Jennifer Revson’s stories on her brother Peter’s 1971 Can-Am Championship-winning McLaren M8F has generated enormous interest and support from the world over. Many have also sent information that confirms Jennifer’s exposé.
Mr. Barry C. Smyth sent along a very interesting photo from back in the day. He was Gulf Oil Corporation's Motor Sports Sponsorship Public Relations representative until the company ceased all US racing involvement in 1973. After that he ran their various Corporate Advertising Programs.
Here is his note:
Per our conversation of 4/17/2010, attached is the B and W photo of the 1971 McLaren team shot at Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. As you can see your brother, Peter along with his team mate Denny Hulme are posed standing in their cars #7 and #5, respectively. Each car's mechanics stand behind their car. The Gulf Oil PR/McLaren Team coach is in the background.
This photo was taken at my request to be used as potential promotional material. We never used it. To the best of my knowledge this is the only copy.
As you can see, as mentioned in one of the recent disclaimer articles, there are marked differences between the cars. No. 7 has a much smaller air intake opening than no. 5. That could reflect the different driving styles of Peter and Denny. Also, you'll notice the air ducks at the rear quarters are different. No. 7 is more a scoop and no. 5 is an aircraft type "no drag" air intake (NACA duct).
The Edmonton event was 3rd to the last in the '71 CAN AM Series, Laguna Seca and Riverside the last respectively. The only changes to the cars in the last two races were slightly wider rear wheels.
Barry C. Smyth