TodayJanuary 20, 2022

Amanda McLaren on her Father and McLaren cars

Bruce McLaren

I couldn’t be more proud, Amanda McLaren declared “It’s fabulous to be here, to be part of the team and part of McLaren Automotive.”

Amanda was just four years old when her father was killed in a testing accident at Goodwood in 1970. The place to be, to remember her Father after his tragic accident would be with McLaren, as brand Ambassador. Daddy’s little girl is all grown-up, and like her father, she is having the time of her life with the cars that her Father created.

I spoke with the producer of the movie McLaren, Roger Donaldson about Bruce and his racing, “I saw Bruce racing in Australia when I was a boy.” Donaldson created a movie out of bits and pieces of footage, “we searched for the video of the footage of McLaren’s wedding for two years.” Fortunately, there were some key people alive that brought McLaren to life in the movie that are no longer with us. Capturing that relationship with the old race car drivers was the epitome of the show; capturing the emotion of an older race car driver as his brain moves back into the time of his life when history was being made.

Donaldson immigrated to New Zealand from Australia in 1965 and had a personal connection to the McLaren movie, “Bruce McLaren’s Father lent me a picture of his first road car that McLaren made for one of my first movies (Smash Palace, 1981). I felt I had a personal connection to the movie, having met his Dad. Most people don’t know that the emblem on the car is a Kiwi.

Bruce McLaren was born in Auckland in 1937, and quickly picked up his Father’s passion for racing. It was Bruce’s performance in the 1958 New Zealand Grand Prix that made Jack Brabham become McLaren’s first mentor. McLaren won a European driving scholarship and began driving Formula Two cars. At the age of 22, he won the 1959 US Grand Prix, setting a new record for the youngest-ever driver and was runner-up in the 1960 season. McLaren then founded the famous McLaren Formula One racing team, which continues to race today. McLaren died at the age of 32 while testing the M8D at the Goodwood race track in England on June 2, 1970.

In my interview with Amanda, I talked about the movie and told her how hard it had been to find the wedding footage. You can see in her face the fascination for her Father and the brand. Amanda McLaren’s job is to immerse people in the McLaren brand and be a link to the legacy and heritage that is so important to McLaren. She will be involved in the McLaren P1 GTR Driver Program rollout.

The brand ambassador talked about the car her Father designed and the rest of the McLarens since then.

The McLaren Cars of today

Wayne Bruce. Global Communications and PR Director at McLaren Automotive Ltd. The location takes us through the biggest gathering of McLaren cars in the United States ever! From the affordable 570 Coupe to a McLaren P1 with an asking price of $2,000,000 at Gooding & Co. auction.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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