Sold for $19,805,000 at 2019 RM Sothebys : Monterey.
Chassis #: SA9AB5AC1R1048018
The former Brabham Formula 1 designer, Gordon Murray, was tasked by McLaren boss Ron Dennis to build the perfect production sports car, without limitations. With input from Dennis and TAG principal (and McLaren co-owner) Mansour Ojjeh, Murray created a design that had aesthetic appeal and technical prowess. It was given a carbon-fiber-and-aluminum honeycomb cell that formed the basis for the lightweight monocoque chassis and clothed with carbon-fiber coachwork, in this case penned by Peter Stevens. It was given vertical dihedral scissor doors, a roof-placed engine intake, a center driver's position, and diagonal side-vent diffusers.
After the deal with F1 racing partner and engine supplier, Honda, came to an end, McLaren went searching for a naturally aspirated motor of larger displacement. A deal was eventually struck with BMW to design and build a V-12. This bespoke, purpose-built engine offered 627 horsepower and 479 foot-pounds of torque.
The McLaren F1 were built as road going cars, yet had the capability to race. Several early owners approached McLaren about factory support for privateer racing, and McLaren responded with the F1 GTR version. With enhanced racing specification and trim, the F1 GTR won the BPR Championship three consecutive years from 1995 to 1997, and won the 1995 Le Mans outright, along with 3rd-, 4th-, and 5th-place finishes. The GTR finishing as high as 4th in 1996, 2nd in 1997, and 4th in 1998.
After the victory at LeMans in 1995, McLaren created a small batch of commemorative road-capable cars that were dubbed the F1 LM. Modifications included the GTR racing engines and a High-Downforce Kit (HDK) of aerodynamic effects consisting of a large rear wing and revised nose with front fender vents.
Production of the McLaren F1 lasted until 1997 with 64 examples built. Total output was 106 examples with 28 being F1 GTR racing cars, two F1 GTs, five F1 LM examples, and seven prototype and development cars. Along with its racing accolades, the F1 claims the distinction of being the world's fastest naturally aspirated production model after setting a record at the Ehra-Lessien Proving Grounds in Germany in 1998 at 240.14 mph.Chassis number 018
When production came to a close in 1997, McLaren upgraded two F1 road cars to LM specification, including upgrading the engine to unrestricted 680 hp GTR specification. Those two cars were serial number 073 and 018. Both received the Extra-High Downforce Kit and more comfortably outfitted interiors over the more Spartan LM trim.
Serial number 018 was built in 1994 and originally wore Midnight Blue Pearl paint over a black interior. Upon completion it was sent to its first owner who resided in Japan. In 1999 the F1 was sold to a collector in Germany, who had the car returned to the factory in Surrey in 2000 to commission a series of upgrades to LM specifications. The first round of work was done in 2000 and the second round began a year later, which included the installation of the HDK, a transmission cooler, two additional radiators, and a modified exhaust system. The headlamps were changed to gas-discharge units, the 14-inch steering wheel was installed, a radio was added to the CD player, and air-conditioning system received an upgrade. The exterior paint color was changed to its current livery of platinum silver metallic. The interior was re-trimmed with cream leather highlighted by beige and brown Alcantara, cream Wilton carpets, and a beige Alcantara headliner. Race-spec dampers and springs were installed and adjusted to their softest setting for comfortable road use. 18-inch GTR wheels mounted with Michelin Pilot Sport tires replaced the standard 17-inch wheels.
In 2004, the F1 was acquired by a collector based in Singapore and it shared garage space with the owner's other F1. After three years of minimal use, the LM-specification McLaren was acquired by a collector based in New Zealand in October of 2007. Prior to being shipped to New Zealand, the car was sent to Woking, Surrey, to be evaluated and serviced by MSO.
During his ownership the car was driven on three McLaren F1 Owners Club tours organized by the 1996 BPR champion and Le Mans veteran Ray Bellm, including the 20th Anniversary Tour on Lake Garda, Italy, in 2012, the 2014 Tuscany F1 Tour, as well as the 25th Anniversary Tour in Bordeaux in 2017. On each occasion, the car was submitted to MSO before and after the events for full preparation and servicing, as well as delivery to and from the rally locations.
Currently the F1 has less than 21,500 km (13,352 miles) on its odometer.By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2020