We all have seen old F1 cars and fantasised about attending one of the mythical races from back in the day. Just imagine seeing those large engines clinging out of the back of F1 cars and listening to the screaming noises they made. McLaren M2B was never the fastest one and did not win any races, but it was important, first of its kind, and had no issues in the noise-making department.
The M2B was the first McLaren to enter an F1 race, which occurred during the 1966 season at the racing weekend of the Monaco Grand Prix. The car was the brainchild of the immensely talented Robin Herd, aged 26 at the time. Nevertheless, he already took part in the construction of the Concord and even managed to transfer some of the knowledge and materials from aeroplane engineering to F1 racing. The McLaren M2B used a material called Mallite, developed for the aeroplane industry, made of end grain balsa wood hard pressed between two duralumin sheets.
Despite that fact, the McLaren failed to win any races with this car, due to a lack of a reliable and powerful engine, something that the M8B sure had. Two options were chosen for the car. One was a Ford V8 borrowed from the Indie 500 race and reduced from 4.2 litres to just 3.0, producing right about 300 bhp. The second engine was a Serenissima 3.0 V8 producing only 260 bhp. The car managed to finish two races, collecting a total of 2 points, finishing 6th in Britain and 5th in the USA.
Although the M2B never managed to win a race, it proved that nothing could stand in Bruce McLaren’s way towards racing dominance and engineering success. Just three years after entering his first F1 race under a different team, he managed to build his car and race it. The McLaren M2B was also featured in the 1966 movie “Grand Prix” as a car entered by a fictional Japanese team. The rest is history – that of McLaren becoming the powerhouse that we know today.
Celebrate the early McLaren years with this McLaren M2B poster carefully produced by us.