Whenever we have spoken about a McLaren F1 here at MotorChase, we have referred to is as an automotive jewel. And this is because it really is an amazing piece of engineering, but not only that. Proof of that is the chassis number 69, a car that has only covered 2,800 miles, or 4,500 km. It is one of the very last ever built, and we are speaking of only 64 road legal units in a total of 106 (7 prototypes, 28 racecars, 2 longtail versions and 5 tuned versions). According to Autocar, it costs £ 9.5 million, or around US$ 13.9 million. Allows us to explain why it makes perfect sense.
The McLaren F1 has been conceived by Gordon Murray. The final design is the work of Peter Stevens and it was first presented to the world in May 28, 1992 at The Sporting Club in Monaco. The car is 4.29 m long, 1.82 m wide, 1.14 m high and has a wheelbase of 2.72 m.
It is powered by a 6.1 V12 engine built by BMW and able to deliver 468 kW at 7,400 rpm and 651 Nm at 5,600 rpm. It may not seem as an amazing power, by current hypercar standards, but the F1 was incredibly light: 1,138 kg. That gave it an amazing power-to-weight ratio. Put in perspective, this must be one of Honda’s biggest regrets, since Murray tried to get the F1 engine from the Japanese company, but it did not want to supply it. The transmission is a 6-speed manual supplied by Weismann.
What you see in this image above is not only golden. It is real gold, used at the engine bay of the F1 in order to provide an efficient and light heat reflector. This was a requirement of the car construction. Made almost entirely of carbon fiber, it needed the best protection possible for this noble material. Each McLaren F1 has 16 g of gold. If the prerequisite for jewels is to contain gold, the F1 leaves no doubt as to deserve such classification.
The F1 has a very peculiar seating arrangement: a central driving position with 2 passenger seats, one on each side of the driver. According to the ones that have had the chance to drive a McLaren F1, this provides a fantastic experience at the wheel. The car was sold with 17-inch wheels and 235/45 ZR17 tires at the front axle and 315/45 ZR17 at the rear axle.
If none of these specs has impressed you, bear in mind that this car can reach a top speed of 372 km/h. If the engine rev limiter, at 7,500 rpm, is on. With it turned off, the F1 reached a top speed of 390.7 km/h in March 31, 1998. This was the world speed record for production cars for 7 years in a row, until the Bugatti Veyron beat it in 2005.
The car that has been put for sale will come with bags specially made for the F1, a Facom titanium lightweight tool kit, a limited edition McLaren F1 owner’s watch and, above all, the correct numbered LM Edition of the “Driving Ambition” McLaren F1 book. For book standards, this one costs a fortune on Amazon.
The #69 F1 is in the hands of McLaren Special Operations Heritage division. It does not only take care of the cars that are around, but it also works as a broker, finding new owner for these precious cars the company has created. If you have the money, don’t think twice: buy it. According to McLaren, very few F1 are in such a good condition.