The McLaren F1 is a car that needs no introduction, especially this particular example.
That’s because we actually featured this ultra-rare beast, not so long ago; moreover thanks to its “Extra High Downforce Package” most of you would recognize it as an LM model.
McLaren built only five of these things straight from the factory, with only two additional beasts upgraded later to LM-spec. That said, the final count of Le Mans inspired F1s reached a total of only 7 units (excluding the LM XP1 prototype), with this striking example being one of the two converted pieces.
The pinnacle of McLaren’s 90s supercar? Well, pretty much, especially as McLaren Special Operation – back when the department wasn’t called that – had its way with it. The car was actually the second-to-last F1 road car ever constructed and it was completed by McLaren in 1998 for a high-profile customer, designated as a European-delivery example; it was finished in AMG Green Velvet and it had a two-tone cream and green interior, but the thing never made it to its owner in pure stock form because he specified a complete overhaul of it.
Lucky for him, McLaren was more than happy to further upgrade and improve their babies and thus this… thing was born. The British car manufacturer transformed it into a LM-spec model by adding lots of aero goodness and a LM-specification, 680 horsepower, BMW V12, 6.1-litre engine with bits and pieces derived from the GTR variant; Talk about mental!
The engine had a higher compress ratio, new cams, different pistons, and was fenced by larger radiators which provided additional cooling.
The aerodynamic package consisted of a revised nose with additional front wing vents, a very aggressive rear wing and a 4-millimeter Gurney flap. The awesome orange-metallic paint-job was a bit darker than all the Papaya Orange LMs that came out from the factory – kind of a tribute.
The interior was changed as well to GT specification, but most of the creature comforts remained untouched with some of the features even upgraded in order to insure a comfortable experience while driving. In fact, this particular car is considered to be the finest F1 in existence because it’s a perfect mix of the original road car and the LM hardcore variant.
That’s why it recently swapped hands at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction for an outstanding $12.5 million ($13.75 million including taxes) – becoming the most expensive British car… ever. Still, thinking Rowan Atkinson’s “regular” model fetched $12,307 million not so long ago, this bespoke variant could’ve gone for a lot more. Way more.
The car was part of the impressive Pinnacle Portfolio, a car collection consisting of 20 super-rare, super-awesome supercars.