McLaren Chicago hosted House of McLaren: Legends and Icons, an event which brought together some of the most significant McLaren road and race cars together to illustrate the historical evolution of the brand – culminating with all-new McLaren Artura. The House of McLaren: Legends and Icons event was the first time these vehicles were on display together at the same place, an incredible and rare experience for guests.
Featured display cars were courtesy of the privately owned collection, Mouse Motors. Setting the stage was the genesis for all McLaren road cars, Bruce McLaren’s personal 1969 M6GT. With a successful racing and engineering career under his belt, Bruce set out to build the ultimate sports car: the fastest road car in the world with the highest specification possible. The car on display at the event was the personal daily driver for Bruce, and is one of the most treasured McLarens in the Mouse Motors collection.
Also on display was Brazilian Formula 1 driver Emerson Fittipaldi’s 1974 M23, one of the most important cars in the history of the marque. Featuring a new bellhousing spacer between engine and gearbox, plus a rear wing brought forward 10 inches to comply with new regulations, the M23 was victorious in Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Belgium, carrying Fittipaldi to McLaren’s first-ever World Championship. The success of the M23 would continue, with James Hunt claiming the World Championship in 1976.
Additionally, the MP4/4 driven by both Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna was on display. The MP4/4 was raced 16 times in 1988, winning 15 of those races, including the Brazilian Grand Prix in Rio and the U.S. Grand Prix in Detroit. According to McLaren Chief Mechanic Neil Trundle, the MP4/4 was the perfect package. It was lightweight, had outstanding downforce, highly efficient brakes, fantastic suspension, and a fabulous V6 engine.
Also featured was a 1998 MP4/13, which was driven by Mika Häkkinen to eight total race victories, including a flawless flag-to-flag victory at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, which clinched the Drivers’ World Championship.
The House of McLaren: Legends and Icons event also featured many rare and iconic McLaren road cars. Designed by Gordan Murray, the McLaren F1 was a technological masterpiece which changed supercar history. It was the world’s first carbon fibre road car, the world’s fastest production car, and is still the fastest naturally aspirated road car ever built. Light, strong, safe and aerodynamically sublime, the F1 was so far ahead of its time that its engineering highlights still feature on today’s McLarens. Only 106 models were built between 1992 and 1998 and of those 106, only 64 were the F1 road-car configuration. On display was VIN 001.
Also on display was a unique 2007 SLR 722 Stealth, which was inspired by the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR and was the last SLR roadster produced by the partnership between McLaren and Mercedes. This car was last publicly seen at the 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed where it was driven up the famed hill by then McLaren F1 driver, Lewis Hamilton.
Using the already acclaimed McLaren 675LT as basis, McLaren unveiled in 2016 a supercar with even more mind-numbing performance potential, the 688 MSO HS. Developed by the team at MSO, the “HS” variant used the same award-winning 3.8-liter V8 engine, but increased power output and removed a further 88lbs of curb weight. The 688 MSO HS displayed is an incredibly rare example of this model.
Featuring no roof, windshield or windows, the McLaren Elva harks back to Bruce McLaren’s original race-conquering, open-top sports cars of the 1960s – the M1A, M1B, and M1C. Featuring a stunning full carbon fibre body made from just three main panels, the Elva is the lightest road car ever built by McLaren. Shaped to make use of airflow, it’s also a masterclass in aerodynamics with its Active Air Management System (AAMS), which is a world first.
Woven into the DNA of these rarely seen McLaren race and road cars are generations of cutting- edge innovation that now culminate in the new McLaren Artura, a pair of which were featured prominently at the House of McLaren: Legends and Icons event.
As the brand’s first-ever series-production High Performance Hybrid (HPH), the Artura blends the thrilling performance, driving dynamics and engagement McLaren is known for with EV driving capability. Underpinned by the McLaren philosophy of super-lightweight engineering, the all-new Artura is the distillation of every attribute inherent in a McLaren: distinctive design, unrivalled performance, dynamic excellence, and engineering innovation. Even faster throttle response, lower emissions (39MPGe) and the ability to run in pure EV mode for up to 11 miles are key benefits of electrification.