A McLaren F1 – chassis #073 with factory LM upgrade – is up for auction at RM’s Monterey sale in August, and should hit the highest price yet for an F1.
Most petrolheads would agree that the McLaren F1 is the greatest supercar ever built, still able to show even the most modern of elite supercars how it should be done, more than twenty years after it first arrived.
But even within the limited run of F1s – just 64 road cars and a mere 5 LMs – there are cars that are more appealing and interesting than others, and this, McLaren F1 #073, is perhaps the very best of the regular 64 road models.
First delivered by McLaren in 1998 – as one of the last F1s – it was soon heading back to Woking to make it even more special, with a raft of changes that make it more appealing than just about any other F1.
Key to the appeal is the fitting by McLaren of the engine from the LM – a full 691bhp of BMW goodness – the High Downforce Package to aid stability at high speeds, bigger radiators, Sports exhaust and a set of bespoke OZ wheels.
At the same time the original paint job was replaced with a dark tangerine metallic, the interior trimmed in magnolia hide, the Air Con upgraded, a Phillips Sat Nav in a custom carbon fibre enclosure fitted and, as a final flourish, Gordon Murray signed the interior by the gear stick in silver permanent marker.
The beauty of F1 #073 is that it brings the performance and power of the ultra-rare LMs to the regular F1, but leaves all the toys (and more) available. It may be a bit of an F1/LM Hybrid, but it is probably the F1 to have if you’re ever going to drive it.
But how much will F1 #073 fetch when it hits the floor at RM’s Monterey auction next month?
Well, with Rowan Atkinson’s ‘used’ F1 fetching £8 million, #073 must hit more than £10M, and perhaps as much as £15 million. After all, it’s thought that if an F1 LM ever came up for sale it would probably hit £20 million, so even at £15 million F1 #073 would seem a bit of a bargain.
Although ‘bargain’ is relative in this case.