A Veyron goes faster, a Lamborghini shouts louder and a new Porsche 911 Turbo S is quicker to 62mph. But for us, the McLaren F1 remains the ultimate supercar.
Only 106 F1s were made, 64 of which were road cars; the rest were strictly for the racetrack. So they rarely come up for sale, and this car – chassis number 69, and one of the last built – is something (even more) special.
Why? Because the F1 McLaren calls ‘#069’ has just 2,800 miles on the clock, and has been maintained by McLaren Special Operations since new. Well, you’d hardly take it to Kwik Fit…
Return of the Mac
Painted in svelte Carbon Black, it has ‘stealth finish’ 17in centre-lock magnesium wheels. Inside, the driver’s seat – positioned centrally, of course, for optimum weight distribution – is upholstered in red and black leather, while the passenger seats either side are trimmed in Alcantara (man-made suede).
Car #069 also comes with all its original equipment, including a fitted luggage set, titanium tool kit, a correct numbered edition of the Driving Ambition McLaren F1 book – and even a limited-edition F1 owner’s watch.
Still, who cares about the time when you have a BMW Motorsport V12 behind you and 627hp beneath your right foot? Certainly not us.
We have to confess, none of us at Motoring Research have ever had the privilege of driving a McLaren F1. But those who have, say it’s of one the most invigorating, visceral and downright sensational cars on the planet.
And how could it not be? The F1’s V12 is naturally-aspirated, so there’s no turbo lag to worry about. It’s refreshingly analogue, with an old-school manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive. And it doesn’t have any electronic safety systems – not even ABS brakes. In a car capable of 243mph, that’s a slight concern.
Indeed, the F1 is as close to no-compromise as road cars get. It was one man’s single-minded vision of the ultimate driving machine, and that man – Gordon Murray – designed his dream without concern for cost. It was the first road car with a carbon fibre chassis and the engine bay is lined with 24-carat gold (the best material for reflecting heat).
If you have to ask…
So, what is the price of supercar supremacy? Tellingly, McLaren won’t say, although interested parties are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Given that Rowan Atkinson recently sold his twice-crashed F1 for a reported £8million, it certainly won’t be cheap. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it achieve eight figures.
To put that in perspective, the F1 was the most expensive production car ever made, at £635,000 when new. But its value has increased hugely in the intervening years, to the level of rare, classic Ferraris.
Let’s hope whoever buys #069 doesn’t get too hung up on its value and actually drives it. After all, it’s what Gordon Murray would have wanted…