MSO: A McLaren symphony, featuring Elva

MSO: A McLaren symphony, featuring Elva

MSO runs retro wild with sleek Elva Ultimate Series tributes.

As we plunged into Christmas 2019, social distancing was not a thing. Oh, and McLaren dropped that they had acquired the Elva brand name and would be producing a new Ultimate Series machine to resurrect it.

The acquisition wasn’t a mere hunch, however. Back in the mid-1960s, Bruce McLaren developed a series of open-top sports cars with an eye on Can-Am racing. While the works ‘McLaren’ machines took many headlines, McLaren contracted Trojan to build customer versions. These bore the McLaren-Elva name (Trojan had recently acquired Elva at the time).

Back to the present.

McLaren Special Operations has some time on its hands. How to keep the spark going? Let’s roll out some retro-inspired themes for our retro-inspired, 21st century Elva.

‘Elva M1A Theme by MSO’ is a modern take on a classic symphony, paying tribute to Bruce himself. The livery respects the 1964 McLaren Elva M1A, which ‘repeatedly smashed the Mosport Park lap record at the Canadian Sports Car Grand Prix’. Powered by an Oldsmobile V8, he drove the car to third place behind two works Ferrari 330Ps.

2020 McLaren Elva M1A Theme by MSO is based on Bruce’s 1964 Mosport record breaker.

The stunningly curvaceous 2020 Elva body is presented in full body carbon fibre, with a Magnesium Silver racing stripe following its curves and further accented by an (appropriately enough) Accent Red pinstripe. Completing the picture is Bruce’s Number 4.

Best looking Modern Macca? You bet!

The second MSO option moves to 1967’s M6A for inspiration. Although the livery apes Bruce’s orange works McLaren – not an Elva – it still looks the business.

Inspired by Bruce’s 1967 Can-Am M6A, which first adopted the orange scheme McLaren became famous for.

The McLaren M6A won five of the six Can-Am rounds that season, Bruce winning twice and taking the title, while team-mate and countryman Denny Hulme won three times.

Anniversary Orange adorns the flanks, contrasted by a Dove Grey stripe. Bruce’s ‘4’, a McLaren Cars decal and blue Bruce McLaren signature pay an accurate tribute to the original. 10-spoke Diamond Cut alloys and satin carbon finishes add a modern touch.

Tight, like tiger.

No pricing has been confirmed, however with around 600kW and the ‘base’ Elva’s near £1.5-million price tag, it’s best for us to simply argue over which livery looks cooler.