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Mega Money for McLaren Machine: Record Auction Sale for Rare F1 Supercar

Photo Credit: Mike Maez/Gooding & Company


Arguably the zenith of automotive engineering in the 1990s and one of the greatest performance cars ever built, the McLaren F1 instantly generated an aura of motoring greatness. Conceived by a championship-winning Formula 1 team with a design first penned by Gordon Murray, the ultimate dream car of its era featured a super-aerodynamic shape sculpted around a unique three-passenger cockpit where the driver is seated in a central position. The McLaren F1's propulsion from a 6.1-liter twelve-cylinder engine supplied by BMW generating 618 horsepower has the capacity of pressing to speeds up to 240 miles per hour (386.24 kilometers per hour) when performance is unrestricted. The creditable pedigree and performance of the supercar would be amplified as the car’s GTR racing variant won in multiple classes of sports car racing with overall victory in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans being a highlight.


Only 64 road-legal examples of the McLaren F1 were produced with the prestigious car attracting an equally as prestigious ownership base. The unique charm and rarity of the high-speed machine have resulted in the sale price of scarce examples climbing. At an auction held by Gooding & Company in conjunction with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the allure of the extreme supercar was reflected by a high-dollar figure attached to the transfer of a Creighton Brown-painted McLaren F1.

During the Friday auction, a high bid equating to roughly 25.84 million dollars in Canadian funds (20.465 million dollars American) was enough to turn over the keys of McLaren F1 chassis 029. Documented as the last vehicle built in 1994, the car attracting a record-setting amount for the Formula 1-engineered supercar was ordered by a Japanese collector. The super-aerodynamic form features a unique one-off metallic brown named Creighton Brown after the commercial director of McLaren Cars Limited who was one of the instrumental figures in establishing the legacy of the F1. Light tan leather and Alcantara mixed with Brazilian Brown touches fill the interior of this McLaren F1.

Shared between three owners prior to the Pebble Beach Auctions presented by Gooding & Company, McLaren F1 chassis 029 had only 387 kilometers (240.47 miles) registered on the odometer. Spending much of its 26-year on earth as a static display, this car still rides on its original factory-supplied Goodyear Eagle tires. A four-piece fitted leather set, FACOM tool chest, a leather folio serial-numbered leather folio for vehicle warranty and service records as well as a TAG Heuer 6000 Chronometer watch were included with the auction sale of the McLaren F1 in addition to the original catalytic converters. Regular maintenance and fluid changes have been carried out throughout the life of the vehicle. Delivered to Japan, the car was brought into emission compliance in the United States shortly after it was shipped to the country in 2013.

The record-setting amount of 20.465-million dollar U.S. for the McLaren F1 at the 2021 Pebble Beach Auctions eclipses the previous 15.62-million dollar record sale of a standard version of the supercar back in 2017. The final successful bid also bettered a 2019 RM Sotheby’s auction in Monterrey, California for an ultra-rare McLaren F1 that was factory modified as a LM variant equipped with a more powerful 680-horsepower GTR-derived engine and the Extra-High Downforce Kit. That McLaren F1 LM sold for 19.8 million dollars U.S. almost two years ago to the date of the Pebble Beach auction.


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