M an had to go through a lot to be able to put this mouse gray sports car in your own garage. Either sacrifice your own time on the phone in order to bid sometime between August 15th and 17th. Or even laboriously travel to California to personally attend the RM Sotheby's auction in Monterey and to pick up your own card. That's a lot to ask for a coupé in the typical nineties design, which already has almost 21,500 kilometers on the clock and whose technical data, by today's standards, looks, well, quite decent.
THE nineties sports car absolutely
Okay, enough of the blasphemy. Of course, financially strong bidders overran the auction house, the phone lines overheated and the location was bursting at the seams when this McLaren F1 went under the hammer. Because this is not just any 90s sports car. It is THE 90s sports car. THE three-seater. THE Le Mans hero. THE 386.5 km /h speed record holder with a suction motor. THE carbon racer in which both the monocoque and the body are made of the carbon fiber composite material. It is THE Gordon-Murray-Mobil.
And not in the standard version, which of course would be exclusive enough. Only 106 copies of the McLaren F1 were ever made, 64 of them as normal production cars. The remaining 42 are racing cars, prototypes and development cars. And roadworthy special models like the five McLaren F1 LM that were built in 1995 to celebrate the Le Mans victory. Two more were upgraded at the McLaren plant in Woking with this Le Mans specification (LM Spec). ThisCars are one of them.
Since exclusivity is known to cost a lot of money, it got quite expensive at the auction. Including the surcharge, the new owner paid $ 19.8 million, the equivalent of 17.85 million euros. That made this F1 LM Spec the most expensive McLaren F1 ever auctioned, the previous record holder cost 15.6 million dollars (a good 14 million euros). Nevertheless, the auction did not quite meet the auction house's expectations. RM Sotheby's had expected that the new owner would win the bid somewhere in the range of 21 to 23 million dollars (just under 19 to a good 20.7 million euros).
Delivered with blue paint and black interior
Whoever spent this sum bought a car with a special history. The McLaren with chassis number 018 was built in 1994 as a normal F1. The first owner, who lives in Japan, opted for the color Midnight Blue Pearl and a black interior. In 1999, a collector in Germany bought the car and handed it over to McLaren, who converted it to the LM specification at its headquarters.
But not only that. The McLaren F1 No. 018 also received an extra downforce kit with additional air openings in the front and a large rear wing, which even exceeded the downforce of the original LM variants. There were also a transmission cooler, two additional water coolers, a modified exhaust system, new headlights, different springs and dampers (the racing version, but in the softest configuration), 18-inch GTR wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport tires instead of the standard 17-inch -Round shapes and of course the paint in platinum silver metallic. Not to forget the increase in performance to the level of the F1 GTR racing car: Instead of 635 hp, the 6.1-liter V12 developed and manufactured by BMW in F1 chassis number 018 delivers a full 690 hp.
More comfort in the interior
During the conversion, this F1 retained its more comfortable interior, while the original McLaren F1 LM were much more spartan. He got even more: DieThe air conditioning system has been modernized, the CD player has been expanded to include a radio and the original steering wheel has been replaced with one in 36-centimeter format. There was also the cream-colored leather, which, together with the new Wilton carpets and the beige-brown Alcantara canopy, conjures up a very homely atmosphere in the interior.
Via detours ended up in Singapore (2004) and New Zealand (2008) the McLaren F1 - interrupted by some exclusive events and maintenance stays in Woking - at the RM Sotheby`s auction. Thanks to the intensive and meticulous maintenance, the car is in the best possible condition. In these price regions, it is clearly an advantage if the plant knows a car inside and out. This is the case with this F1. Harold Dermott, the head of the service program for the F1, says: 'F1 /018 is one of my favorite F1s and one of the most developed cars we have ever built.'