Those read­ers who fol­low

Classic Driver - - MODEL ADVICE -

the early days of McLaren will be fa­mil­iar with the name of Tyler Alexan­der who was a very im­por­tant part of the team for many years. With Wal Will­mott he did the con­ver­sion of the Zerex Spe­cial into the Cooper Oldsmo­bile, the early be­gin­nings.

Sadly, as most people now know, Tyler had a stroke a few months ago. I vis­ited him re­cently and I am happy to say that he is walk­ing and talk­ing very nor­mally, and hope­fully will make a full re­cov­ery.

His first book, with many pho­tos from in­side the McLaren team was pub­lished last year and his bi­og­ra­phy is due out soon. Tyler used to take his cam­era to most tests and races both in the early days and later years and he has had ac­cess to events which would not be avail­able to any other jour­nal­ist or pho­tog­ra­pher, so his books are a unique in­sight into the in­ner world of rac­ing.

While I was there we were joined by Tim Mayer, son of Teddy, who was Bruce’s part­ner in McLaren Rac­ing. Tim is named af­ter his un­cle Timmy, killed at Long­ford in 1964.

There is some doubt about which year is the “50 Years of McLaren” and while there were cel­e­bra­tions in 2013, there are likely to be more in 2014. I had al­ways as­sumed that 2014 was the cor­rect year, on the ba­sis that the team had its first race, at Pukekohe, in Jan­uary of 1964.

Tim and Tyler ex­plained to me that in a way both years are cor­rect on the ba­sis that the first com­pany, McLaren Cars Ltd, was reg­is­tered in 1963, but the com­pany which did the rac­ing, Bruce McLaren Mo­tor Rac­ing Ltd was reg­is­tered in 1964. When I worked there, from June 1964, it was very much Bruce McLaren Mo­tor Rac­ing on the door, the let­ter­head, the badges and any­where else that re­quired a cor­po­rate logo.

I first be­came aware of McLaren Cars Ltd when Bruce put me in the works F5000 car (M10B) for 1970. He was very in­sis­tent that we had ‘McLaren Cars’ in large letters on both sides of the car and the other works car of Peter Gethin had the same let­ter­ing. It also ap­pears on the Can-Am cars.

In the last is­sue Eoin Young showed his share cer­tifi­cate for McLaren Cars but I note that it is dated 1965, signed as Eoin says, by him­self and Bruce plus, I no­tice, the Com­pany Sec­re­tary and ac­coun­tant Mr L Gould.

Tim is now a Stew­ard for many top level events, and in fact was on the panel which had to ad­dress the is­sue of Daniel Ric­cia­rdo’s Red Bull hav­ing ex­ces­sive fuel flow dur­ing the Aus­tralian Grand Prix.

We had a fun time BUT we lost third place on a count­back. Prob­a­bly due to that putt I missed on the 14th hole! I hope that doesn’t cost me my team leader po­si­tion in 2015.

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