MCLAREN M2B: FROM PILOT TO MANUFACTURER
Since 1958 the New Zealander Bruce McLaren had raced in Formula 1 with the Cooper team achieving excellent results, but in the mid-60s their performances started to be less competitive.
It was in these years that the New Zealand pilot began to think about making his own sports car: the M2B. He first competed with it in the championship starting from the 1966 season.
The development of the car was entrusted to the engineer Robin Herd. Herd was a former aeronautical engineer who had the intuition to make the monocoque frame in mullite, a material composed of a layer of fine balsa wood covered with duralumin plates. This had the purpose of making the car faster and more resistant and it was initially set up also to use a rear wing, even if this solution was later dropped.
As a power unit, a 305 hp Ford V8 406 fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive while the body was fibreglass.
The car suffered mechanical problems that lasted the entire season and the only noteworthy results were a sixth place at the British GP and a fifth place at the US GP.
At the end of the season, the car was replaced by the new M4B, that the McLaren would have used starting from the next year.
Thank you to Valentina Zanola for the cooperation