Handsome in all its guises, a winner in all its guises, and, being one of the greatest McLarens, therefore one of the greatest racing cars of all time. The M16 - along with the various M8 Can-Am bruisers and the M23 Formula 1 car - upgraded McLaren to the race car constructor elite.
Tragically, founder Bruce McLaren didn't live to see his team make this leap in status, but his legacy was a company made in his image, perfectly blending ambition and adventure with a solid methodical engineering ethos. And it was from this environment that the M16 originated and evolved.
It came from the pen of Gordon Coppuck, who had joined McLaren in 1965, and had been a leading draughtsman at the National Gas Turbine Establishment. This was the nationalised entity formed by the merger of Power Jets - the company set up by Britain's jet-power pioneer Sir Frank Whittle - and the Royal Aircraft Establishment's turbine team. There, Coppuck had worked closely with a 'Scientific Officer' by the name of Robin Herd, later to become the 'H' of March Engineering, which would find some success in F1, but much more in Indycars, Formula 2 and sportscars.