August 30: Racer and engineer Bruce McLaren was born on this date in 1937

New Zealander Bruce McLaren was like many talented racers of his era, willing to throw himself into dangerous machinery in pursuit of speed. What made him different, and what sparked the success that survives in the company bearing his name today, was a talent as an engineer and builder, which led to a dominating era of Can-Am racing and success in Formula 1. McLaren won LeMans, Monaco and nearly raced the Indy 500 in a turbine-powered machine. He died testing a new Can-Am car in June 1970, a potential outcome he had written about six years earlier: "To do something well is so worthwhile that to die trying to do it better cannot be foolhardy. It would be a waste of life to do nothing with one's ability, for I feel that life is measured in achievement, not in years alone." Here's a more recent tribute from McLaren itself.

Photo: Getty Images


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