The ul­ti­mate Mclaren mon­ster

Motor Sport News - - Monsters: Can-am -

The Gor­don Cop­puck­de­signed Mclaren M8F was per­haps the ul­ti­mate Can-am car, not as pow­er­ful or as ef­fi­cient as the 917s that fol­lowed and stole its crown, but was the last nor­mallyaspi­rated leviathan that did what this cat­e­gory in­tended: put a colos­sal en­gine in the back and light the blue touch pa­per.

The M8F looked like a door wedge and be­haved like a brick through a plate glass win­dow. Now belt­ing out 740bhp and with an alu­minium mono­coque three inches longer than that on the M8D, on which the cars were based, the M8F had new 17-inch wheels mean­ing new rear sus­pen­sion plus new aero and body­work was ap­par­ent at the front of the car. The chas­sis was also made stiffer.

The driver’s footwell was braced with a hoop to pro­tect the driver: accidents, big ones, were a way of life in Can-am.

The F also boasted parts made from ma­te­ri­als such as mag­ne­sium and ti­ta­nium and its weight was down on the M8D at 770 ki­los. An­other plus was that Mclaren en­gine builder Gary Knut­son worked up a new in­take trum­pet de­sign which fea­tured stag­gered trum­pets of two dif­fer­ent lengths that helped to smooth out the en­gine’s power curve.

Denny Hulme won three races in its cham­pi­onship­win­ning sea­son of 1971, Peter Rev­son five on his way to the cham­pi­onship. There were just 10 rounds…

Truly, it was a mighty beast.

Mighty Mclaren M8F

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