The cars on display at the Bruce McLaren Trust “Technical Evening” spanned decades, and generations, of Kiwi Motorsport design. This is a CAD blog and while it’s unlikely CAD/CAM was used for the 1968 Can-Am car, the Formula SAE car is the result of extensive CAD design & simulation. Besides, I thought this might be of interest to my CAD readers and there is the faint hope it will unearth some information or material to help the cause.
The McLaren Trust honours the memory and remarkable achievements of Bruce McLaren. He was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1937 and died tragically whilst testing one of his cars at Goodwood circuit, England on June 1970. His story from the young school boy, with Perthes Disease strapped to a metal frame in a children’s home, to a world class international motor racing driver, engineer and designer is epic. McLaren cars competed & won in Formula 1, Le Mans, Indy and dominated Can-Am. His name is still used, by McLaren International, in Formula 1 motor racing today. Amazing to think that when Fernando Alonso & Lewis Hamilton step into their Formula 1 cars it’s the latest chapter of a history that can be traced back to a Kiwi schoolboy modifying his dads Austin Ulster to go racing.
The McLaren M8A Can-Am car currently being restored by the Trust was on display. It was built for Denny Hulme but also driven by Bruce McLaren and Dan Gurney. It was rescued from being scrapped, literally buried, and is the only one of it’s type remaining.
Ken Taylor-Reid and Peter Cave (Nuplex) talked about it’s body fabrication & fibreglass/composite technology. The body-work seen in the photos was recently completed and unveiled on the night. It has been fabricated from scratch using recovered components, drawings and photos as a guide. The front panels are currently in production.
Duncan Fox then detailed the painstaking research and component fabrication which is bringing this car back to life. The most recent piece of the puzzle located is an original engine block, one of only six, found in Japan. The trust hope to acquire it, at a cost of us$6,000, and re-unite the block and chassis.
It’s remarkable that the Trust has achieved, with much volunteer and supplier assistance, restoration to the tune of us$350,000 to this stage. It’s not finished yet and they will eagerly accept any financial or practical assistance to complete the car. It is owned by the Trust and will be used for demonstration and education, keeping the McLaren heritage alive. If any readers have McLaren parts (from any cars) tucked away in the garage or can help in any other way let me know!
University of Auckland Formula SAE:
Malcolm Graham, representing the team, gave a great presentation about the remarkable University of Auckland Formula SAE Team Car. Built & funded by UoA Engineering Students it has the appearance of a Formula One car that’s been severely shortened, to about 2m long. It has a 600cc Supercharged bike engine & carbon fibre monocoque chassis developed using Pro Engineer. I thought a nice touch was the use of their sponsors “V” alloy energy drink can as a heat-shield!
It competes, using Bruce’s No 47, and recently set a record time in the Auckland Domain Hillclimb. It took prizes for first in efficiency (based on engine size), first in race class, and the outright win. Impressive considering the opposition included Ray William's 800hp 911 GT2 Porsche, the Bridgestone Porsche Champion, and a vast array of scratch built race cars, historic open wheelers and modified road cars.
I recently read about the US FSAE competition on the “In the Machine” blog. Perhaps we should get the Kiwi car over there to compete, maybe repeat the McLaren Can-Am domination…
- I forgot add a link for the Bruce McLaren Movie Website - www.thebrucemclarenmovie.com/. It was announced at the A1GP event in Taupo earlier this year and is currently in development. Filming is expected to start in 2008.
- For more information on Perthes disease see: Perthes NZ - http://perthesnz.bravehost.com/
UPDATE 27–08–2007: Links updated for the brilliant revamped McLaren Trust website