Click here to read an article by Road & Track magazine about this Formula 5000.
1969 McLaren M10-A
Polished Aluminum with Black
Formula 5000 was introduced in 1968 in the SCCA Formula A races, a series where single seaters from different origins were allowed to compete, but which became dominated by the new F5000 Cars when the large American V8s were allowed. The '5000' denomination comes from the maximum 5.0 litre engine capacity allowed in the cars, although many cars ran with 3.5, 4.5 and 4.7 litre engines. Manufacturers included greats such as McLaren, Eagle, March, Lola, Lotus and Chevron.The concept was inspired by the success of the Can-Am Series, which featured unlimited formula sports racing cars fitted with very powerful engines derived from American V8s; the idea was to replicate the concept using open wheel cars. F5000 enjoyed popularity in the early 70's in the U.S. and featured drivers such as David Hobbs, Sam Posey, Eppie Weitzes, Mario Andretti, Jody Scheckter and Brian Redman.
Increasing costs and Lola domination meant the formula quickly lost its appeal after 1975. Older cars continued to be used in the SCCA national races, but the most competitive teams reconverted their cars with sports car bodywork, and competed in the resurrected Can-Am championship, starting in 1977.
In the UK, the arrival of the Cosworth DFV engine meant that many teams could now afford to build their own chassis around a good engine/transmission package, so Cooper, Lotus and Brabham stopped the production of customer Formula 1 cars. Unfortunately, smaller privateer teams and drivers that entered Britain's non-championship F1 events were left behind, and the RAC quickly adopted the American F5000 regulations.
In Australia and New Zealand, F5000 replaced the FIA Intercontinental Formula in the Tasman Series starting from 1970. The Tasman Series ran during the Formula One off season in the European winter, and in the late 1960s it had attracted the attention of the greatest names in Grand Prix racing, from locals Bruce McLaren and Jack Brabham to foreigners like Graham Hill and Jim Clark.
In its heyday, Formula 5000 was a prime venue for open wheel competition the world over, and today they remain important pieces of history and exciting mounts for contemporary historic competition.
This particular car has undisputed, known history from new, which is a rarity among F5000s of the era. Dispatched by Trojan Cars on the 24 July 1969 to Bob Esseks (New York, NY), having been imported by McLaren distributor Ray Caldwell, s/n 300-09 was used as a spare tub for Sam Posey in the final rounds of the 1969 season. It was subsequently used in Nationals through 1970, finishing 2nd at the1970 ARRC. It was later Advertised by John L. Paul of Sherwood Services (New York, NY) 6th of March 1970, and sold to Wil Painter (Lebanon, IN) December of 1970: In 1971, 300-09 is documented to have only raced once at the Mid-Ohio Grand Prix, 5th of July 1971 by Wil Painter, who was kind enough to contact Fantasy Junction in March of 2013 to discuss his ownership experience. In early1972 Painter sold the car to Merle Brennan, apparently replacing the M10A which Brennan had used in 1971: US 1972 Brennan competed in at least two California races, and at least three SCCA Nationals in 1972, all of which he emerged victorious from. In 1973 Brennan continued to compete with 300-09 in two West Coast races, as well as the SCCA Nationals 1973 before selling the car to Glenn Brown (Kent, WA) in late 1973 who raced in Pacific Northwest for two more years. Jan Labell (Olympia, WA) purchased the car in November of 1975 an continued to race the car in the Pacific Northwest for three seasons, winning SCCA NorPac FA title in 1976 and 1977 and breaking the Portland FA track record. Labell sold the car via Tom Fredericks to Chuck Haines (Manchester, Missouri) in September of 1985, and it was sold onward to a former M10A racer Lou Pavesi (Los Altos, CA) Sep 1986, who used 300-09 in Vintage racing. Wes McNay and Henry Alexander (Menlo Park, CA) purchased the car in 1988, completely restored it to original high wing configuration (using the original wing from 1969, sourced from Wil Painter), and raced 300-09 in Vintage racing on the West Coast of the US.. McNay 4th overall and first in class at the Brian Redman International Challenge at Road America 18-20 July, 2003 among other competitive accomplishments. Fantasy Junction had the opportunity to handle this wonderful McLaren M10-A in December of 2005, when it was sold the the current custodian, Dave Isselhard (Battle Ground, WA). Mr. Isselhard raced the car in vintage racing in the Northwest, and with Oregon Region SCCA.
The history of 300-09 is well substantiated. Included with the sale are no less than eight letters from previous owners or involved parties from the original importer Ray Caldwell to the current custodian which confirm the history of continuous ownership. Also included within the paperwork is the Verification Statement issued by Trojan Cars and executed by Peter. J. Agg as Chairman and Managing Director of McLaren of Trojan. Also included with the sale is the current historic racing log book, as well as receipts for regular upkeep over the last seven years of selective, fair weather use.
The car can be best described an an immaculate, race ready example today. It is cosmetically beautiful with an extremely straight and highly polished tub, very nice paint and brightwork, and exceedingly tidy mechanical presentation. The car is not over-restored gleaming piece of jewelry, but rather a highly functional, clean representation of the cars of the era. The current owner and driver, whom has been involved in motor racing since 1958 reports recently installing a new clutch master and slave cylinder, and confirms the car to be event-ready. While his ownership and competition exploits with s/n 300-09 has been a delight to-date, his 80th birthday is approaching, the current custodian is ready to pass the torch.
In keeping with active historic racing competition standards, the sale of s/n 300-09 is accompanied with the following helpful spares:
1) Spare Nose
2) Two sets of "Nostrils"( these fit on the car as a portion of the Nose--and serve to divert air from the radiator up and over the skin of the tub).
3) One new rear wing (unused).
4) One box of used transmission parts and gears (changed the gear ratios in the transmission- for better acceleration- which brought the top end DOWN to approx 185mph at 7500 rpm!)
5) One spare battery (used).
6) Three Oil filters (new).
7) Belts for motor driven accessories (used).
8) Brake Roters (complete set-used but usable).
9) Brake pads (used, but usable).
10) Spark Plugs (new).
11) Six tires (four Slicks and two machine grooved slicks--the tires on the car and the spare "machine grooved" Slicks were provided by Roger Kause Racing).
12) Four original wheels.
13) Quick-lift jack--two piece (used to lift the front of the car when needed for quick service in the "Pits").
14) The original straight pipes with end covers. [we replaced this exhaust system with a muffled system which did not reduce power, but held the exhaust sound down to a lever acceptable to the race organizers at West Coast (and other) Tracks]. After installing the new exhaust system the current owner never had a problem passing sound in the Northwest.
15) One set of Spicer Universal Joints (for the rear drive shafts).
16) One brass radiator (used).
17) One set of tail/stop lights with the bracket to retain them.
Ideal for historic competition around the globe, this M10-A offers infinite opportunity for its new owner in the Formula car ranks. Competition aside, as one of the most romantic and exciting tubbed McLarens ever produced, and with the 50th Anniversary of the marque currently being celebrated, and awareness of of the brand growing, it is likely to prove to be an intelligent investment as well.
Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.