McLaren marks 50th anniversary of Bruce McLaren’s death with life-sized statue
McLaren has marked 50 years since the death of its founder with a life-sized statue that was unveiled by his daughter Amanda.
Bruce McLaren died on June 2, 1970 at the age of 32 after he crashed a McLaren M8D Can-Am race car at Goodwood Motor Circuit in West Sussex.
The New Zealander founded Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd in 1963, which would evolve into the McLaren we know today. During his driving career, he was renowned for winning Grands Prix, Can-Am championships and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Along with the bronze statue, 50 lighted candles were placed around a 1970 McLaren M8D at the firm’s Woking, Surrey headquarters. The ‘sister car’ to the one Bruce died in, it won the 1970 Can-Am race series with his team-mate and fellow Kiwi Denny Hulme at the wheel.
Amanda McLaren, daughter of Bruce and McLaren Automotive Ambassador, said: “It is an honour to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Bruce McLaren by unveiling this wonderfully crafted statue to commemorate his life and achievements.
“When my father died in June 1970 – just 12 years after coming to the UK from New Zealand – he had already done so much to realise his ambitions, but the best was still to come.
“McLaren’s accomplishments over more than 50 years in Formula 1, the landmark victory at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans race and the supercars and hypercars designed, developed and built under the McLaren banner, all stand as his legacy.
“June 2 is always an emotional date for us and that’s particularly true this year. Having ‘Dad’ looking out over McLaren is incredibly moving and I know that he would have been so very proud of the achievements made in his name.”
The statue was created by painter and sculptor Paul Oz. Known for his motorsport-inspired art, he was previously commissioned by McLaren to create a statue of Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna, who drove for McLaren for six years. The Brazilian won all three of his World Championships with the team in 1988, 1990 and 1991.