Any time one of the 106 McLaren F1s in existence come up for sale, it’s an event, but this one is even more special. Auction house RM Sotheby’s announced today that McLaren F1 chassis 018 will be up for bidding at its Pebble Beach event next month. It’s one of just two F1s modified by McLaren into “LM specifications.”
The LM specification included what McLaren called an “Extra-High Downforce Kit,” and a hotter version of the F1’s BMW-designed 6.1-liter V-12. Basically, it’s an unrestricted race engine, making around 680 horsepower verses the standard F1’s 627. The car was also upgraded with 18-inch OZ Racing center-lock five-spoke wheels like those used on the F1 GTR race car.
Originally, this F1 was painted dark blue, but when its second owner sent the car back to McLaren for the LM-specification upgrades, he had it repainted in the current shade of Platinum Silver Metallic. The interior was re-trimmed, too, with lots of cream leather and Alcantara—a nice contrast to the racy spec of the car. Interestingly, that second owner had the car fit with a Kenwood radio. Famously, the F1’s designer, Gordon Murray, didn’t listen to the radio, so the cars were originally equipped only with a custom-designed Kenwood CD changer.
Since it originally left the McLaren factory in 1994, F1 018 has only been driven 13,352 miles. In its 25 years of existence, it’s been back to McLaren Special Operations for maintenance work many times, which is typical of an F1. Since 2007, the car has lived in New Zealand under the care of Andrew Bagnall, who was featured in a video produced by McLaren back in 2017.
It’s hard to put an exact price on this car. Last year, RM Sotheby’s listed a high-downforce kit-equipped F1 for sale with an asking price of $22 million, though the final sale price was never reported. RM Sotheby’s estimates that this one will sell for between $21 and 23 million. The last public auction of a McLaren F1 was at Pebble Beach in 2017, where chassis 044 sold for $15.6 million. F1s have climbed in value significantly since then, and the rare specs on chassis 018 could push it towards the $25 million mark.
We’ll be watching closely when it crosses the block in a month.
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