Fresh faced youth
Working on the McLaren M7 in 1968.

Alastair was a notable part of the multi-national McLaren team in the period which became known as the ‘Bruce and Denny show’.

1967 Early Days at McLaren

England to America. Door catches are required for two new racing cars about to be shipped to the CanAm.

I worked like a lunatic because my wife and children were not here yet. I was able to really put the hours in. I’d work seven days a week, sixteen hours a day, week after week after week building racing cars. We built some CanAm cars, which were cars that could only race in America in an event called the Canadian-American Challenge Cup: CanAm. They were huge sports cars with huge engines. I can still remember the day we went to the airport to ship them across the Atlantic. I was building the door catches, which was the marvelous thing about my job in those days because I had designed the door catches, built them, and fitted them to the cars. I was inside the first car fixing the handles, loaded on the back of a lorry as it drove to the airport.

When we got to the airport to weigh them for airfreight them I had to get out. They took me back to the factory and I climbed into the second car and off we went, back to the airport. It was fantastic. We designed an awful lot of the cars ourselves: the details of the cars were not drawn by the factory, it was done by the workers, the mechanics.

Previous story | next story | back to timeline