Now we are out of the Aston Martin’s corner and after bumping into Jean Todt (President of the FIA and jury for the event) we stood up in front of legendary McLarens: old and new ones. This is our journey to the 2019 Chantilly Arts & Elegance, now accompanied by McLaren, that presented the Speedtail. Text: Luca W. © Images: Thomas Z. ©

McLaren’s greatest racing cars

Starting with this towering McLaren M3A/2, driven by the legendary Patsy Burt, one of the most successful female British racing drive of all time. A 4.5-litre Traco Oldsmobile V8 engine, used in hillclimbs across Europe, delivers power to the rear wheels. Not so many people were attracted by this one during the event, mainly because they ignored a Great Lady raced in it.


Moving forward to the 1973 McLaren M16C/5 Offenhauser, driven by Johnny Rutherford for the 1973 Indy season. As a matter of fact, starting the season was difficult but Rutherford won the 1974 Indy 500 with it. It was lately sold in 2013 for $3,520,000.


Undoubtebly, the almighty McLaren MP4/4 Honda, crushing everyone in the 1988 Formula 1 season, winning 15 of 16 races. This one is the MP4/4-1 chassis, the first of the 6 built, raced by Ayrton Senna himself in the early season. We did touch it (sssh.) and now can say : “Yes, I touched a car raced by Ayrton.”. With this chassis, he won the San Marino and Canada Grand Prix. After goosebumping for 5 minutes, we found some modern cars.

MP4/4 Honda

At first, we did not notice the F1 GTR-LM sitting next to the MP4/4. After, we saw the #59 on the right door. There it was, the 1995 24h of Le Mans winner: the chassis 01R. Basically, it was a prototype, derived from the road car chassis #019 and only used as a test car. Well, it won Le Mans with the Lanzante Motorsport team, beating the Courage C34 and retired immediately by McLaren.

The modern McLarens

Suprisingly, the new 720 GT3 was there (and its elder, the 650S GT3), (not both) fitted with the M840T engine. The most surprising feature on this car is how those carbon panels push the air out of the rear wheels. Undoubtebly, it is a proper mower. Clearly, McLaren did its job by bringing it at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance.

Bearing out McLaren’s work on aerodynamics: the Senna. We have nothing to add as we guess you might know everything about this car except this: it is a GTR. The power output is approximately 825HP, weight is now 1180 kg and the car can possibly generate 1000 kg of downforce. Not to mention, future owners will not be able to drive it on public roads as wheels, tyres and suspensions are not fitted at all for this type of usage. The British manufacturer will build 75 of these, all sold.