Bruce McLaren was an auto racing pioneer whose cars took checkered flags in a wide variety of motorsports disciplines. The company’s Can-Am cars used gorgeous, swoopy lines and mid-mounted Chevy V-8 engines. Its early F1 cars used DOHC Ford V-8s and sleek, trim fuselages. Its road cars brought track performance to the street.
All were beautiful machines, but there wasn’t anything to tie their shared identity together until 1967, when McLaren settled on a distinctive shade of orange for its Can-Am entries. For the next few years, the papaya orange livery was a signature for McLaren racing and was worn in Can-Am, Champ/Indy car, Formula 1, Formula 2, and Formula 5000.
The Petersen Automotive Museum is highlighting McLaren’s vivid livery in an exhibit called The Color of Success. You can find the exhibit on the museum’s second floor in the Charles Nearburg Family Gallery. An array of 1960s and ’70s McLaren cars surround the 2018 McLaren MCL33, which was the brand’s F1 competitor. It marked McLaren’s return to papaya 50 years after its F1 debut.
These fantastic machines will be on display until April 2023, so you’ve got plenty of time to drop by if you find yourself in Los Angeles. You can find tickets to the museum here, and if you need any more reasons to visit, we have some more museum highlights for you to enjoy.
About Petersen Automotive Museum
The Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity. The museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Blvd. (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles, 90036. Admission prices are $16 for general admission adults, $14 for seniors and $11 for children ages 4 to 17.
Active military with ID, personal care attendants and children under age 4 are admitted free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For general information, call 323-930-CARS or visit www.petersen.org.
Report/Photos by Brandan Gillogly
Article courtesy of Hagerty