Ex-Bonnier Can-Am car set for Euro comeback
The ex-Jo Bonnier McLaren M6B will race in Europe this season, marking only the second time that it has raced outside North America in almost half a century.
The former Ecurie Suisse McLaren is now in the UK in the hands of brothers Max and Andrew Banks from Alfa Romeo competition specialist Alfaholics. Former owner Bob Lee restored the car in the US and it came back to the UK last summer.
Since then, the Banks brothers have worked through the car and crack-tested key suspension components. “Bob raced it in the US over the last six or seven years and did a beautiful job of restoring it,” said Max. The car last ran at Laguna Seca in 2015.
Bonnier bought chassis 50-15 to race in the 1968 Can-Am Championship, but first raced it at Karlskoga in his native Sweden and finished second to David Piper’s Ferrari 330 P3/4. After its only race in Europe, the McLaren was shipped to America where Bonnier contested several Can-Am races, with a best finish of eighth at Las Vegas. David Hobbs and Frank Kalich also raced it in period. Kalich later upgraded the bodywork and wings and raced it as an M12, but Lee restored it to Bonnier M6B trim.
It has yet to be confirmed where the car will race, but it is understood it will appear in selected Masters and Peter Auto events. It is possible that British fans will get a glimpse of the car at the Masters rounds that take place at Silverstone and Brands Hatch. Ahead of its comeback the McLaren has been returned to original European specification as used in its debut race and has been fitted with a 5-litre Chevrolet engine. In Can-Am trim it has run with a 6-litre aluminium block.