When you’re thinking about the McLaren name the different things that come to mind include the high-powered and high-priced supercars they build and the racing that’s been going on for many years. This is a brand that has been able to head out to the track and perform perfectly to bring home the win in many different categories. As the brand that continues to develop and show off with the selection of incredible supercars that only a small collection of customers can own, this team was called upon to build something a bit different.
The team at McLaren and the Applied Technologies division were asked by one of their billionaire customers to build something that would help him feel normal. This particular customer has a challenge that many don’t face or deal with on a regular basis, but he knew where to go when he wanted to be able to change is life. This new project was called Project Invincible and even though it has nothing to do with automotive technology, an automotive company built the item and handled the project, making it an interesting story for both the health world and automotive world to pay attention to.
The billionaire in question has a unique condition that causes his rib cage and sternum to be weakened to a point of putting his internal organs in jeopardy of being harmed even during regular daily tasks. What most of us take for granted as the protection provided by this large bone structure in our bodies, this man couldn’t take for granted and wanted to be able to feel normal and be able to go out in public without the concern of organ damage from his brittle bones that are part of the central structure of his body.
This led to the client calling upon the team at McLaren to build a piece of body armor that would protect his brittle bones and allow him to have the confidence that he could engage in regular public activities without worry that he would become injured. In an effort to assist, the team took detailed scans of his body and looked deep into his medical history to make sure they could provide the structure needed to protect this man and make sure he wouldn’t have any issues at all with the piece of body armor that was being built.
The shield was designed and then constructed from carbon fiber, Zylon, and Dyneema. Zylon is the strongest man-made material in existence and Dyneema is used in bulletproof vests. There was also a comfort layer added and padding to make sure impacts could be absorbed and wouldn’t be transferred to his rib cage or sternum. While Project Invincible took three months to design and build, and the overall cost was around $250,000, the client was extremely happy with the item and can now enjoy life in a bit more of a normal fashion that’s much the same way the rest of us enjoy our lives.