Bruce McLaren’s earliest competitive driving experience came at the wheel of a modified 1929 Austin Ulster. Bought in bits by his father who had planned to restore and sell it, 13-year-old Bruce convinced him they could turn it into a race car.
Involved in every stage of the Ulster’s restoration, the experience proved vital for the future race car designer. Two years later, in his race-prepared Ulster, 15-year-old Bruce set the fastest time in the 750cc class at the Muriwai Beach hill climb.
Having left New Zealand for England, Bruce’s Austin Ulster was housed in a small museum until 1989, when it was found and bought by the McLaren Group. Maintained in original condition, the little legend now takes pride of place alongside its faster and more illustrious successors on the boulevard at the MTC.