1997 McLaren F1
The importance of the McLaren F1 is not that it was, for seven years, the world’s fastest production car, nor that it remains the fastest naturally aspirated production car. Its importance comes from its unique blending of innovative design, advanced materials and exceptional adaptability and drivability. The McLaren F1 is a pure driver’s car conceived and perfected without the myriad technical gimmicks that all of its competitors rely upon to supplement the experience of driving.
The depths of McLaren’s technical expertise and imagination is abundantly demonstrated in the F1’s unmatched technical specifications including its carbon fibre monocoque, active aerodynamics, lavish use of exotic lightweight metals and composites and its creative centre driving position flanked by two passenger seats.
Although it is technically advanced the McLaren F1 incorporates none of the driving assists now commonplace on ultra-high performance cars. There is no power steering, no power assist on the 4-pot Brembo brakes (332/ 305mm front/ rear discs), no electro-hydraulic selection for the six-speed transverse manual gearbox, no clutch pedal boost, no traction control (aside from the Torsen 40% limited slip differential) and no electronic stability control. Only the aerodynamics have any kind of power assist. A pair of fans draw air from under the body in a driver-controlled “High Downforce” mode (recalling Murray’s precedent-setting Brabham-Alfa Romeo BT46 “fan car” of 1978), and the spoiler on the rear deck deploys when the brakes are applied to move the aerodynamic centre of pressure forward to enhance braking balance with the F1’s designed 42%/ 58% static weight distribution.
Deliveries began in 1993 and only 65 examples of the definitive road version were built from a total of 107 F1s, which includes six prototypes, five LM versions, three GT long tail road cars and 28 GTR racing cars. Of course, the racing cars do not feature the distinctive three seater configuration and nor can they be modified to such as the electronics occupy the right hand passenger seat.
Performance is breathtaking. In addition to a top speed of 372 kph (231 mph) in its standard configuration with 7,500 rpm rev limiter, one of the prototypes with the rev limiter disabled clocked 391 kph (243 mph) at 7,800 rpm. Acceleration has been timed at 3.2 seconds 0-60 mph and 6.3 seconds to 100 mph. It will swallow a standing kilometer in 19.6 seconds with a terminal velocity of 285 kph (177 mph).
McLaren F1 ‘068’ has been used a total of only about 2,450 miles including the 400 or so kilometers put on all McLaren F1s by the factory in pre-delivery shakedown, testing and setup. It has never been raced, damaged or painted and has spent virtually all its life in a climate-controlled environment. It has never even been in the rain. It retains all its original accessories which include, in addition to the factory luggage identified with the chassis number and Wilton wool mats, a 10-disc Kenwood custom-specified stereo, Facom F1 rolling tool box, gold-plated titanium tool kit and roll, automatic battery charger, electronic torque wrench, factory-supplied and numbered F1 TAG/ Heuer wrist watch, cotton car cover, vanity mirror, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, lightweight wheel lug wrench and the fuse & bulb kit. It is equipped with a factory designed and installed built in Valentine radar detector and comes with a VIN-embossed leather bound book, “Driving Ambitions,” describing the McLaren F1 project. The carbon fibre underbody has been show-polished. In short, for the long term collector this F1 has all the desirable accessories which make the difference.
It has of course been continuously maintained as needed by a McLaren factory trained mechanic and will be freshly serviced before delivery including oil and filter change, new front and rear brake pads and a new set of factory authorized Michelin tyres. It has always been meticulously cared for and detailed and is like new in both appearance and operation.
This is a rare opportunity to acquire one of the last McLaren F1s built, complete in all respects and equipped with desirable factory options. It is especially significant in view of its configuration and documentation that meets U.S. DOT and EPA regulations and import requirements. It is one of only 65 in the world, acknowledged by experts to be the paramount supercar, prized by collectors and coveted by drivers who seek the ultimate road-going performance experience.