McLaren Automotive is a British manufacturer of luxurious high-end, high-performance sports cars, with a long and storied history in automotive racing. Dating back to founder Bruce McLaren’s love of cars and engineering, the young man joined Coopers F1 team at the sprightly age of 22. He stayed with them for seven more years, winning three Grand Prixs and a number of smaller victories while driving cars from Jaguar, Aston Martin, and Ford – in which he won the 1966 LeMans 24 Hours.
After founding his own company in the 60s, Bruce took less than a year to build his first race car and jumped head first back into the hobby he was so passionate about. It would be nearly 30 years until the marquee brand took first place at LeMans, and sadly Bruce wasn’t around to see it. He was killed while test driving a car at Goodwood in 1970, but the company carried on imbued with his passion, skill, and wisdom. McLaren has continued to produce amazing cars and participate in auto sports to this day.
The 1995 McLaren LeMans Win was Legendary
In 1998, the company partnered with Formula 1 and set out to build the finest sports car the world had ever seen, and when released in 1993 it was clear they had exceeded all expectations. The McLaren F1 was the world’s first carbon fiber monocoque road car.
The McLaren F1:
- weighed in at 1000 kilos
- produced 680 horsepower
- accelerated from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds
It is still considered one of the finest supercars ever created and can still hold its own against newer offerings from Ferrari and Lamborghini.
By 1995, the F1 had soundly achieved its status as a dominant race and road car, and was being used by a variety of teams. The LeMans that year was one of the wettest in history, with rain falling for 17 hours of the race period. Despite an issue with the gearbox caused by the wet conditions and fears about pushing the car, a multinational team of drivers won in the #59 McLaren F1 GTR in the GT1 category.
The car was incredibly dominant that year and placed in 4 of the top 5 positions. Other automakers frantically sought to catch up with McLaren, with many competitors trying to build a car that could challenge the F1 GTR’s performance and potential.
The race-bred history of the brand and the cars themselves has bled through into the street production models, making them some of the fastest, most responsive, and best driven cars on the road today. Subscribe to The Auto Gallery’s newsletter for the most up to date information on McLaren’s newest cars.