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Only 50 cars for 50 years: McLaren produces limited run of the 650S Can-Am

12 October, 2015

Inspired by McLaren Can-Am racers of the ’60s, production of the 650S Can-Am — based on the current twin-turbo V8-powered 650S Spider — will be limited to only 50 examples globally.

Created by McLaren Special Operations (MSO), deliveries of the 650S Can-Am are set to commence in the spring of 2016 — 50 years on from the first Can-Am race at Mont-Tremblant in Canada.

Exclusive features include a carbon-fibre retractable hardtop and bonnet, air brake, front splitter, door blades, and 650S Can-Am–branded sill cover. MSO has also created a unique set of lightweight forged-alloy wheels, inspired by those of the ’60s racers. Carbon ceramic brakes with black-painted calipers are standard equipment.

Further unique features inspired by the iconic Can-Am racers include carbon-fibre louvered front wings and a new quad-exit, polished stainless-steel exhaust system to provide the 650S Can-Am with a unique soundtrack.

The 650S Can-Am is available in three colours. The launch colour, Mars Red, is directly inspired by the M1B raced by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon in the debut season. The second colour, Papaya Spark, is a modern, metallic take on McLaren’s famous Can-Am racing orange, while the final option is Onyx Black.

Want one? The asking price is £255,850 — at the current exchange rate that’s NZ$587,223.Only 50 cars for 50 years: Mclaren produces limited run of the 650S Can-Am

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.