Originally published in 1964, Bruce McLaren’s autobiography From the Cockpit is a classic motor racing memoir. So scarce and expensive are original copies that Evro Publishing, in collaboration with McLaren, is reissuing a facsimile version for all fans to enjoy. In his own words, Bruce describes his inspiring climb up the ladder of motor racing success, culminating in the inception of Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd in 1963. Engaging to read, his book provides fascinating insight into not only his accomplishments but also his unique character, charm and tenacity. In his own words, ‘Life is measured in achievement, not in years alone.’
After overcoming childhood illness, McLaren began competing with a modified Austin Seven and in 1958 became the recipient of New Zealand’s first ‘Driver to Europe’ scheme.
Driving for Cooper, he won the 1959 United States Grand Prix to become the youngest Grand Prix winner at that time. His story covers the ups and downs of his life in Formula 1 to the end of 1963, from winning at Monaco in 1962 to crashing at the Nürburgring and ending up in hospital – where the idea for this book was born.
The book concludes with McLaren forming his own team, initially to run modified Cooper chassis, and going on to an emotional ‘home’ victory in the 1964 New Zealand Grand Prix.
Although Bruce McLaren died tragically early, aged only 32, in a testing accident at Goodwood in 1970, his legacy lives on in the mighty McLaren Formula 1 team that he founded. To date, the McLaren team’s tally of Formula 1 Grand Prix wins is 182, of which four were achieved in Bruce’s lifetime, the first with Bruce at the wheel. As a driver, Bruce’s other successes included winning the Le Mans 24 Hours (1966) and twice becoming champion in Can-Am (1967 and 1969), the spectacular sports-car series that his cars dominated for five years.
Engaging to read, Bruce McLaren’s book provides fascinating background to his accomplishments and unique insight into his character, charm and tenacity.