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Sponsor a Part is now Closed

M8A-2 Restoration Project: Sponsor a Part Donation

How you can Support Us

The Bruce McLaren Trust welcomes the opportunity to present a proposal for you to become involved in the restoration of the McLaren M8A Can Am race car.  We have set out below a broad overview of the restoration process and provided some examples of sponsorship opportunities for you to support this project.

The Bruce McLaren Trust is restoring the McLaren M8A Can Am race car to its original condition in order to preserve the heritage of the McLaren marque and to generate a working asset that can then generate funds for its own maintenance and further Trust work.


The car carries an original factory production tag and this has established the authenticity of the vehicle and the worth of the restoration project.  The restoration will require significant re-building of components to ensure that the car replicates the original team car, and can be used safely on a racing circuit when the project is finished.

During every step of the restoration process the project will be under the control of an experienced engineer with considerable restoration experience, who has completed the refurbishment of his own personal McLaren racing cars. The Trust is able to utilise his skills in conjunction with a set of original factory drawings and archive material to ensure the restoration project is completed to a high and exacting standard and produce a safe and authentic McLaren M8A.  Several engineers and mechanics that worked for McLaren Racing are now resident in New Zealand and have volunteered their services to assist with the rebuilding process.

The restoration began with the complete dis-assembly of the car into its component pieces.  This step was necessary in order to check the physical state of each component for compliance with the factory drawings. The age and history of the car mean that a number of components have exceeded their working life and need replacing or refurbishing.

The chassis of the M8 Can-Am car is constructed from aircraft quality aluminium riveted to steel bulkheads and the aluminium is a part of the stressed chassis components and this type of construction is known as a monocoque chassis.  Parts of these bulkheads require replacing, firstly to repair damage sustained during a race accident, and secondly to replace sections that have been corroded to a point where they are unsafe to reuse.  These bulkheads form the basis for the chassis and are the main stressed components which carry the suspension pick-up points, the engine mounting and the stressed aluminium skin that completes the monocoque chassis. The original bulkheads and aluminium components were used as a template to manufacture the replacement components prior to the process of re-constructing the chassis.  The construction of the monocoque is now completed and the costs for this work were met by an ex McLaren team member who was Denny Hulme’s Chief Engineer.

Following the completion of the rolling chassis a number of components can be added to the vehicle.  The majority of these components will need complete replacement due to the age and unserviceability of the existing units, and some will be refurbished.  In order to complete the chassis the magnesium steering components will need to be replaced.  To complete the cockpit a new seat and driving instruments will need to be fitted and connected to a new electrical wiring harness.  Finally the rubber fuel cells need to be replaced as they had perished and at this point the chassis will be ready to receive the fibreglass body components and the engine and gearbox assembly.

The fibreglass body needs to be manufactured from patterns and factory drawings in order to preserve the original look of the car and to restore it to replicate a genuine McLaren M8A. (The present body section is from a McLaren M8D, and was fitted to the car when it was used in the seventies as a static display show car.) The fibreglass components will then be painted to match the original McLaren orange livery complete with sponsorship decals to replicate the car as it was used in competition during the 1968 racing season.

The engine and gearbox require complete refurbishment in order to replace components that have completed a series of competition races and have been subject to damage and the deterioration of the past thirty years. (It has now been decided that a complete replacement engine will be fitted to the car and that the original badly damaged engine will be used as a display museum piece.)

A number of vital small components will need to be manufactured from original factory drawings as they are missing from the car completely.

Financial Opportunities

Whilst the overall value of the McLaren M8 project is in the vicinity of $1,500,000 the total budget for the rebuild stands at $366,000 and a number of components are available for sponsorship,  either by individuals, corporates, syndicates, Car Clubs, etc. Some 462 individual items are listed in the budget. 

The project will require financial support in order that the car can be completed and as well as our own fundraising the Trust has received a grant of $80,000 from Lotteries Commission and a grant of $20,000 from Sky City for project.  Opportunities are also available for car clubs or individuals to offer financial assistance. Components that can be provided / sponsored / donated will range in price from several hundred dollars through to several thousand dollars.

Contributors can either provide a general contribution to the car project, or provide funds for specific components of the car.  In order that individuals can decide their level of involvement we have a list of some components still available, along with their budgeted cost.


The rebuilt car will be utilised for demonstration runs, corporate events and fund raising activities in order to generate sufficient funds to maintain the car and provide supporting car clubs with the opportunity to utilise the car at events and share in the funds raised. The car’s maintenance regime will be developed in conjunction with the restoring engineer and several ex McLaren Racing personnel now resident in New Zealand.

In return for financial support of over $250.00 contributors will have the following benefits and be acknowledged as follows:

  • Permanent reference in the M8s history
  • Specific mention in the promotional literature
  • Listing in the M8 booklet which is being published for the launch and the M8 Book to be published after the launch.
  • Certificate of acknowledgment
  • Donations/sponsorships over $500.00 will have the right a to one “1-lap ride” in the completed M8 and rights to go in the special draw for one “5 lap ride” in the completed M8.
  • Donations/sponsorships over $1000 will have the right to a “5 lap ride” in the completed M8 (Where this donation is from a Car Club, they may use these 5 laps at their discretion.  i.e. you may give these away, raffle them off or use them for your own corporate supporters.)
  • Signage acknowledgment where the car is displayed
  • Signage rights on trailer
  • Access to the M8 for car club events in order to raise funds for the club and for the Trust.
  • Access to the M8 for promotional functions

The Trust thanks you for this opportunity to present our sponsorship package and thank you for considering this project.  We would welcome any support that you can make available.  The Trust will be available to discuss any opportunities for joint fund-raising and promotional activities before the car completion and following its completion.

If you wish to support us please email us direct at



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