Home / Social media / News / Iconic 600 hp 1984 McLaren-Porsche Formula 1 engine up for auction.


Back in the early to mid-80s Formula One was action-packed. In 1984 the season ended up being one of the closest ever for the driver’s championship with just half a point separating the two top contenders. Even if you’re new to Formula One, you’ll know the names of Alain Prost and Niki Lauda and while they both had a long and successful racing career, it was pretty much this season that gave them legend status. The 1984 season consisted of 16 races held around the world. Prost, a rising star at the time, won seven races during the season, while Lauda claimed five victories. However, Lauda's consistent podium finishes, coupled with the half-point awarded at the rain-shortened Monaco Grand Prix, allowed him to come very close to winning the championship. Austrian Lauda was the main driver for the McLaren Formula One team and Frenchman Prost drove for McLaren's rival team, McLaren-TAG Porsche - and this is the car that featured the powerful 600 hp turbocharged V6 that measured a mere 1500 cc in capacity. Both drivers had an amazing race season, but in the end, it was Alain Prost who secured the championship by that aforementioned half-point margin making this year the closest championship battle in Formula One history up to that point, and even today the next closest is a one-point difference.

"The McLaren-TAGs were so competitive that the 1984 drivers' title became a private matter between Alain Prost and me," recalls Nikk Lauda. "The fact that we won 12 of the 16 rounds between us says a lot. Porsche did a really great job."  While the massive talent of the drivers played a huge part, as did the car’s chassis and dynamics, the real beast of the season was the high-output, small-capacity turbocharged V6 powerplant. Even though it was the McLaren team, a Porsche powerplant was commissioned for the car and the combination was near perfect.  The 90° V6 featured an aluminium block, has a bore and stroke of 82mm x 47.3 mm, and the resulting 600 hp was a decent 75 hp more than its closest competitor, which at the time was the Ford Cosworth V8. The engine was used in five Formula 1 World Championship seasons from 1983 to 1987, taking part in 68 Grand Prix races and it racked up two Constructors' World Championship titles for McLaren in 1984 and 1985, and three Drivers' World Championship titles for Niki Lauda in 1984 and Alain Prost in 1985 and 1986. Legendary status for sure, and it can be yours - if you have the budget. One of these engines has come up for sale at Bonhams Auctions, and it looks to be mostly complete besides the usual hang-on parts like the exhausts, turbo and a bunch of wiring. The engine is pegged to sell for between CHF15 000 and CHF20 000, which in our little country is equivalent to around R410 000. The old engine will surely be snapped up by a Formula One fanatic, but we’re secretly hoping someone like Ryan Tuerck snaps it up and gets it running in a competition car just like he did when he found and sorted a Judd V10 as seen in Benetton, Arrow or Tyrrell Formula One cars.

Take a look at the YouTube video showing the action from the 1984 Formula One Grand Prix season where legendary drivers Niki Lauda and Alain Prost campaigned the Porsche-engined McLaren. The drivers and the cars were greatly successful in the 1984 and 1985 seasons, but the main point of this video is purely to see and hear this race motor in action - the cars may be quicker today, but they certainly sounded better in the past: 1984 F1 Season: The Closest EVER F1 Championship! | MattGP

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