18-19 August 2006
1994 McLaren F1
Sold for $1,705,000
The McLaren F1 was conceived in 1988, when Ron Dennis, Mansour Ojjeh, Creighton Brown and Gordon Murray were discussing production cars in an Italian airport lounge. When their plane finally took off, it had been decided that McLaren, already a dominant force in Grand Prix racing, would build the finest performance car in the world.
In December 1992, just 34 months after the design team came together, the first prototype McLaren F1 was driven. Within four years they had succeeded. Another milestone was reached when in December 1993 the first production F1 was completed. While not originally intended by Gordon Murray to race, racing success was nevertheless reached in June 1995, when the GTR racing version won Le Mans in its debut outing, taking four of the top five places. Finally, in March 1998 the F1 established a new speed record for a production car at 240.1 miles per hour (386.7 kph). In June 1998, the last F1 was completed, a total of just 107 cars, a figure that includes all preproduction prototypes, competition cars and road going variants.
Before getting started, Murray and his design team decided that the McLaren F1 would not only have to be ultra lightweight like a race car and exhibit awesome performance, but also be reliable, comfortable and safe for everyday use. With vast experience in World Championship Formula One technology, the engineers behind the McLaren F1 created the first ever road car to feature an all carbon composite monocoque chassis structure. This exotic material combines the ultra low weight necessary for performance with exceptional strength and stiffness to exceed demanding industry safety requirements. Further design elements incorporated from Formula One were a central driving position (center seat), “Ground-Plane Shear” suspension geometry, “Intelligent” brake cooling, fan assisted ground effect aerodynamics and an air-brake foil which enhances aerodynamic stability under braking pitch-down.
Because of his strong relationship to BMW’s Paul Rosche from Murray’s days as chief designer for the world-championship-winning Brabham Formula One Team, McLaren Automotive approached BMW who were more than happy to design and build a V12 specifically for the F1. The finished product, BMW S70/2, a 6.1 liter, quad cam, 48 valve V12 power unit produces no less than 627bhp and drives through a bespoke six-speed transverse gearbox.
Standard options on every F1 road car include full cabin air-conditioning, Sekurit electric defrost/demist windscreen and side glass, electric window lifts, remote central locking, Kenwood CD stereo system, cabin access release for opening panels, tailored document case, cabin stowage department, four lamp high performance headlight system, rear fog and reversing lights, courtesy lights in all compartments, map reading lights, remote battery charging point, Facom titanium tool kit, external battery charger, a McLaren F1 owner/drivers handbook and exclusive hand made luggage in soft leather.
In March 1998, after achieving a record top speed of 240.14 miles per hour, the McLaren F1 confirmed that it was the fastest production car in the world. This record remained unbeatable until March 2005 when the 1001hp Bugatti Veyron was recorded at 253 miles per hour. McLaren’s achievement was particularly spectacular because the car was never conceived to achieve this record.
The top speed record was merely a consequence of its unrivalled focus and supreme engineering as the ultimate drivers’ car.
In May 1998, after building, selling and delivering 100 customer cars, McLaren ceased production. Of the 107 total cars constructed, seven were preproduction prototypes, 64 were F1 road cars, five were F1 LM road versions built to commemorate victory at Le Mans in 1995 (where five GTRs finished), and three were F1 GT road going versions of the long tail 1997 F1 GTR race car. The remaining 28 were F1 GTR race cars built for private customers competing in the FIA GT series and the ultimate test of machine, the 24 Hours of LeMans.
Although McLaren is no longer producing the F1 models, they are still running an elaborate servicing and support network for the cars. Primary support is provided by one of many local authorized service centers throughout the world (two are in the USA). If necessary, McLaren will fly a more specialized technician to your car or service center. Finally, in the rare case that major structural repairs are required, the car can be returned to McLaren. There are eight McLaren Authorized Service Centers around the world. Each one has technicians who have attended a dedicated training course at McLaren. For diagnostic purposes, every F1 is fitted with a modem, which enables McLaren headquarters to communicate with any F1 in the world. Not only can the technicians read any logged errors in the ECUs, they can carry out a series of diagnostic procedures on items such as central locking system and the air-conditioning.
The McLaren F1s are regarded as true automotive icons and they are arguably the Ferrari 250 GTOs of our generation. Several years down the line, it is easy to speculate that they will be worth several million dollars each. There is nothing else like them. No other supercar has the purity of purpose, focus and driver involvement of a McLaren F1. In fact, when compared to the upcoming 4,000lb 1001bhp Bugatti Veyron 16.4, the McLaren F1 is nearly as fast from 0 to 300 km/h (0-187.5 miles per hour). The McLaren does 0 to 180 mph in 20.3 seconds, while the Bugatti does 0 to 187.5 miles per hour in 16.7 seconds. By comparison, the Enzo does 0 to 187.5 miles per hour in 26.8 seconds and the Carrera GT does it in 34.2 seconds.
The example presented here is in full 49 state EPA/DOT compliance (which in itself is an extremely time-consuming and costly process) and has been recently serviced by BMW North America in New Jersey, which is the official East Coast McLaren service center. Please note that the interior is solid black, except for the driver's seat (tall/wide size), which has a yellow insert.
Further good news about this 3,224 mile yellow McLaren F1 is that it was constructed prior to 1996. Of the 64 F1 road cars, only 40 were built prior to 1996. This is of notable importance as the EPA mandates that for any 1996 (and later) car to be road legal in the U.S. it must be equipped with OBD-II (i.e. 2nd generation on-board diagnostic electronics). In the past, it has been economically unfeasible (i.e. $100,000 to $150,000!) to retrofit such a system to a vehicle not originally equipped/embedded with it from the manufacturer.
Apparently, it is now possible to fit such an OBD-II system at a reduced cost, but still quite expensive. The next owner can rest easy knowing he can enjoy the car in its present form without modification. However, please note this example is a 49 state car and does not meet california EPA/DOT requirements. It is complete with all ancillary items as delivered – luggage set, manuals and vehicle build sheet. The beautiful yellow paint and black leather interior are nearly flawless. As a special bonus, Michael Schumacher's signature (dated 12/03/96) is on the left side doorsill.
For the F1, it requires a few moments of thought to come to terms with the fact that only 64 of these exquisite cars will ever exist. Their rarity is guaranteed, and consequently, their value is likely to increase with time. The McLaren F1 remains as one of the world’s true modern supercars and in recent months private sales of similar examples have occurred in excess of the published auction estimate making the to possibility to purchase a virtually brand new, 49 state car such as this dramatic example a rare opportunity in all respects.
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