In a world already filled with mediocre men's lifestyle bloggers pretending they're Jeremy Clarkson, we do our darndest to ensure we don't flood you with crappy car stories ad nauseam, and we think we do that well. That said, it's not every day a story like this one pops up, so it'd be a waste of ethereal column inches not to share with the class.
The 6.1L V12 McLaren F1 has, since its inception in 1992, been the undisputed unicorn of the automotive world. Stunning to look at, comparably simplistic in its engineering (it has a clutch and a gearstick, no flappy paddles in sight) when stacked against other "hypercars", and reportedly an absolute pleasure to drive, it has also stood the test of time. Despite its age, it's still the most revered car in the world, fetching astronomical prices at auction.
But past auction prices for an F1 won't be a patch on this example.
Sold just the other week for an undisclosed amount, this McLaren F1 was whisked away from its factory birthplace in Woking, Surrey to Japan in 1997 with a chassis numbered 60. Only 106 cars were ever built, to give an indication of just how really fucking rare these whips are. The new owner not only never even sat in the front seat (which is smack bang in the middle of the car) – he never even unwrapped it.
That's right, for 20 years, this absolute beast was hermetically sealed and kept under lock-and-key, while the owner waited for the day that somebody would fork out almost anything for a pristine example. It's the only know virgin F1 around, and the last one (which was already broken in) sold for over US$15 million. This one is reported to have netted closer to $20 million.
It was sold with the original tool kit (also wrapped in plastic – it's fantastic), log book (blank, obviously), McLaren luggage set (unused), GTR steering wheel and, here's the kicker, the TAG Heuer wristwatch with matching chassis number engraved on the dial which was gifted to every new F1 owner when they received their new ride – with the plastic still on the glass and bracelet.
While it allegedly belonged to a very wealthy Japanese businessman and car collector, the amount of plastic still on every surface means I'd also believe that it belonged to an Italian nonna. Here's hoping the new owner breaks the seal and rips it up on the Nurburgring at least once. And goddamn, doesn't crash it like Rowan Atkinson famously did his. Twice. And still sold it for a US$11 million PROFIT a couple of years back.
Atkinson famously said of his dearly beloved example when talking about how it stacked against the modern behemoths produced by supercar factories: "By comparison the F1 is tiny, yet it will seat three, store enough for you all to go on holiday and still finds space for a proper, normally aspirated 6.1-litre V12 engine. And it weighs the same as a shopping cart. Nothing has ever been designed before or since with such imagination and clarity of thought."
We agree. To whomever now owns this machine: congratu-bloody-lations.