Book Review: McLaren – The Cars 1964-2008 by William Taylor



Title: McLaren – The Cars 1964-2008
Author: William Taylor
Publisher: Coterie Press
ISBN: 978-1-902351-34-6
Year/Edition: 2009
# of pages: 304
Photos: b&w, mainly colour
Cover: hardcover with dust jacket
Size: 30cm (W) x 30cm (L) x 3cm (thick)
Weight: around 2.6kg



Total Score

User Rating
10 total ratings



McLaren design quality applied to a book!



Posted August 4, 2012 by

Full Article

Setting the bar for F1 books

I recently reviewed McLaren – The Wins, so it makes sense to complete a review of its sister book, William Taylor’s excellent McLaren – The Cars 1964-2008*.

I also have to confess that I’m not a huge McLaren fan, although I’ve been a fan of many of their drivers. That said, as a bigger fan of F1 history, this book is easily one of my favorite Formula 1 books.

Just like McLaren – The Wins, this book was made with the co-operation of McLaren and it oozes McLaren corporate styling and design influences in every aspect – from the dust jacket, colour selection, layout and interviews with team personnel and drivers.

The book starts with the 1964 McLaren M1A Group 7 and charts each decade of McLaren’s cars including sportscars, early open wheelers, grand prix cars, US can-am cars and the McLaren F1 GT race cars.

McLaren – The Cars has a uniform structure and layout through the whole book. For each year and car, William Taylor provides a 1 page backstory of the car’s development during the season sprinkled with some insightful quotes from team personnel about that particular car. On average, the book dedicates 3-4 pages on each of successful car chassis. There are thumbnail photos of the driver, chassis or engine and a front, rear and side profile shots of the car. This also makes it a great reference for car modellers.

Currently, I rate this book as the bible of McLaren cars.

The chapters for each decade are introduced by past McLaren world championship drivers – there are forewords written by Fittipaldi, Lauda, Prost, Häkkinen and Hamilton.

There are lots of other McLaren related books that cover the team’s golden era during the Lauda-Prost, Senna-Honda and Hakkinen years but the best part of this book is the coverage of the not so famous earlier McLaren cars and test cars. Currently, I rate this book as the bible of McLaren cars.

McLaren – The Cars is a big book with a lot of longevity – it will that take several sittings to read and is always a joy to re-read.

* Note: This book has since been updated with a 2nd edition which includes McLaren race cars up to the 2011 season instead of 2008.


Wow Factor or the Money Shot: There is a lot to like but the inclusion of profiles of the lesser known or written about McLaren Indycars and test cars – like the Lamborghini MP4/8B, the MP4/18A and the MP4-T5 are real winners.


Suitable for: A must for McLaren fans or F1 history fans



Did you enjoy this review? You can add your own star rating of the book or DVD in the User Rating box above. Or you can add your thoughts or comments below for other readers. Make sure to also check out other similar reviews in the Related Reviews box below!




One Comment


    Yes, this is one of the ‘must have’ books for a McLaren fan. Not the most exciting of photo approaches when comparing page upon page of similar angles of restored cars, but fortunately, further benefitting from a few more detailed varied angle inset photos and some larger period photos too – otherwise would have been somewhat ‘sterile’.

Leave a Response