For the longest time, the closest anyone could get to experiencing the exhilarating speeds seen on the Formula One racetrack was by taking a ride in the McLaren F1; at the apex of car design and engineering, the road car runs on a BMW M V-12 engine that fuels a whopping 627-horsepower. Dreaming of owning one goes without saying, but now that dream might just become a reality thanks to Bonhams, whose Quail Lodge Auction on August 18 will be highlighted by the sale of an original 1995 model of the pioneering sports car.
The 37th McLaren F1 off the assembly line from a production run of only 64 models, the McLaren F1 chassis number 044 still sports its original design: its all-carbon-composite monocoque chassis and body is covered in the iconic Base Silver paint, and features a dark Connolly leather interior. The central driver’s seat — a first for production cars at the time — is topped by McLaren’s signature red-coloured panels.
Indeed, 044 is a true rarity in the world of cars — and it’s only had one owner. First purchased in July 1996, 044’s odometer reveals that it has only covered 9,600 miles during its 22-year lifespan so far. Half of this distance is accounted for by a road trip across continental Europe taken by the owner right after the car’s delivery from McLaren’s factory in Woking, Great Britain. 044 experienced its fair share of sights as it travelled across the countrysides of France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, before returning the the McLaren factory for servicing.
044 was then shipped to America where it was federalized by the Ameritech company to meet US safety and emissions regulations. This made it one of the first of its kind to be imported into the US, and the first of only 7 McLarens in the world to be made fully road-legal.
Adding on to its value, 044 has been impeccably maintained throughout its life. As stated on the car’s comprehensive maintenance records, it was regularly serviced by BMW North America LLC and has only two major services: fuel cell replacements. Aside from that, the car remains essentially the same as it was when it left the McLaren’s factory 2 decades ago. In fact, 044 still contains the complete tool kit that it came with, including the original tool roll and bespoke luggage set. Although the car was converted to its original European specs after being imported to the US, all the parts for the US-specs are still intact, as long as other original components that were removed during services.
The 044 has certainly shaped itself up to be nothing short of legendary — and with good reason. While Bonhams hasn’t issued a guide price for the auction, you can expect the bidding for this extraordinary car to start with no less than $10,000,000.