The world is in financial turmoil. Property prices have plunged, losing investors fortunes on the way. Banks are in trouble and depositors savings are in jeapordy. The stock market has been in free-fall, turning Princes in to paupers. Even whole sovereign states are close to bankruptcy. So what’s a man to do with his hard earned cash in such troubled waters? Easy, buy a McLaren!
The McLaren F1 (along with its ‘Super’ brother, the LM) is considered by many to be the ultimate road car. Light, fast and enormously desirable, the F1 has been a stunning success story. Initially conceived in the late ’80s, and coming to fruition with the launch of the first road car in 1995, just 65 road-going F1s where made between 1995 and 1998, with 5 further LMs (6 if you count the prototype, which is still owned by McLaren and promised to Lewis Hamilton if he pulls of the double World Championship by winning in 2009).
The F1’s performance was in a different league to any other road car ever built, with a 0-60 time of a little over 3 seconds, and a top speed of 241 mph. This record stood until 2008, but the F1 is still the fastest naturally aspirated road car ever built. A little skittish at the limits, but possessing enormous grip and entertaining handling, the driver sits in a centre position in the car, with two passengers catered for – one each side and to the back of the driver.
List price of the F1 was around £600k in the 90s, but prices have risen inexorably since. This price rise for the F1 culminated in the auction of the old McLaren show car from its Park Lane showroom, which sold a few months ago at the RM Auction for £2.5 million.
The RM sale has set a new bench-mark for the F1. We know of an F1 which was for sale in the Far East for €1.6 million. Since the RM auction it has risen to €2.3 million. We know that the last LM to sell a couple of years ago fetched around $5 million. You couldn’t buy it back now for less than $10 million. Even the conversions of the race version of the F1 (the GTR) which have been converted for road use fetch huge sums. We know of one GTR conversion, which to all intents and purposes is an LM (and is even painted in Papaya Orange, the LM colour), that can be bought for something north of £2 million.
So will these prices keep rising? Almost certainly. Only 65 road cars and 5 LMs (3 owned by the Sultan of Brunei, (one Papaya Orange and 2 Black cars) who will never sell) guarantees ultimate exclusivity. And there will always be enough rich people in the world who want the ultimate car.
So don’t buy art or shares, property or boats. Buy an F1, make a packet, and enjoy the ‘Concorde’ of the motoring world for free.