I re-read Mark Donohue’s excellent biography not so long ago, in it he refers to his Lola F5000 as a ‘little car’ which made me laugh! I’ve never seen F5000’s as anything other than ‘big cars’ but i ‘spose its all relative. When your frames of reference include McLaren M16 Indycars and Porsche 917/30 CanAm racers they are…
There is nothing small and subtle about CanAm cars, everything is BIIIGG!
They were built for 200 mile races, GP distance. The engines 7 litres and up, the chassis had to be big and strong to carry the engine and its fuel, they used a lotta fuel! The dimensions were unrestricted, the bodies large to provide downforce. Big engines; lots of power and torque needs a big gearbox and driveshafts, the shot above of a 1968 McLaren M8A in all its naked glory illustrates the point.
Denny Hulme took the ’68 title from teammate McLaren with 3 wins to Bruce’s 1 in 6 races.
M8A’ s vital statistics; 7 litre/427 cid McLaren modified aluminium blocked Chev ZL-1 engine. Bore and stroke 108mm x 95mm, pushrod OHV, Vertex magneto, Lucas fuel injection the package giving circa 620bhp@7000rpm. Hewland LG500 4 speed transaxle.
Monocoque chassis of rivetted and bonded aluminium with fabricated steel bulkheads, the Chev engine was a stressed member of the chassis at the rear. Wheelbase 94 inches, front and rear tracks 57.5 and 54.5 inches, length 153 inches and height to the top of the roll bar 36 inches. Weight circa 1350 pounds.
Rear suspension; single top link, reversed lower wishbones, twin radius rods, coil spring/damper units and adjustable roll-bars. Front by unequal length wishbones, coil spring/damper units, adjustable roll-bars.
Brakes, Lockheed outboard front and rear, McLaren cast magnesium wheels of 15 inches diameter and up to 11 inches wide and 15 inches and up to 16 inches wide at the rear…Big, like everything else!…
‘Cars in Profile No8 McLaren M8 Series’ by David Hodges, Pete Lyons, Jabby Crombac and Nigel Beresford Collection via ‘kayemod’ TNF, tamsoldracecarsite.net