A McLaren F1 and an F1 McLaren

If there is one car that is more coveted than the Lamborghini Countach, it’s this, the McLaren F1.  This was the world’s “Bugatti Veyron” 13 years before the first Bugatti Veyron rolled out of the factory.  Simply put, this is the greatest car.  Ever.  

McLaren’s Palo Alto, California, showroom is a simple affair.  It has two MP4-12Cs (a gray one that is curiously not for sale and a used white one that is), a rolling chassis (probably the same one displayed at last year’s Marin-Sonoma Concours), a Cardinal red McLaren F1 (also not for sale), and David Coulthard’s MP4-16.  The new McLaren has been written about to death, so let’s focus on the McLaren F1 and the F1 McLaren.  

All supercars generate amazing performance numbers.  But what sets this car apart is that it is so beautiful and perfectly proportioned from every possible angle.  Standing next to it, it does not appear uncomfortably low or impossibly tiny.  

Although I do not have a copy of Driving Ambition to consult, I can tell you that the front brakes are 13.1″ and the rears measure 12.0″.  That’s plenty of stopping power for a car that barely weighs a ton.

The view from this angle conjures up a combination of Subaru SVX, Acura NSX, and a big dollop of Salvador Dali.

The infamous three-across seating arrangement.  Just remember, kids, the F1 is not the only car with three separate seats.

Look, Ma, two interior rear view mirrors!


In the entire showroom, only David Coulthard’s 2001 MP4-16 was roped off.  He finished second overall in the Drivers’ Championship (65 points) with this car, thanks to a poor year by teammate Mika Hakkinen (37 points) and a runaway year by Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher (123 points).

And while the road-going McLaren is powered by a 6.1 liter naturally aspirated V12, DC’s car has a 3 liter V10 Mercedes powerplant.


Just think, at one point, McLaren engineers hid the aero and suspension bits from competitors as if their lives depended on it.

For more pictures, click here.

Images source: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Jim Yu


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