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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1970
Numbers built:21
Designed by:Gordon Coppuck for McLaren
Predecessor:McLaren M10A Chevrolet
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:October 28, 2016
Download: All images
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Click here to download printer friendly versionIntroduced during the late 1960s, Formula 5000 provided great opportunities to both aspiring drivers and chassis manufacturers. Thanks to the mandated stock-block V8 engine costs were kept down while the performance of the cars was virtually on par with the altogether more exotic Formula 1 cars. For manufacturers, the class opened up a vast market as F5000 championships were staged in all corners of the world. Considering this, it was no surprise that the likes of Eagle, Lola, Lotus and McLaren all conceived new cars.

McLaren engineer Gordon Cuppock did not have to start from a clean sheet as he could base the new-for-1969 M10A on the existing M7A F1 car. Its sheet-aluminium bathtub style monocoque was reinforced with aluminium panelling that ran over the driver's feet. This 'up-and-over' construction was also used for Bruce McLaren's personal M7C F1 racer used during the 1969 season. Unlike the F1 car's Cosworth DFV V8, the production-sourced small-block engines could not be used as stressed members, so the monocoque was extended beyond the rear bulkhead with pontoons to support the drivetrain and rear suspension.

The suspension was carried over from the existing F1 design with wishbones, links and radius arms at the front, and reversed lower wishbones, top links and twin trailing arms at the rear. The first M10A, which was intended for the works team, was built up using a Chevrolet engine and a Hewland LG600 five-speed gearbox. For customers, McLaren offered the M10A either as a complete car with the Chevrolet engine and Hewland gearbox or simply as a rolling chassis to give the opportunity of a choice of drivetrain.

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  Article Image gallery (42) Chassis (4) Specifications