McLaren Cars is a company based in Britain which was founded in 1963. Bruce McLaren was the founder, and the company is well known for their high quality Formula One vehicles. In addition to the Formula One, McLaren cars have competed in the Indy 500, Le Mans, and the Canadian/American Challenge Cup. Though the company has produced supercars for years, a division of the company called McLaren Cars was founded in 1990 to manufacture cars which could be driven on standard roads.
McLaren vehicles have been extremely successful on the race track, and have won more Grand Prixs than any other car company except for Ferrari. In addition to the Grand Prix, McLaren supercars have also won the World Drivers' Championship. Though the company was founded in 1963, the cars were first showcased at a Monaco race in 1966. An oil leak in one of the cars forced team McLaren to pull out of the race early. Bruce Mclaren raced in the Championship again between 1966 and 1967, and he along with Denny Hulme won five out of six races.
Despite this success, disaster would soon strike the company. Founder Bruce McLaren died in a car crash while testing the newest CanAm car in 1970. Though the company had suffered a terrible tragedy, they pulled together and went on to win several races, including the Indy 500, Formula 1, and F5000. By 1972, company executives decided to end the CanAm series, and focused primarily on the Formula 1. This decision led to the success of the team at the World Drivers' Championship.
McLaren cars became a dominating force in race car championships during the 1980s. The team of Ron Dennis merged with the company during this time, and under his leadership the company continued to gain major victories. The successful combination of a carbon fiber chassis with Porsche engines made the cars a force to be reckoned with. The company would go on to win numerous championships, and the 1980s has come to be known as the "McLaren Decade."
Despite this, the company begin to decline by the end of the 1980s. Many experts believe that switching to Ford engines was one reason for the poor performance of the cars during races. The company would go through a number of engines which were not successful. McLaren begin to improve during the mid 1990s, and has struggled to stay on top of the Formula 1 world since the year 2000.