The McLaren M16 was a race car designed and built by McLaren between 1971 and 1976 for American open wheel racing. It is the most successful car of the 1970s at the Indianapolis 500 with three wins in 1972, 1974 and 1976. The car was unveiled in January 1971 to replace the M15. Initially named simply M16, the 1971 version is known retrospectively as M16A due to the successive updates. The car designed by Gordon Coppuck featured aluminium monocoque chassis and was powered by Offenhauser straight-4 engine, which in its 159 c.i. (2.61l) version and equipped with a Garrett turbocharger limited to 24.6 psi (1.7 bar) delivered over 700 hp. The 1972 version car was baptised as M16B, and M16C appeared in 1973. M16C was distinguished by a slimmer headrest fairing and a slightly lower and wider monocoque. The five fuel cells of the M16B were reduced to four, and the monocoque ended behind the driver’s seat with the Offy mounted as a stressed member. In 1974 M16s were updated to M16C/D specification with an even smoother cockpit surround, shorter nose and larger rear wing. Despite qualifying in a lowly 25th due to problems, Rutherford clinched his first victory at the Brickyard. David Hobbs was fifth in the other works car, and four other M16s also started the race. Rutherford would go on to take three more USAC victories in the M16C/D that year.
|1974||USAC National Championship||Indianapolis 500|
|Johnny Rutherford||3||Team McLaren|