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McLaren at the Louwman Museum
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Having opened its doors in 2010, the Louwman Museum is one of the largest privately owned and publicly accessible car museums in the world. It can fall back on a vast collection of machinery amassed by two generations of the Louwman family over many decades. Nevertheless, the Louwman Museum also reserves a section of the property, the 'Great Hall', for special displays. In the summer of 2017, this area was reserved for a fabulous collection of machinery celebrating the rich racing history and more recent road car accomplishments of British car manufacturer McLaren. Fittingly, the exhibition was opened by Amanda McLaren, who is the daughter of late company founder Bruce McLaren and also an ambassador of the brand.
We were also on hand for the opening ceremony and used the opportunity to snap up this 30-shot gallery of the sixteen-car McLaren display.

The exhibition was the result of the close relationship between McLaren and its Dutch distributor Louwman Exclusive. Accordingly, one half of the 'Great Hall' was filled with McLaren's recent production cars ranging from the MP4-12C through to the all-new 720S, which was revealed as part of the exhibition opening. The 720S was flanked on either side by the two stars of the exhibition. The first was the McLaren M8F Can-Am racer that is part of the Louwman Museum's permanent collection and was driven to McLaren's fifth and final Can-Am championship in 1971. On the opposite side and heading a row of Formula 1 cars was the McLaren MP4/5B Honda that Ayrton Senna raced so successfully during the 1990 season, beating his arch-rival Alain Prost to the Formula 1 World Championship that year. Loaned to the exhibition by a Dutch Formula 1 enthusiast, it is one of very few Ron Dennis era McLaren Grand Prix cars in private hands today.

The McLarens were carefully selected from no fewer than seven different sources, which included a private Dutch collector but also the likes of the BMW and Mercedes-Benz Museums, and of course McLaren themselves. BMW provided a stellar example of the F1 in full competition trim, which marks the company's first successful attempt at building and racing a production road car. As Amanda McLaren pointed out, this was not the first road car built by McLaren as one of her father's pet projects was the fully road legal M6 GT. Unfortunately, that project died along with the company founder during the fatal accident while testing a Can-Am car at Goodwood in June of 1970. Among the other cars on display were the Formula 1 machines used by Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton to win their World Championship titles.

The McLaren at the Louwman Museum is open through to August 27, 2017. The unique collection of 16 McLarens can be viewed during the regular opening hours from Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 am through to 17:00 pm.

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Posted on: 04 / 09 / 2014

Report by Wouter Melissen and images by Wouter Melissen and Pieter Melissen for Ultimatecarpage.com.