In Oz to­day

Australian Muscle Car - - Can-Am -

While just two Can-Am left Aus­tralian shores to com­pete in the famed se­ries back in the day, sev­eral have gone the other way and re­side here to­day. AMC takes a look at four such ma­chines.

McLaren M8E


Dun­can Mackel­lar has owned the ex-Roy Woods Rac­ing ma­chine for five years and like most own­ers is smit­ten with the thun­der­ing beasts. “They were re­ally the only class with un­lim­ited rules. It was also a re­ally cool pe­riod in his­tory with things like the moon land­ing and the Con­corde be­ing built which we won`t see again. My car is chas­sis 10 of the ap­prox­i­mately 18 cus­tomer cars built un­der li­cence by Tro­jan in the UK. In 1971 Sam Posey and Vic El­ford drove it and gained a few podi­ums. I’m a Porsche fan so the El­ford link is cool too. My engi­neer Barry Lock was with McLaren from 1968-’74 (see sep­a­rate story). How we came to know each other is a good story: We were test­ing once and this gentle­man came up to me and said he thought he may have worked on this car back in the day! So that’s how we met. This car only had a few own­ers in­clud­ing Chuck Haines who runs vin­tage race­car spe­cial­ists Can-Am Cars and he had it for about 30 years. I kept an eye on it and even­tu­ally it came up for sale which Chris Bowden ne­go­ti­ated for me. Wayne Park did the ini­tial set up and Barry has helped fine-tune it since then. He is still very much up to date with the lat­est aero the­o­ries so the car is just so en­joy­able to drive. It runs an eight-litre (496 cu­bic inch) alu­minium Reynolds V8 with 800hp with a four-speed box and weighs 750kg. It has a huge foot­print with 16 inch wide tyres on the back so you can just use the torque to pull you out of the cor­ners. It`s ac­tu­ally not that in­tim­i­dat­ing to drive.” I al­ways wanted one,” he told AMC. His prize is chas­sis five of the 28 cus­tomer McLaren M6Bs built for the 1968 sea­son. “I don’t wish to claim it has any fa­mous his­tory be­cause it doesn’t but I con­sider my­self lucky to have it as there are so few ex­am­ples of them out here. I wanted to play a part in get­ting more on the grid in Aus­tralia and now we have just about ev­ery model rep­re­sented. It was orig­i­nally bought by a very wealthy busi­ness­man who raced it un­til he had a big ac­ci­dent and parked the car. It was re­built and runs a 5.7-litre pushrod Chev and a five-speed Hew­land LG gear­box which is the orig­i­nal box. I was told it was race ready when I bought it and ran it at Sandown in 2015. I felt com­fort­able so took it to Phillip Is­land last year and bolted on some sticky new Avons. Well the sus­pen­sion couldn’t cope with the ex­tra grip and col­lapsed, send­ing me back­wards into the pit wall. It’s taken nearly a year to get it back on the track as I moved down to the Is­land to live at the same time. Of course I’m a lot poorer now!” The M6B was the cus­tomer ver­sion of the fac­tory M6A which Bruce McLaren won the cham­pi­onship

Dun­can Mackel­lar

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