9. McLaren M7B

S3126 McLaren M7B No.18 Dutch GP 1969 – Vic Elford

Vic Elford is one of the greatest all-rounder ever known in the racing. The 79 year old London born was a famous rally-, circuit- and formula 1-pilot. In 1968 he was placed on the 4th position in a Cooper T86B at his GP-debut straightaway. With the same car he could achieve a remarkable 7th place at the Monaco-GP one year later. The race then was financed by Colin Crabbe and his company “Antique Automobiles”. Crabbe was that convinced of Elford’s performance that he bought him a McLaren M7B for the next race in Zandvoort. It was painted in the corporate colors white-rust. Elford finished 10th at the GP on the dune course. For the next GP-race the car was reengineered. With modified stabilizers and a rear wing which reminds of a tea tray, Elford participated at the French-GP in Clermont-Ferrand. And the British man finished 5th directly behind the team manager and founder of the racing team Bruce McLaren. After Elford also earned some points (P6) in Silverstone, the expectations grew regarding the race at the notorious Nordschleife (=North loop) as Elford was known as Nürburgring-expert. And he did justice to his reputation already during the qualifying, due to a modified exhaust system that generated 300/min more. Starting position 6, two seconds faster than Bruce McLaren – an impressive result. But Elford didn’t have a good start and clashed with the 4×4-Lotus of Mario Andretti. As a result he overturned and landed headfirst behind a fence. The M7B was scrap metal. Elford dislocated his arm and needed to have a break for quite a while. For him the adventure formula 1 continued for one more race with a BRM in 1971. Crabbe put a March 701 for Ronnie Peterson for the season in 1970. But the dealer of historic racing cars definitely had his most successful time with Vic Elford.

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