|Tyco Pro McLaren M6B being overtaken by Tyco McLaren M8F|
Here is the first of a series of posts on some of my favourite slot cars. Where to start was difficult, especially as all my slot cars are currently packed away awaiting yet another house move. So these were picked almost at random.
|Vintage Tyco McLaren HO Slot Cars|
Both are the usual very approximate 1/64th scale and are made for home racing rather than the display shelf. Although, relatively common in the USA, they did have a little rarity value in the UK. For those interested in such things the photos were taken on some old Faller track bordered by fake turf from the garden centre.
|McLaren M6B leads the McLaren M8F|
The No 4 car seen here is a McLaren M8B but was originally sold as just a Group 7 GT due to royalty reasons as it came out in the early seventies just as the F1 teams were seeking new revenues under the tutelage of Bernie Ecclestone. This is not one of the early white cars which were made not to look like a McLaren but a slightly later model but still on its original Tyco Pro chassis. The number 4 was of course carried by Bruce McLaren himself when racing in the Can-Am series. The McLaren M6B took Bruce to his second and final Can-Am championship in 1969 with wins at Mosport, Watkins Glen, Elkhart Lake, Michigan, Laguna Seca and Texas. 1969 was the year when every race that season was won by Bruce or his team mate Denny Hulme in their McLaren M6B-Chevrolet cars. Sadly Bruce was killed testing a Can-Am car at Goodwood in 1970.
|Tyco Can Am McLaren race cars|
By the time the No.5 car came out a few years later, it would appear that Tyco and McLaren had come to some sort of agreement. This is the McLaren M8F that was raced in 1971. It was the final year that McLaren won the championship, this time with Peter Revson driving the top car. The No.5 car was raced by Denny Hulme to second place in the championship with wins at Mosport, Edmonton and Riverside. This originally came out on a Tyco pro chassis but is seen here on a 440X2 pan chassis to give it higher performance. The colour scheme is perhaps more reminiscent of a 1972 M20. Toy HO slot cars never were that worried about accuracy. Of course 1972 was the year when McLaren were beaten for the first time since 1966 to the Can Am championship, by George Follmer in the Porsche 917/10K . Denny did come a distant second in the standings winning only at Mosport and Watkins Glen.
|Tyco McLaren M8F Chevrolet Can Am Car ahead of the M6B|
When I was a serious racer of slot cars in the early nineties I used to sometimes travel with a diorama to show off my Can Am and other slot cars as shown below.
|Can Am HO Slot Car Diorama from 20 years ago|
|Meanwhile the Indy Car crews are practising pitstops in the paddock|
Some of the Can-Am tracks were also used as a base for the meetings I organised in Mortlake. Watkins Glen and Riverside were two such examples and are shown below. The Riverside esses were rather awesome!
|Practice session for the Mortlake GP held on the Watkins Glen track in 1993|
|Practise on the Riverside circuit for the 1994 Mortlake GP|
|Tyco Can Am McLarens|