The McLaren M23 was a F1 car designed by Gordon Coppuck with contribution from John Barnard. It was an F1 growth of the McLaren Indycar M16, but was frequently inspired by the Lotus 72, distribution the same basic shape and layout. The same Ford DFV engine was used, but was equipped by expert engine tuning company Nicholson Engines. This helped push the DFV’s horsepower output to approximately 490 bhp. It was a very angular car, which helped it to be very aerodynamically capable.
McLaren M23 First race for the 1973 F1 season, and get pole position with Denny Hulme on its extremely primary outing. Hulme and Peter Revson get three wins between them that period, Even as fiery rookie Jody Scheckter almost added a fourth. Scheckter was responsible for one of the major accidents Formula one has ever seen at the 1973 British GP, rotating his M23 in front of the set. This was earlier than Emerson Fittipaldi signed McLaren from Lotus in 1974. His experience of the Lotus 72 helped McLaren develop the M23 and that season, Fittipaldi gave McLaren its first drivers’ and constructors’ world championships, thrashing Ferrari, Tyrrell and Lotus.
This car with a lot of its Chase work and front wing removed, Cosworth DFV visible in the back. Note the bare pedals between the front wheels and negligible upper-body crash guard, very different from today’s Formula1 cars. Additional growth in 1975, include a 6 speed gearbox-a innovation for the time, supported Fittipaldi and McLaren to second in both championships behind Niki Lauda, who had the advantage of Ferrari’s excellent 312T body. The team experimented with similar chase work styles, with aerodynamic kickups in front of the back wheels, different snout profiles and enlarged bodywork in front of the back wheels, housing the oil coolers. Most of these changes were adopted for the M23 and its successor, the M26.
The end of 1975 season Fittipaldi, in a shock result left the team to join his brother’s Copersucar-sponsored Fittipaldi Automotive team. He was replaced by the charismatic and determined James Hunt, who went on to win a dramatic and controversial 1976 season with the final evolution M23. What time the substitute McLaren M26 proved worrying, Hunt and Jochen Mass relied on the M23 in the early on part of the 1977 period, and even though the car was now 4 years old, it was still aggressive.
McLaren M23 was not at all the most theoretically advanced Formula one car, but sound research and repeated expansion helped it win 16 grand’s prix, 2 drivers and a constructors world championship in its lifetime.
McLaren M23 was also customized for used in Formula 5000 racing.