April 20, 2014

McLaren F1 – You wait ages for one, and then 21 turn up.

The McLaren F1 Meeting 2

A meeting of 21 McLaren F1s. Click for bigger photo

McLaren invited McLaren F1 owners along to Woking to take a look at the new McLaren MP4-12C. They also asked them to bring their cars along. 21 did.

The McLaren F1 is arguably the greatest car ever built. Many would disagree – Jeremy Clarkson being one – but many see the F1 as the pinnacle of motoring perfection. Light, nimble, surprisingly low-tech in some ways and yet hugely able, it has become a motoring icon since it launched in 1994.

But the McLaren F1 isn’t just desirable, it’s enormously collectable. Just 64 road cars were made. Plus 5 McLaren LMs, a chunk of race-spec GTRs (some of which have been converted to road cars) and the prototypes. A smidge over 100 cars in total.

Which makes the McLaren F1 probably the mostly expensive modern car there is. We’ll talk in USD, as most F1s are sold in USD. Average price is around $2.5 million now. A good one would cost you $1 million more. A very good one – the old Park Lane car – went for $4.5 million in 2008.

And if you move up to that rarity within – the McLaren F1 LM – there are only 5 in existence. Three are with the Sultan of Brunei. One is in the ZAZ museum in Japan and one belongs to Ralph Lauren. It’s almost certain none of these owners would sell. But if they did they would want in excess of $10 million.

The McLaren F1 Meeting

Is that Rowan Atkinson's McLaren F1 at the front? (click for bigger photo)

Not only are McLaren F1s rare and collectable, they have proved to be one of the best investments in the world of modern car classics. Which explains why they are (sadly) cosseted and kept in collections – on the whole. There are exceptions. Rowan Atkinson drives his regularly as do a number of other owners, but the F1 is a rare sight. Two together even more so.

So the sight of 21 McLaren F1s gathered last month at McLaren’s HQ in Woking is a sight to behold. The owners had been invited to McLaren to cast their eyes over McLaren’s newest baby – the McLaren MP4-12C - and were invited to bring along their F1s for a get together. One of the owners is a friend of Cars UK and took these pictures. They’re not great quality, but they are great pictures.

And they’re probably the only pictures you’re ever likely to see of 21 McLaren F1s together in one place.

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  1. my friend just got 006

    • Wow. So does that mean F1 #006 is now in Bahrain?

      We thought it had gone to a Japanese owner last year after a complete overhaul at McLaren. Interesting to see it’s moved again.

      Thanks, MK.

  2. I feel that the real name of Erik is Peloton25.
    These photos were on the pistonheads site first (April 29th).

    • Funny, because I feel that my real name is definitely Erik, but you are correct that in most places you’ll find me posting under the screenname ‘Peloton25′. ;)

      I didn’t see a way to register here, so I just used my real name.

      >8^)
      Erik

  3. Unless I’m seeing things, there are not one, but two, hot pink F1′s in that photo. What the hell is going on there?

    • CarsUK says:

      No, you’re not seeing things! The pink ones are McLaren F1 GTRs – the race version – and they are in racing livery.

  4. heriberto says:

    must exist the # 6 Mclaren F1LM!, yes the one Ron Dennis promise to Lewis Hamilton if he is going to win more F1 Championship!
    So your info isn’t correct or i’m wrong!

    • CarsUK says:

      The car Ron Dennis has promised Lewis Hamilton if he wins three world championships is the prototype for the F1 LM. There were only five LMs built, all of which were supposed to be in McLaren Orange (Papaya). But the Sultan of Brunei wanted a pair in black with blue and white stripes. So that’s what he got.

  5. So 21 ultra-rare cars and all we get are 2 shoddily compressed photos??

    • CarsUK says:

      Sorry if you find the pictures disappointing. So laid back is the guy who sent us the pictures the email said “…don’t know if these’ll be of any interest…”. We think they could well have been taken on a phone, and when we got them they were quite a bit smaller. So rather than being “shoddily compressed” (all our pictures do get compressed to let the page load in a sensible time frame) they are actually painstakingly Photoshopped up in size. Yes there are a few parts of the image that do look a bit like they’re suffering some compression artefacts – but they’re not.

      • You should be sorry

        • I guess we can live with one moan from the tens of thousands of people who’ve looked at these photos in the last few days.

      • Yeah, “shoddily compressed” wasn’t the right term to use. If I knew 21 McLarens were congregating nearby, I’d bring both my cameras, backup batteries, and all my memory cards :) Can’t wait for better pics to appear.

        • Wish we’d known in advance. We have a pretty decent network for these kinds of things, but we only got this after the event. Otherwise we’d have been all over it!

    • Thankfully I have it on very good authority from someone who attended the event that better photos will be forthcoming from a professional source. In fact, you can see their camera bag lying open on the lawn in the panoramic shot. I can’t spell out the exact details just yet, but I’ll just say that we should not be disappointed.

      These pictures were taken with a Sony Ericsson U1i btw, and I agree that we should be very thankful to have them shared. :)

      >8^)
      Erik

      • Thanks for the comment and feedback, Erik. Your handle rings a bell here. Could it be you are the renowned oracle of all things McLaren F1?!

      • I didn’t see any mistakes so far that needed correcting. :)

        I’ve supplied this list in a few other spots already, but for those who care here’s the chassis numbers that were in attendance:

        From near to far (or right to left) are #061, #059, #020, #050, #040, #003, #001, #069, #075, 56XPGT, XP1 LM, XP5, GTR 01R, GTR 04R (presumed), orange GTR*, GTR 10R, orange GTR, GTR 13R, orange GTR*, GTR 12R, GTR 20R.

        * The orange GTRs will be 07R, 14R and 16R, but we’ll need some photos taken towards the other end of the line in order to spot certain distinctive features of each one that will allow us to tell the difference between them.

        I believe that at least 9 of the cars in that photo are still owned by McLaren or belong to either Ron Dennis or Mansour Ojjeh, the top executives of the company.

        >8^)
        Erik

        • Thanks, Erik. All we managed with any degree of certainty was Rowan Atkinson’s car!

        • First things first – be on the look out for the July 2010 issue of EVO Magazine. They do a six page spread on the gathering at the McLaren Technology Centre pictured above.

          Better news than that is that in total, nearly 50 pages of their July issue are dedicated to McLaren content intended to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the McLaren F1. Using the word ‘AWESOME’ even in all capital letters doesn’t nearly come close to conveying how wonderful it is – really.

          Here’s a shot of the cover you’ll want to be looking for:

          http://i46.tinypic.com/2wememu.jpg

          Additionally – after seeing EVO’s coverage of the F1 event, I need to revise the list of chassis numbers that were in attendance just slightly. The car I believed was #069 is definitely not. I now believe it to be chassis #006, fresh from an extensive refit just completed by McLaren for it’s new Japanese owner. Seems that it had not left the UK just yet and was included in the event, if my theory is correct.

          >8^)
          Erik

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