There are McLaren F1s. And then there are McLaren F1s. This is the latter—the penultimate ‘standard’ F1, since upgraded by the factory to ‘LM Specification’. And you can buy it. Not at auction, but from RM’s new Private Sales department for an ominously unspecified sum. Given the last time this thing was up for sale it brought $13.7 million (P732.44 million), count on said sum being duly outrageous.
Originally finished in AMG green over a two-tone cream/green leather interior, Chassis 073 was delivered to its first, “high-profile” owner in September 1998. Before long it was handed over to the department we now know as MSO—McLaren Special Operations—to be turned into “the finest and most desirable F1 on the planet”. In doing so MSO fitted the same ‘LM-specification’ V12 engine as the company’s GTR race cars, giving 680hp at 7,800rpm thanks to an increased compression ratio, upgraded cams, pistons and new air pressure sensors. Only two road-going F1s were ever fitted with this engine. And this is one of them.
More cooling was added, as was a sports exhaust (the original is included in the sale) and something called the “Extra High Downforce Package”. This gave a revised nose with more vents and a massive rear wing complete with 4mm Gurney Flap.
MSO also upgraded the headlights, fitted new 18in alloy wheels and repainted the entire car in metallic orange. Because obviously. And this is no stripped-out special, either. That’s part of what makes it the ultimate F1—the derestricted engine and track-ready bodywork were combined with all the creature comforts of the ‘standard’ F1, and then some. The interior was re-trimmed in magnolia leather and Alcantara, the air-con and stereo were upgraded, and sat-nav and a “helicopter-grade” car-to-car radio fitted.
McLaren also swapped the steering wheel, handbrake and instrument cluster for the same items you got on the GTR race cars. And then, as if it couldn’t get any more special, Gordon Murray signed it.
Click on these words to see the listing. And if you buy it please, please let us have a go.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.