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McLaren M23 Owner's Manual
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  Car:   McLaren M23   Engine:   V-8 Ford-Cosworth
  Maker:   McLaren   Bore X Stroke:   85.7 X 64.8 mm
  Year:   1976   Capacity:   2,993 CC
  Class:   Formula 1   Power:   470 bhp at 10,500 rpm
  Wheelbase:   116.1   Track:   55.9 in front and rear
  Notes:   Total weight: 1267.7 lbs



McLaren M23Following the lead of the Lotus 72 and their own M16 Indianapolis car Mclaren's Gordon Coppuck used the same chisel nose, side radiators and wedge shape for their new Formula 1 car, the M23. Regulations for 1973 required cars to have a deformable structure and the McLaren filled a 3/4 inch cavity in the frame and it's aluminium skin with aerosol foam. Debuting in 1973 the car used the ubiquitous Cosworth DFV prepared by John Nicholson's specialist tuning company. The M23 had a rising rate inboard suspension with outboard disc brakes at the front and outboard suspension and inboard disc brakes at the rear. In its 5 1/2 year life, 4 at the front of the grid a total of thirteen cars were built. Initially sponsored by Yardley it scored a fifth place first time out in South Africa. They would score an impressive three wins that year; one by Denis Hulme and two by Peter Revson.

For 1974 the now Marlboro sponsored team Hulme was joined by Emerson Fittipaldi who replaced Peter Revson. Prolonged winter testing by Fittipaldi led to changes to the car, such as a 3in. longer wheelbase and a 2in. wider track, based on his considerable experience of the Lotus 72. This resulted in better weight distribution and more traction.

Fittipaldi loved testing. According to Coppuck, "He enjoyed this side of his job more than the races." That was to prove a valuable factor as a tough season progressed.

McLaren M23The McLarens started the season with three straight victories, two by Fittipaldi and one by Hulme. By Monaco Fittipaldi led the drivers championship and at the US Grand Prix he secured his second title with the Constructor's Cup for the team. The 1975 season would prove less successful for new driver James Hunt but the next season saw Hunt claim the title after an epic season long battle with Niki Lauda. The modifications for 1976 included a six-speed Hewland gearbox, refined aerodynamics and a weight savings program that saved at least 30lbs. Later that year McLaren also replaced their onboard battery with a compressed-air starter system saving more weight.

McLaren M23

The McLaren M23 was never the most technically advanced car entered but sound preparation, attention to detail and some talented drivers gave the four-year old car 21 wins and 2 World Championships though a fifth year would prove one year too long.

McLaren M23 - Emerson FittipaldiMcLaren M23 - James Hunt McLaren M23