, Vertex magneto. Plumbing is Aeroquip. The engine builder was expert: Sherman Pick. The monster has been dyno?d and the exact amounts are none of your business.. But the number might start around an eight and ends with some zero's;)





Getting the power to the ground is the original Hewland LG500, Completely rebuilt, 4 speed with reverse, limited slip differential.  Stopping her is 12 inch diameter rotors, with Lockheed magnesium alloy callipers front and rear. Her chassis in an original Aluminium monocoque with steel bulkheads. She has a Wheelbase- 95", Front track- 58", Rear track 55.5".  Those rear wheels are a well needed 15 x 17 inches..



M8E?s are well known for there handling abilities. Helping this is front unequal length A arms with coil over Koni shock absorbers, magnesium uprights front and rear. The rear also has twin trailing arms with single top link and inverted bottom A arms. Rack and pinion steering, heavy duty BRD roller splined half shaft.



If the shots are just not enough, her she is being started up for the first time in the shed..


This puppy and the a few of the words above were sourced from Chuck and Jeff at Can Am Cars. Thanks guys!

More great images of the car can be found on the Bowden's Own facebook album by clicking here:

If your after a car like this, that will make you involuntarily swear every time you accelerate, please contact Chris Bowden at Ecurie Investments:

+61 (0) 438 269938