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The McLaren F1 is more than just a car, it is legendary, it is mythical. It stunned the automotive world when its concept burst on the scene in 1992 and was unlike anything that came before it. Everything about it was hyperbole, and its credentials seemed almost too good to be true. It sat three, with the driver in the middle, its engine compartment was lined with gold for better heat dissipation, and with its BMW-built V12, it could top 230 miles per hour.
McLaren was no startup or flash-in-the-pan manufacturer. Since the 1960s, it had been one of the premier racing manufacturers in the world, with success in Formula 1, Can-Am, and at the Indianapolis 500. By the late 1980s, the company was riding especially high. Thanks to an engine partnership with Honda, its white and red Marlboro-sponsored cars dominated Formula 1 throughout the decade, and its MP 4/4 cars owned the 1988 season, taking 15 of 16 races. Company founder Bruce McLaren had wanted to build a road-going car using racing technology in the late '60s, but plans were scuttled after his death testing a race car in 1970. As a result of the 20 years of success since, McLaren technical director Gordon Murray believed that the company had the know-how to create the ultimate road car, but he wanted to do it in a way that had never been done before.
Gordon Murray had begun to think of possibilities outside the track. For the F1, Murray wanted to combine the handling and ease of Honda's NSX with the extreme power that could still blow the doors off supercars like the Ferrari F40, Lamborghini Diablo, and Jaguar XJ220. Murray was quoted as having said, "To my thinking, the ideal car is one in which I could get in the driver's seat and be out for a drive in downtown London, and then want to continue straight on to the South of France. A car that you can trust, with functional air conditioning, and retains daily drivability. No offset pedals allowed. No high dashboards restricting your view either. Having a low roof hitting your head every time you go over a bump in the name of aerodynamics and styling is out of the question. It is essential that a supercar be a pleasure to drive, and anything detracting from that must be excised."
Even today no car can turn heads like an F1, neither can any car claim to be as driver focused as the F1 - The F1 is a groundbreaker, claims made today that the F1 represents the best car ever built are perfectly justifiable.
Turbocharging and supercharging were both dismissed by Murray outright as being too needlessly complex and heavy, as were airbags, anti-lock brakes, and power steering. But for all the F1 didn't have, it made up for it with cutting-edge technology: It was the first production car to use a monocoque carbon fibre chassis, making it incredibly strong and stable at high speeds - and incredibly lightweight. Murray put together the ultimate team, the member of which came from many different backgrounds; they were obsessed with the ultimate design in every respect.
The F1 was a sensation when it debuted, and easily took the "fastest production car" title away from the XJ220 (in 1998, a prototype set a world record with a top speed of 248 miles per hour). But despite the car's capabilities, and McLaren's pedigree on the track, Murray had no desire to take the F1 racing. After pressure from owners and racing teams, the company relented and released the competition-ready F1 GTR in 1995. Lightened and lowered (despite having to be detuned to compete in the BPR Global GT Series), the F1 GTRs were an unprecedented success. At that year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, the cars joined the pantheon of racing legends, finishing first, third, fourth, fifth, and thirteenth overall. A legend had already been born but mythical status had now been achieved as a result of this lightly modified road car attending and winning the fabled 24 hour race at La Sarthe first time out of the box.
Production started in late 1994 and by 1998, production ended on the F1 after merely 106 had been built. For its first attempt at a road car, McLaren set out to build the best, and astonishingly, it did. Since its debut, the F1's legend looms as large as ever before, and has become the standard by which all supercars are judged. There have been prettier, more advanced, more expensive, and even faster exotics in the decades since, but none have had an impact that comes anywhere close to the F1 putting the F1 on a level peg with the Ferrari 250 GTO.
Of the 106 cars built only 64 were built and supplied as road cars, the last "new" car remaining in McLaren's Park Lane showroom until late 2003. The road cars are very much more sought after as a result of their iconic three seat setup (unlike the GTR with space for just two), air conditioning and operational side windows.
Originally supplied to Germany, this example was imported into the USA by Dick Fritz of the Amerispec Corporation. Utilising his connections at the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency, Fritz created a conversion kit for the F1 to satisfy the regulators. Developed before the introduction of the ‘Show and Display’ regulations, each of the seven F1s brought in temporarily wore the Ameritech parts. This meant revised front bumper elements, lights and the covering of the passenger seats, essentially making the car a single seater to be imported. With this temporary conversion, Fritz was able to bring each of the cars into the USA through a ‘Free Trade’ zone.
The car passed through several keepers until it found residence with Mr Gary Schaevitz; a serial F1 owner and collector. Whilst in his care, 045 shared its home with a second F1, 024. The car was sold to its current owner in 2018 and to date has covered just 10,200 miles from new.
Today, this example is accompanied by its:
- 3 pieces of luggage
- Autoglym detailing kit
- Tag Heuer Watch original watch
- Complete FACOM tool chest
- Satellite navigation, CD changer & Modem
- Titanium toolkit
- Chassis matched copy of Driving Ambition
- McLaren diagnostic laptop
- Tether down shipping wheel nuts
Build Year: 1995
Body Colour: Dark Silver
Interior Trim: Dark Grey / Mid Grey
Drive: LHD specification
Chassis : 045
Mclaren F1 #045 Service Dates:
August 2001 18 Month Service at Mclaren
Mileage: 3,016 miles
May 2003 18 Month Service at BMW Oxnard
Mileage: 5,529 miles
4th June 2004 9 Month Service at BMW of North America
15th July 2005 Service at BMW of North America, National Workshop-East
Mileage: 6,463 miles
12th May 2006 Service at BMW of North America, National Workshop-East
Mileage: 6,463 miles
26th October 2007 9 Month Service at BMW of North America, National
Mileage: 6,919 miles, Mileage out: 7,552 miles
16th October 2008 9 Month Service at BMW OF North America, National
Mileage: 7,923 miles
12th March 2009 Car at BMW of North America, National Workshop-East to
Investigate oil reservoir leak
Mileage: 7,923 miles
20th May 2010 Service at BMW of North America, National Workshop-East
Mileage: 8,286 miles
19th September 2012 Service at BMW Group Workshop East
Mileage: 8,641 miles
13th May 2015 Parts ordered for service at BMW Group Workshop East
Mileage: 8,725 miles
22nd August 2018 Fuel Cell replacement service at Mclaren Philadelphia
Mileage: 9,495 miles
27th June 2019 Clutch work at Mclaren Philadelphia
23rd March 2020 Clutch, Bodywork, Interior and chassis set up at Lanzante / Mclaren Petersfield