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The McLaren M1A was the first ever car produced by Bruce McLaren Motor Racing after the race driver split from the Cooper Formula 1 team and formed his own team in 1963. The M1A was powered by a modified all-aluminium Oldsmobile V8 that had been enlarged from 2.5L to 3.9L, then even further to 4.5L for use in the McLaren M1A.
The brand new McLaren chassis was of a spaceframe design, that was light weight, strong and easy to build and repair. Conventional independent suspension with Girling disc brakes were used at all four corners of the car providing the handling and stopping power. The car was completed with the fitment of the aluminium body which was designed by Tony Hilder.
The McLaren M1A race debut was at the Mosport Grand Prix for sports cars in 1964. Bruce McLaren put the M1A on the front row in qualifying and lead the majority of the race, but finished third after throttle linkage issues. The M1A continued to be raced through the series but was ultimately held back by small teething problems.