McLaren F1s don’t come around everyday. But when they do, the fabric of spacetime itself rips open to make room for the sheer amount of money needed to buy the thing. There are only 106 in the world with only 64 of these being road legal from the factory. They’s so rare, you’re more likely to see a Canadian pick a fight with a baby.
What’s on sale here, though, is even rarer that that. Brandishing the chassis number ‘018’, it’s one of only two factory LM specs. And as you well know, those two letters stand for Le Mans, and with it follows a plethora of performance enhancing modifications which turns the car into a track-devouring monster.
A ‘High Downforce Package’ adds a fixed rear wing, a front air dam, and vents above the wheels to lower lift. It’s aggressive and striking, only made more intimidating by the growl of a 680bhp V12 free of the restrictions placed on other F1s. Inside, though, it’s comfortable and has the creature comforts one would expect in a standard F1.
In 2000, a German collector who owned the car sent it back to the UK for additional work, which consisted of the power and aero upgrades, but also the addition of a radio, better headlights, and adjustable suspension. Then the whole car was repainted and retrimmed and a bespoke set of 18″ wheels were wrapped in modern tyres and fitted to the car.
This is the crème de la crème of McLaren, with all the work done in-house by the best engineers they had to offer. Their experience of Le Mans was loaded into this motorcar, as was the spec of winning racecars.
It’s travelled the world more than most, living in Singapore, then New Zealand, before it was driven for at least a month by Kiwi entrepreneur and amateur racer Andrew Bagnell – both brave men, especially considering one wrong move and they could owe more money than the majority of us will ever make in our lifetimes. Specifically, between $21m to 23m.
It goes up for auction with RM Sotherby’s on the weekend of 15-17th August during Monterey Car Week. So if you know anyone with a few spare pennies, please push them my way. I’ll share.