I decided to post the following story from my friend Jennifer Revson.
Recently, while strolling with friends among the beautiful cars displayed at the Amelia Island Concours d’Élegance, we happened upon a replica of Peter’s (Revson’s) 1971 Can-Am Championship McLaren Team M8F, the same replica that I first saw at the 2009 Monterey Historic races. I turned to my friend, Don Devine, who owns Peter’s McLaren M20, and pole-winning Indy car, and asked why a continuation car, presented as the real one, would be allowed at such a prestigious event? Don’t they check? Don shook his head and said he didn’t know, while another friend, who was showing a car on the Concours said: “They don’t care. It’s all for show.” How disappointing, I thought.
1971 Can-Am Champion Peter Revson
Photo courtesy and © of Jennifer Revson
At the Monterey Historics in August 2009, when I first laid eyes on this wannabe M8F team car, I was told by the owners that it was indeed the real deal. Although it looked different than what I recalled of Peter’s car, I thought that at this renowned event, surely they’d have checked the car’s authenticity in order for it to be invited to participate. And, with that in mind, I put my speculative doubts momentarily aside in favor of being polite. In hindsight, though, I wish I’d been more reticent when asked to pose in the car for pictures. Minutes after leaving their garage, I met up with the first of many over the weekend, who confirmed the car was indeed a fake.
Back at Amelia Island, a former racecar driver was now in the cockpit, revving up the motor, waving and grandstanding to a sizable gathered crowd, posing for pictures with the owners. I couldn’t believe such codswallop! I was so disgusted, I went to a judging official standing nearby, introduced myself, and explained this was not an M8F McLaren Team car, and certainly not a car my brother Peter was ever in, and asked if he would please tell whomever would be judging the car that it was a re-creation. He said he would. At the same time, Don walked over to speak to the owner. When he returned to relate the unbecoming comments, I caught the owner’s wife telling the inquiring judging official something so contemptible, my ears nearly caught on fire. With that, I marched over to the owner to ask what the hell he thought he was doing. Staying true to form, his reply reflected his character. So much for honoring the memory of Peter Revson, one of America’s foremost drivers and his championship winning car.
Peter Revson's winning McLaren M8F
Photo courtesy and © of Larry Fulhorst
The shameful part is that the owner is not only deceptively trading on my brother’s fame in order to be accepted into an elite group of collectors and race enthusiasts, but is also passing a continuation car off as legit while misusing my brother’s name for profit.
There’s a place for “Tribute cars” and re-creations in vintage racing, but let’s maintain respect for the authentic team cars and drivers who made racing history. You can verify that this is a replica Commander Motors-built car, and see its owner history at: World Sports Racing Prototypes — McLaren Can-Am Chassis Numbers (http://wsrp.ic.cz/chassis/chassis_mclaren_canam.html). Scroll halfway down the page, just past the M8FP chart.
Imitation is not always flattering …
sister and legal representative of the estate of the late Peter Revson
PS There is more on this in The Garage Blog.