McLaren is a fascinating but down to earth documentary from Kiwi film director Roger Donaldson (Dante’s Peak; The World’s Fastest Indian; Smash Palace) about Kiwi racing legend Bruce McLaren. I didn’t know much about this famous kiwi, other than weirdly he shares the same name as the manufacturer of one of the fastest road cars in the world. As it turns out, the kiwi McLaren doesn’t share the name, it is his name. It was his company. Oh yeah, go kiwi, go kiwi.
Of course Bruce didn’t set out to make luxury cars for millionaires to own, that was just a by product of being awesome at what he did, which was of course race.
The documentary follows his career from racing for another team to creating his own team and making his own cars, right up to his untimely death on 2 June, 1970 on a test track in England.
Archival footage and interviews combined with interviews of his friends and collaborators slowly reveal a proper kiwi bloke, no ego to be seen and not even a hint of a dark side, just a typical a quiet achiever with a massive amount of passion and drive.
This is essential viewing for any racing enthusiast or in fact, and kiwi with an interest in one of New Zealand’s biggest achievers.
Rating: G Suitable for general audiences.