In the late 1960s, Bruce McLaren had ambitions to build the fastest production car in the world. The M6 GT borrowed heavily from the successful M6 and M8 Can-Am cars of the same era. Bruce McLaren had a development car as his daily transport. There was a plan to build 250 coupes per year, but then homologation regulations changed and Bruce’s untimely death at Goodwood put a halt on the project. In the event, McLaren offered them as road-legal prototype race cars for a short period and just a few were made.
The M12 GT, like the one on show in the Cartier Style et Luxe concours this weekend, is a very rare car indeed. It looks like a racing car with numberplates… and lives up the that billing thanks to a McLaren-developed Chevrolet V8 engine producing over 500bhp.
McLaren may have missed its chance to build the world’s fastest road car in the late 1960s and early ’70s, but that time came in 1993 with the launch of the F1.
Photography: Richard Pardon