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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Looking to Buy a Rare McLaren? This Manta Montage is the Next Best Thing


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.

Let’s face it, we can’t all drive our icons—cars like the Ferrari 250 GTOs and Shelby Daytonas. Few exist and the ones that do command otherworldly values. This dispirit notion is made even more apparent if your automotive idol is the legendary McLaren M6GT. 

Only three were ever officially produced, making them quite rare indeed. However, that hasn’t stopped everyday folks from getting behind the wheel of M6GT look-alikes like this, a Manta Montage. This Montage replica recently surfaced on eBay, and like its McLaren genesis, it’s a looker.


First, the McLaren M6GT. Back in the 1960s, New Zealander Bruce McLaren had seen the success of his M6A Can-Am race cars and had himself won the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Ford GT40. His next racing maneuver would be to fry bigger fish in the FIA’s Group 4 category, and to do so he planned to create a coupe based on his M6A for the World Sportscar Championship.
Unfortunately, homologation rules mandated that 50 production cars would need to be built, which quickly shelved the project. Instead, McLaren went ahead and built the coupe-bodied M6GT, which he intended to be the world’s greatest road car.

 Packed with a Chevrolet racing V8 and capable of zero to 100 mph in eight seconds, it surely was quite the car, and McLaren even used one of the three original M6GTs as his daily driver. Production was handled by development partner Trojan, but was halted after McLaren’s tragic death in 1970.


The Montage, built by replica car company Manta Cars, brought that storied McLaren shape to the masses and draws its structure from a Volkswagen Beetle chassis. Though that pedigree may be of a different league altogether, this Montage’s 1835cc VW engine with dual Weber carburetors is said to inspire brisk performance, backing up the low-slung body and sporty butterfly doors.

Given the recent revival of the McLaren Honda Formula 1 partnership, the current owner had planned to swap the cammed Volkswagen engine for a 3.5-liter Honda V6, however that transplant has yet to take place. Either way, you aren’t apt to see many Montages or M6GTs on a regular basis.