It started here
Bruce McLaren’s vision for the M6GT is the genesis for all McLaren road cars. Based on the latest race technology, the M6GT was superlight, blisteringly quick, confidence inspiring and safe.
Following the M6A's runaway success in the Group 7 series, McLaren announced its intention to race in the lucrative Group 4 GT series - fast, exciting and glamorous, the GT races drew big names like Ferrari, Porsche and Alfa Romeo. McLaren's intention was to mate the existing M6 chassis to a new coupe body, which would be more suitable for endurance racing. Unfortunately, FIA changed the rules governing homologation for the World Championship of Makes, requiring manufacturers to complete a minimum of 50 production examples before a car could be considered. Unable to meet the requirement at the time, the racing project was shelved.
Always more than a driver, Bruce McLaren was keen to test his skills as an innovator, designer and entrepreneur. His intention was to build the highest specification, fastest and quickest accelerating road car in the world. Performance and handling would be vital, but safety was also an essential feature of Bruce’s design. The car – a prototype M6GT registered OBH 500H – was light, low, loud and unbelievably quick, and Bruce used it on his commute to work and to attend race meetings. Its Bartz-tuned Chevrolet engine ensured sparkling performance – with an estimated top speed of 165mph and a zero to 100mph time of eight seconds. The prototype also had some quirky features, like manually operated lights that were raised and lowered using finger holes in the leading edge of the pods. Bruce wanted to turn the prototype into a production vehicle for customers; he turned to Peter Agg of Trojan (Elva Cars Ltd parent company) who had been building customer race cars for McLaren, and struck a deal. Sadly, the project to build 250 production cars died with Bruce, and OBH 500H stands as a testament to his vision. Twenty-five years later, Bruce’s supercar dream was brought to life by Gordon Murray in the awe-inspiring McLaren F1.
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