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McLaren Visit Gallery

McLaren Visit

McLaren Visit 21 May
After three long but enjoyable days the thought of getting up at 4.00am to arrive at the McLaren Technology Centre for 9.30 was a little daunting. This was only made possible by the kind offer from Tony Richardson to chauffeur me in the comfort of his Macan.  

McLaren don’t do ‘Factory Tours’ so unless you are a customer or one of a handful who are lucky enough to be involved in the 5 or 6 groups shown around each year, this location is strictly out of bounds.

At the last 991/997/Macan Christmas party I met Craig and Guilia Edmunds. They are South Wales members, owners of a 997 GT3 and Craig is keen to be involved in organising events for the Club. Thanks to Craig this special trip to McLaren was arranged and for several hours we were escorted around the facility by George Farquhar, VIP & Affinity Relations Manager.  

George gave us an exciting and educating insight into the racing history, the heritage and production of these state of the art supercars. The visit commenced with refreshments in the specification area with the latest 570S Spider in stunning Vega Blue slowly revolving for all to see and touch.

The history lesson of McLaren Racing brought back many memories which were embellished by George’s anecdotes and continuous mentions of famous names. My question on the origin of the badge was answered with the Kiwi explanation evolving from the curved stance of the bird which is the national symbol of New Zealand and birthplace of Bruce McLaren, founder of the company.

The curve of the current badge can be seen in the design of the futuristic building and many details on the cars from air intakes, lights, handles, exhaust tips etc. There are several theories to the origin of the badge but it could have started with the 356 rear quarter window which evolved into the perfect McLaren shape of the 991 rear quarter design.

Planning restrictions dictated that most of the workings of McLaren are on 2 underground floors with the beautiful building and huge lake blending sympathetically into the landscape. We weren’t allowed onto the assembly area but we were able to view from a ground floor balcony and there is a lot going on in the 34,000sq ft with production heading towards 4000 cars per year

There are other ideas being developed on site including the construction of highly competitive racing cycles using carbon fibre expertise refined from decades of motorsport.

Many thanks to George and Craig for this amazing opportunity. I’m sure that we all came away with a better understanding and higher regard for the McLaren brand.

Craig is featured below in the driving seat of the 570S.

McLaren Visit gallery contains 23 images and is part of the PCGB 991 register activities from May 2018

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