McLaren: The Engine Company is the previously untold story of McLaren Engines, an American company founded in 1969 by Bruce McLaren and his partners to build engines for McLaren’s legendary Can-Am and Indy Cars. From this base in suburban Detroit were born the mighty big-block Chevrolet V8s that powered the iconic orange cars to two of their five consecutive Cam-Am championships. McLaren’s busy dyno rooms also spawned the howling turbo Offenhausers that put Mark Donahue and Johnny Rutherford in Victory Lane at Indianapolis three times between 1972 and 1976.
For decades this non-descript shop was the hotbed of horsepower for factories and top independents alike. McLaren Engines developed the turbocharged Cosworth DFV Formula 1 engine that powered Indy cars for both Team McLaren and Penske Racing. It rendered BMW’s turbo engine for U.S. IMSA racing that later became BMW’s Formula 1 weapon. The long list of race engines developed here powered Buick Indy and IMSA cars, BMW GTP cars, Cadillac LeMans prototypes, Porsche Trans-Am 944s and David Hobbs’ F5000 single seaters. There were McLaren-built big-block turbo V8s for offshore boat racing and even a Cosworth-Vega engine for American dirt tracks!
Author Roger Meiners combines his life-long passion for motor racing and technology with his historian’s sensibilities to make the engines, cars, and key personalities come alive within this book’s pages. Ride along with Meiners as he uncovers little-known details of the company’s transition from a race shop to an engineering company, developing lust-worthy performance cars such as the sensational 1987 Buick GNX, the 1989 Pontiac Grand Prix Turbo, the FR500 Ford Mustang concept, and other projects that the public never saw. Today the company, known as McLaren Engineering, is a subsidiary of Canada-based Linamar Corporation, and is sought after by global automakers for its unrivaled testing, development and manufacturing capability.