Founded in 1963 by Bruce McLaren in Woking, Surrey, UK, McLaren Automotive built its first sports car in 1964. Called the M1A and manufactured in just 24 units, it was followed by the M1B.
From the very off, the McLaren name was intertwined with racing and motorsports. After all, Bruce McLaren's mentor was none other than Jack Brabham, who introduced him to Cooper Cars.
In 1965, McLaren took its baby steps in Formula 1, as Bruce left Cooper Cars and started working on a 3.0-liter engine. Using a mule chassis, he created the M2B, McLaren's first F1 car, which made a debut during the Monaco GP.
Motivated by the input of Robin Herd (recruited from the aerospace industry and responsible for the now lighter yet stronger M2B), McLaren made it on the top step of the podium after the Belgian GP in 1968, where the Cosworth-powered M7A turned out to be a sensation.
Bruce McLaren passed away in an accident that occurred during Goodwood testing in 1970, and the likes of Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt climbed behind the wheel of the now legendary McLaren M23.
Come 1980 the carmaker merged with Ron Dennis' Project 4 Racing Team, and the collabo saw carbon fiber making its way into the MP4/1 F1 racer.
In 1992, the McLaren F1 happened, courtesy of Gordon Murray. The F1 was built around a 6.1-liter BMW-sourced 60-degree V12 engine delivering 618 hp which set a new record for the world's fastest car after reaching 240.1 mph (386.4 km/h) on March 31, 1998. The first car to shatter that was the Bugatti Veyron.
In 2003, Mercedes-Benz and McLaren created the SLR McLaren, but the re-launch of the brand came in 2010 when McLaren proclaimed its status as an independent carmaker.
The MP4-12C followed, in both Coupé and Spider flavors, then came the P1 hybrid hypercar and the 650S, 570S, and 540C. The connection with the racing world paved the way for the McLaren P1 GTR and the 675LT.