Bruce McLaren was born in Auckland, New Zealand
in 1937, from the young school boy with Perthes Disease, strapped to a
metal frame at the Wilson Home in Takapuna, Auckland, to a world class
international motor racing driver, engineer and designer whose name is
still used in Formula 1 motor racing today, is a remarkable achievement.
No one man's contribution to motor racing during the 1960 - 1970's was greater or more important than Bruce McLarens'. He left New Zealand in 1958 on his country's "Driver to Europe" plan and immediately won the Formula 2 section in his first race on the difficult Nurburgring track, with only four of the Formula 1 aces ahead of him. The following year he won his first Grand Prix to which today he is still the youngest driver to have won a Formula 1 Grand Prix, and in 1961 was a close 2nd in the World Championship to his team leader Jack Brabham. Within three years he was building his own racing cars and aiding Ford immeasurably in its vast, ultimately successful GT program; in 1966 he won the Le Mans 24 hour race and the next year the Sebring 12 hour event, both for Ford. In 1967 the McLaren Can-Am team took firm charge of that series.
Together with fellow New Zealander Denny Hulme - "The Bruce and Denny Show", as it became known - McLaren dominated Can-Am racing to the point that his opponents raced for third place.
That McLaren International continues to use his name today for their Formula One Team is a wonderful tribute and a superb acknowledgement of the New Zealand beginning of the company.Bruce McLaren died tragically whilst testing one of his cars at Goodwood on June 1970.