Virtually new McLaren F1 up for auction

15th June 2021
Bob Murray

For many, it’s the pinnacle of supercar development and the car you see here is probably the closest you could ever come to having a new one. It’s a McLaren F1 and it’s been driven just 242 miles in 26 years. New, in 1995, it would have cost just over half a million pounds; today it will set you back around 20 times that.


The McLaren F1, as its creator Gordon Murray would be the first to say, was made to be driven, not left unused in a secret collection in Japan for most of its 26 years, as has been the case with this example. It was bought new by its first Japanese owner and formed part of his private collection. The car was rarely seen in public.

No surprise then that Gooding & Co, which will be auctioning it in the US in August, says that it is still in as-new condition. The current US-based owner has continued to keep it in its time-capsule state according to the auction house, which has put an estimate of in-excess-of US$15m on it, or around £10.5m.

McLaren F1s do not come up for sale often, in public anyway, but those that do now routinely breach the £10m barrier. In 2017 Bonhams sold a 1995 model for $15.6m (today about £11m) at its Quail Lodge sale, while in 2019 RM Sotheby’s sold a super-rare LM-spec version at its Monterey auction for $19.8m (about £14.5m). Since then the 240mph F1 has held the crown as the most valuable British car ever sold at auction, as well as the world’s most valuable modern-era supercar.

Will this exceptional example of the former world’s fastest car and Le Mans winner be able to beat that? One thing that might help chassis number 29’s cause is its unique colour. The body might look brown to you but this is actually Creighton Brown, a special hue named after the man who, along with Ron Dennis and Mansour Ojjeh, established McLaren Cars and got Gordon Murray’s “F1 car for the road” into production. The body colour is matched to light tan and dark brown leather in the three-seat, central driving position cabin.

“The McLaren F1 is widely regarded as the most important automobile built in the past four decades,” says Gooding & Co’s David Brynan. “This particular example represents an almost unheard-of opportunity to acquire an F1 in virtually as-delivered condition.”

“As delivered” means not just pristine condition for the BMW V12-powered machine but also wearing its original, date-coded Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres and complete with the McLaren service book, owner’s manual, titanium tool kit, fitted luggage, TAG Heuer watch and the official Driving Ambition book.

Want an F1? Like brown? Got $15m? The world’s lowest-mileage F1 offered at auction is to be sold by Gooding & Co as star lot at its Pebble Beach sale on 13th-14th August.

Image curtesy of Gooding & Co.

  • McLaren

  • F1

  • Gordon Murray

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