The McLaren M9A: One More Lap

There’s a certain charm to historic Formula 1 cars that contemporary machines packed with the latest technology just can’t match. Almost 50 years after it was raced, the McLaren M9A has magnetism in bucket loads, even if technical shortcomings saw it compete only once.

Bruce McLaren invited Derek Bell to drive the experimental four-wheel drive F1 car on its debut at the 1969 British Grand Prix, but #20 was plagued by handling issues and ultimately retired from the race with a suspension breakage just a few laps in.

In this stunning short film from McLaren Automotive, Bell recalls his experience with the M9A before getting back behind the wheel of the innovative yet problematic Ford V8-powered machine at Silverstone Circuit for one more lap.

Brad Lord
Instagram: speedhunters_brad
brad@speedhunters.com

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5 comments

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1

That sound is positively spine tingling.

2

good old kiwi

if anyone gets the chance, watch the Bruce McLaren movie. really cool to watch how things progressed.

3

It's surprising someone can take that car in their 60s/70s, much less pilot it perfectly around the course.

4

I suspect it's a case of 'if you've got it, you don't ever lose it', even aged 75. Especially if you're a driver of the calibre of Derek Bell!

5

Look at Sir Stirling Moss... The dude's in his 80s and still going strong (almost 90s *touches wood*)!

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