Ever Wondered Where Does McLaren’s Logo Actually Come From?

Automaker logos often have histories as interesting as the cars they adorn. Like BMW’s roundel, or the Ferrari’s Prancing Horse and Porsche’s crest. But what about McLaren?

That’s the question that Carfection seeks to answer in its latest video short. And the answer is anything but straightforward.

To hear Drew Stearne tell it, there are three explanations. One is the “official” story, that it represents the vortices stemming from their cars’ aerodynamics, those swirling gusts of air coming off the tail that you can see in the wind tunnel. And there may be something to that, but it’s not the whole story.

The shape evolved from two icons of McLaren’s past: the Marlboro logo and the kiwi bird. The tobacco company was largely responsible for bringing Ron Dennis‘ and Bruce McLaren’s firms together to form the F1 racing team we know today, and remained one of its principal sponsors for years. That swoosh logo looks like an evolution of Marlboro’s signature chevron emblem, though no one in Woking would admit that much. Especially not since Marlboro left for Ferrari.

The other is the kiwi bird that Bruce McLaren put on all his cars. The rotund, flightless little birds are something of a national emblem in Bruce’s native New Zealand, and they were consistently represented in an increasingly streamlined form on each of his mechanical marvels throughout his career.

The truth, as in most cases, probably takes elements from each. Listen to each in the three-minute clip below and see which rings truer in your ears.

  • Dr Strangefingger

    The title would flow grammatically better without the word ‘does’. Also, use comes, not come.
    You can blame cinco de mayo.

  • Bash

    I don’t care. I want my new 3 seater McLaren. And I don’t want it to be only track tuned or oriented. Period

  • Wes Tully

    McLaren did a video a few years ago that admitted the Kiwi connection

  • To be fair I’m the one that believe that the current swoosh logo comes from Marlboro.

    Rather than their attempt to make it connected with Bruce McLaren kiwi.

  • Tomas L.
  • Chris

    It looks like a Star Trek emblem to me!

Smile, You’re On Camera: Audacious Nissan Passenger Steals Equipment From Road Workers

A man can be seen climbing out of the Nissan and taking what appears to be a chainsaw.

Unassuming Audi TT RS Packs A 734 HP Powerhouse Under The Hood

This TT RS has got a huge array of engine modifications and can set sub-10 second quarter mile times.

Enovate ME-S Is Another Aspiring Tesla Rival From China With A Porsche Styling Twist

The Enovate ME-S will enter production in 2021, and promises to hit 62mph (100km/h) in 3 seconds.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Is The Brand’s Fastest Convertible Ever

Aston Martin has unveiled the new DBS Superleggera Volante and it features a top speed of 211 mph.

Ford F-150 RTR Is Kind Of Like A Raptor Light

Priced from $12,750, the F-150 RTR has a unique grille and a Fox 2.0 coilover suspension.

Donate To Hydropower In Vietnam, Feel Better About Your Porsche’s U.S. Emissions

Porsche will enable its owners to offset their carbon emissions by supporting various “green” projects.

Court of Appeals Finds Chalking Tires For Parking Tickets Unconstitutional

The court determined that chalking tires is an unreasonable search that violates the Fourth Amendment.

Kahn Is The New Black: Bentley Bentayga Centenary Edition Is Almost Tame

Kahn’s murdered-out Bentayga V8 is almost restrained, compared to other projects both inside and out.

Honey, I Shrunk The E-Class: Possible Mercedes SL Mule Spied

Mercedes is working on an all-new SL roadster and it appears the company has begun testing the model.

Roll Like A Kennedy In This 1963 Lincoln Continental Presidential Limo Recreation

Looking more authentic than the real thing, this Lincoln Continental convertible can be yours for $125,000.