The 50th anniversary of McLaren will be celebrated at the 2014 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, to be held March 7-9 in Amelia Island, Florida. The 19th annual Concours will feature a display of rare and significant McLaren racers from five decades of competition.
McLarens were not only victorious in the most prestigious races, the company changed motorsport through a pursuit of perfection and brought a professional approach to a sport that had been more of a glamorous hobby than a true business. Today McLaren is still the only marque to win the Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship, the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Can-Am Championship.
“McLaren’s racing record is without equal,” said Bill Warner, Founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “The company is about quality and excellence in every component of the car, their execution, preparation and presentation.”
To celebrate 50 years of McLaren, the Amelia Island Concours will include 2014 Honoree Jochen Mass’ 1977 McLaren M23 Formula 1 racer as part of the “Cars of Jochen Mass” class. This Cosworth-powered M23 took Mass to second place in the 1977 Swedish Grand Prix at the 2.497 mile Anderstorp circuit.
McLaren’s racing history includes a list of landmark victories which are a testament to the company’s performance. Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd. was created in 1963 by Bruce McLaren after he drove for Cooper Cars, winning the 1959 and 1960 Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship and winning the 1962 Monaco Grand Prix. Since the first McLaren raced in Formula 1, at the 1966 Grand Prix of Monaco, the team has logged over 730 Formula 1 races with 182 F1 Grand Prix victories, eight World Constructors’ titles and 12 Drivers’ Championships.
“McLaren’s unblinking quest to improve upon what many called ‘perfection’ is what made them the most successful racing team in history,” said Warner. “No one can match their successes across such a broad range of racing disciplines. Only Ferrari has won more Formula 1 titles than McLaren, but they had a 17 year head start.”
Bruce McLaren’s talent for auto sports and business paved the way for McLaren’s future success. He personally won two Can-Am titles in 1967 and 1969 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, alongside countryman Chris Amon in 1966, driving a Ford GT40. McLaren won 43 Can-Am victories between 1967 and 1974, even though Bruce passed away testing his new McLaren M8D Can-Am racer in 1970.
McLaren cars went on to secure three Indianapolis 500 victories between 1972 and 1976 and claimed victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans victory in 1995 with the F1. The F1 was never meant to be a racer and won Le Mans upon its debut. With this victory, McLaren became the only marque in history to claim motorsport’s famous Triple Crown – victories at the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indy 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
McLaren Automotive North America will again be a participating sponsor of the Amelia Island Concours for the third consecutive year. McLaren will host event guests at its brand display pavilion on Saturday and Sunday where several special vehicles will be shown.
The 2014 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will be held March 7-9th on the 10th and 18th fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The show’s Foundation has donated over $2.2 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc. and other charities on Florida’s First Coast since its inception in 1996.
For additional information, visit AmeliaConcours.org.
[Source: Amelia Island Concours]