This Honda Vision Scooter was painted in Marlboro livery by the McLaren Formula 1 Team paint shop in 2003 as a gift for celebrated racing driver Lorina McLaughlin. She then used it as a pit bike when she was out racing her ex-James Hunt McLaren M23 in historic Formula 1.
The historic link between McLaren and Honda is well-known, the Honda-powered McLaren Mp4/4 remains one of the most famous and historically signifiant F1 cars in history, best remembered for the season-long battle between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna in 1988.
The McLaren M23
The McLaren M23 was developed by Gordon Coppuck and John Barnard, then introduced for the 1973 Formula One season and it was somewhat based on the earlier McLaren M16 Indianapolis 500 car. The M23 was powered by the Ford Cosworth DFV V8 engine, the winningest engine in F1 history and arguably the most important F1 engine of the 20th century.
The M23 would become an instant success for McLaren, New Zealand-born driver Denny Hulme took a pole position on his first outing in the car. The 1973 driver pairing of Hulme and Peter Revson scored three Grand Prix wins that year, in 1974 with new driver Emerson Fittipaldi at the controls the M23 would propel the team to wins in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championship.
In 1976 James Hunt would join the team, and pilot the M23 to a memorable win in the Drivers’ Championship after a season long battle with Nikki Lauda, a battle which would be immortalized in the 2013 film Rush directed by Ron Howard starring Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, and Olivia Wilde.
Lorina McLaughlin is now one of the most successful female racing drivers in Britain thanks to a career spanning decades. She started out racing in a Formula Ford 1600 and has risen up the ranks through Formula Ford 2000, and Formula 4, into the fast paced world of Historic F1.
She’s now a veteran of the racing world and the first woman to compete in the Historic Monaco GP, the first woman to race in the Historic F1 at Laguna Seca, the first winner of the British Women Racing Drivers’ Club Lord Wakefield Challenge Trophy, she’s earned multiple “Fastest Ladies” awards at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, she’s a multiple BWRDC Champion, and believe it or not, this is just scratching the surface.
During her career Lorina would come to own the ex-James Hunt, World Championship-winning, McLaren M23 Formula 1 car which she used in Historic F1 competition. The car was maintained by McLaren, who were obviously the most qualified for the job, and more than happy to do so as they didn’t have an M23 in their own collection.
This connection with McLaren persisted for years and as a token of their thanks McLaren bought a 1989 Honda Vision scooter and sent it off to their own paintshop where it was given the full matching Marlboro livery to match Lorina’s M23.
Lorina put the M23 to good use, she raced it at two separate Monaco Historic Grands Prix, finished a highly respectable 8th and 12th from a packed field of 30 cars on one of the most technically challenging circuits on the calendar. She later finished 4th in the Historic F1 support race at the French Grand Prix, Magny Cours, took part in the Martini Legends Festival at the old Montjuich Park F1 Grand Prix circuit in Barcelona, Spain, and drove the car through the streets of Paris, behind René Arnoux to celebrate 100 years of French motor racing.
In the years since, she sold the McLaren M23 to a new owner and bought herself an ex-Michael Schumacher B192 Formula 1 car which she now uses for both historic competition and display runs. Lorina now runs The Historic European Formula One Race Car Entrants (THE FORCE) which organizes high-speed demonstration events for Formula 1 cars, both in the UK and Europe.
The Honda Vision Scooter
The Honda Vision line of scooters was introduced by the Japanese car and motorcycle manufacturer in 1985 and the series remains in production to the current day in updated form. Initially, the Vision scooters could be ordered in either 50cc or 110cc variants, with air-cooled, four-stroke engines and automatic transmissions.
Due to the inherent reliability of the Vision series they have become a popular “first motorcycle” for many, who qualify to ride them at a younger age than a fully-fledged motorcycle. They’ve also been put to use by couriers, urban commuters, and pizza delivery riders. A less-common use case was the one implemented by Lorina McLaughlin, who put hers to use as a pit bike at various historic F1 circuits around the world.
The McLaren Honda Vision Scooter Shown Here
As mentioned further up in the introduction, this Honda Vision 50 is the only one of its kind to be taken into the McLaren Formula One paint booth in Woking, England and given the full Marlboro race livery to match the McLaren M23. It was gifted to historic F1 driver Lorina McLaughlin to match her M23 and as she’s now moved on to racing an ex-Michael Schumacher B192 it’s being offered for sale.
It’s now due to roll across the auction block with Iconic Auctioneers on the 12th of November, it’s being offered with no reserve and no price guide, and hopefully it’ll be picked up by a new owner who’s looking for a pit bike and a fascinating backstory. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.
Above Video: This is a 2019 interview with Lorina McLaughlin where she discusses her racing history, and how she got into Historic Formula One.
Images courtesy of Iconic Auctioneers
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