March of the Orange Elephants
After the factory McLaren team dominated the 1968 Can-Am championship with the successful M8A, the organisers increased the 1969 series from six races to eleven, presumably to loosen the McLaren stranglehold. McLaren's response with their new M8B was devastating - winning all eleven races, including eight 1-2 finishes. Bruce McLaren wrote in his magazine column "It seems to be reaching the Moss / Clark stage, where we are getting so much publicity that people are coming along just to see us win. It's like elephants at a circus - there might only be one or two there, but you don't feel like going home without seeing the elephants, no matter how many monkeys there might be..." From then on the McLaren Can-Am's were known as orange elephants.
Here we see Chris Amon in the spare car after his Ferrari 612P failed, followed by Bruce McLaren, and Denny Hulme descending the infamous corkscrew at Laguna Seca during practice. True to Amon's luck he would have to start from the back of the grid, working his way up to sixth before the transmission failed, while McLaren would win, with Hulme second.
Original arcrylic on canvas
20" x 30" (51 x 76cm)
© Kieran Roberts Art