Before McLaren made a wide variety of variants of the 720S, the company made its name designing, building, and campaigning racing cars. Its Formula 1 team is the surviving legacy of that corner of the company, but McLaren's most extreme cars of the late 1960s and early 1970s were raced in the Can-Am championship and other series that used the similar Group 7 rule set. The greatest of these cars were the McLaren M8 line, a dominant force in Papaya orange from its Can-Am debut in 1968 to the introduction of the Porsche 917. While those 917s are largely untouchable collector's items, customer M8s raced in a few variants and those cars occasionally sell for under seven figures.
This particular M8 is a European-spec M8FP, built in 1972 for customers by Trojan Racing Company after the factory teams in the U.S. switched to the newer M20. It raced in Interserie, a Formula Libre-type category that allowed Group 7 cars to race alongside open wheelers.
While Can-Am and Group 7 cars are known for their early applications of massive turbocharged power, this car's original 7.5-liter turbocharged V-8 has been replaced with an 8.4-liter naturally aspirated engine. That engine still produces big power and still draws air in from the absurd staggered velocity stakes you'd hope to see on a Group 7 car, but uninstalled turbos also come with the car if you want to return it to its more absurd glory days.
This being a relatively simple contraption made of fiberglass and framing, two spare sets of bodywork also come with the car. The car and its matching parts are currently bid up to $225,000 on Bring a Trailer, where the auction ends in two days.
Bring a Trailer is also owned by Road & Track's parent company, Hearst Autos.
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