We Think Bruce McLaren Would Have Appreciated This Spa 50th Anniversary Tribute
McLaren Special Operations (MSO) has been so busy lately that you’d be excused for thinking there are more special editions out there than “standard” McLarens. It would be wrong to ignore this one though, because it’s a tribute to McLaren’s first Formula 1 win 50 years ago. In June 1968 Bruce McLaren drove a Papaya Orange McLaren M7A to victory in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, a huge achievement for the fledgling team. Fifty years later, three special examples of 720S have been commissioned by McLaren Brussels, two of which are already sold.
Each of the three McLaren 720S Spa 68 Collection cars is finished in MSO Bespoke Anniversary Orange paint, emulating the colour of the 1968 race car. A silver outline of the 14km Spa-Francorchamps track–as it was in 1968–is reproduced ahead of the rear wheelarch and embroidered onto the headrest. The MSO Extended Carbon Fibre Sill Covers are inscribed with “1st McLaren F1 victory Belgian Grand Prix 9th June 1968–Bruce McLaren” and even the ignition keys are painted Anniversary Orange and feature silver “Spa 68” text. All three cars are fitted with a small plaque showing its unique number, and the interior has been treated to contrast stitching in (of course) McLaren Orange thread.
Even before the 1968 win, Bruce McLaren was known as a master of the tricky Spa-Francorchamps circuit, with five top-three finishes in seven starts at the Belgian GP. He’d never managed a win there, though, until the ’68 race; his first victory driving his own McLaren car. At that time that made him only the third driver to win a Grand Prix in a car of his own design and construction. Just two years later Bruce McLaren died in a testing accident at Goodwood, but the McLaren team has gone on to win eight World Constructors’ Championships and 12 World Drivers’ Championships.
Images courtesy of McLaren Automotive