McLaren M8D (1970) Can-Am

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Technical Details

  • Description
  • Scale guide

Developed by McLaren for use in the 1970 Canadian-American Challenge Cup, the M8D was built for the 1970 season. It was the fourth iteration of the M8A and part of a succession of cars that dominated Can-Am for four seasons from 1968-1971. The M8D gave McLaren team one of its best years in Can-Am and one of its toughest moments. At Goodwood during the pre-season, Bruce McLaren was tragically killed testing the M8D on the Lavant Straight. Part of the tail section had lifted, causing the car to spin at 170mph, leaving the track and hitting a bunker used as a flag station. The man who felt life was measured in achievements, not years alone, left behind a strong legacy.

Rallying superbly after the tragedy, which came only two weeks before the season began, McLaren proceeded to take nine wins from 10 rounds. Drivers Dan Gurney and Denny Hulme, both behind the wheels of M8Ds, took eight of those victories, whilst Peter Gethin emerged victorious in the other still racing a M8B. Hulme’s six race wins saw him to his second title, despite driving with his hands still bandaged after a fire in the M15 at Indianapolis 500.

The M8D differed visually from the M8B, despite being its direct successor. With new rules banning the strut-mounted wings that had flourished in 1969, the solution at McLaren comprised a pair of tail fins which acted as fences to channel airflow over a wide, low-mounted wing located eight inches above the rear bodywork. The distinctive appearance earned the car the nickname 'the Batmobile'. It was less efficient aerodynamically without the M8B's high wing, so to maintain performance the team sought even greater horsepower. A new deal with Reynolds Aluminium gave it access to that company’s new silicon-aluminium Chevrolet blocks, 8-litre versions of which were said to be capable of producing 700bhp. In the interest of reliability, a slightly smaller 7.6-litre was chosen, giving 670bhp.

This fine 1:8 scale model of the McLaren M8D has been handcrafted and finished in our workshops with the co-operation and assistance of McLaren regarding original finishes, materials, archive imagery and drawings. The use of supremely accurate digital scanning of the original car has allowed us to perfectly recreate every detail at scale. Furthermore, it has undergone detailed scrutiny by both engineering and design teams to ensure complete accuracy of representation. Every Amalgam 1:8 scale model is supplied in a luxury black presentation box and mounted on a carbon fibre or leather base protected by a clear acrylic dust cover. The model title, original branding and edition number are displayed on polished stainless-steel plaques mounted at the front end of the base.


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