Fifty years after its founding, McLaren remains one of the essential teams in Formula One—and one of the most revered names in motor racing history. Tyler Alexander was there from the very beginning. After joining the new team as a mechanic in 1964, he soon played a critical role in creating its earliest cars, which quickly scored wins in Formula One and dominated the original Can-Am sports-car series. At the same time, Tyler was recording the team’s progress through hundreds of vivid photographs taken during spare moments at the track and behind the scenes at the McLaren factory.
McLaren From The Inside collects the best of Alexander’s images from two very different eras. Part I covers the team’s formative years in the 1960s through black- and-white shots of Bruce McLaren and company building, testing, and racing cars in England and around the world. Friends and competitors are also included, among them such great drivers as Jim Clark, Dan Gurney, and Jackie Stewart, as well as team leaders John Cooper, Carroll Shelby, and Colin Chapman. In Part II, Alexander captures the high-tech, hypercompetitive atmosphere of today’s Formula One with images taken during the first decade of the 21st century. Along with a new generation of driving talent—Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen—Alexander’s lens also focuses on the designers, engineers, mechanics, and other team members who continue to make McLaren so successful today.
Motor racing and photography have been twin passions for Tyler Alexander for more than half a century. In McLaren From The Inside, the two pursuits come together with spectacular results, as Alexander shares some of his best images.
As an original member of the McLaren team, Tyler was able to document the effort that went into developing cars as well as their performance at the track. Many of his most striking images reveal the exhaustive testing and preparation that became a McLaren hallmark. Bruce McLaren is seen rebuilding engines, driving cars with no bodywork, and smiling sheepishly after an off-track excursion. Alexander also goes inside the old McLaren factory to show engineers and mechanics at work on the amazing range of cars built for the team and its many customers. And at the track, his focus widens to include the drivers and teams that McLaren competed against in Formula One, the Can-Am series, and Indy Car racing.
After leaving McLaren in the early 1980s, in 1990 Tyler Alexander rejoined the new and very successful version of the team led by Ron Dennis. Although his cameras remained at home for the next few years, by the turn of the 21st century he was again documenting McLaren from the inside. His newer photographs show how time, technology, and money have changed motor racing, but also the teamwork, commitment, and camaraderie that continue to inspire him.
While there have been other books on Bruce McLaren and the McLaren team, none offer such vivid images taken from behind the scenes. Most of the photographs in McLaren From The Inside have never been published before, and the book’s large format and strong design bring out the best in each of them.