McLaren F1 LM breaks record with Au$29m sale at Monterey

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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McLaren F1 LM Specification front quarter McLaren F1 LM Specification front quarter
McLaren F1 LM Specification front quarter open McLaren F1 LM Specification front quarter open
McLaren F1 LM Specification interior cabin McLaren F1 LM Specification interior cabin
McLaren F1 LM Specification rear quarter McLaren F1 LM Specification rear quarter
McLaren F1 LM Specification engine McLaren F1 LM Specification engine

Breaking the Big Mac record by Au$6 million in the process

While some Car Week auctions didn’t go to plan (See the auctioneer blunder that left the 1934 Porsche Type 64 unsold), others did to great success.

One of two LM Specification McLaren F1s was one of RM Sotheby’s main attractions of the annual collectible car mecca.  Predicted to sell between US$21 million and $23 million – the car actually sold under estimate with a final sell price of US$19. 8 million (Au$29 million).

While landing a smidge under estimate, the Big Mac still broke records becoming the most expensive McLaren F1 ever sold – after a "standard" F1 sold back in 2015 for US$15.6 million (Au$23 million).

It’s a far cry from the McLaren F1s low-point of around AU$650,000 in the late 90s.

Contributing to the F1’s ceiling-shattering sale is its near-unique specification.

The car is one of two F1s converted to "LM Specification", which saw it blessed with the track-only F1 GTR’s 6.1lt V12, and "extra high downforce" aero and exterior kit.

This car, chassis 018, is the first of two LM-converted F1s; and was originally delivered in Midnight Blue Pearl over black leather interior.

It was sent back to Woking for its LM conversion, and was resprayed in Platinum Silver Metallic with its interior reupholstered in cream leather and beige alcantara.

The other F1 LM Specification car was sold last year by RM Sotheby’s private sales division after last being sold in 2015 for AU$18.95 million.

Chassis 018 has had a number of big-time collector owners, but was sent to auction by its most recent owner of 12 years, New Zealand-based collector Andrew Bagnall. The odometer at the time of sale read just 21,439km.

Just 64 street-legal McLaren F1s were ever built, with chassis 18 representing one of just two upgraded by the factory. With a top speed of 386km/h, the F1 remains a more-than capable bit of kit, even by today’s performance standards.

And has seen them remain one of the most sought-after collectibles, seemingly perpetually appreciating as they so rarely come to market.

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