It may be rare, but there is a huge drawback.
Limited edition cars are all the rage right now. Everyone is obsessed with having a rare hypercar, a one-of-one or one that's optioned in a certain spec. Limited edition models like the McLaren P1 Carbon Series can sell for insane premiums over normal models due to their rarity. Still, these halo models don't stop standard supercars from plummeting in value as soon as they are driven off the lot. But what if we told you there was a way to buy a limited edition McLaren model, one of just 35 ever produced, for less than $100,000?
Unfortunately, like all things that are too good to be true, there is a catch. We've actually seen this rare car go up for sale in the past, and it seems like the car has already appreciated in value from a year ago. The car in question was the bare chassis from the McLaren 12C that was being sold at a Ferrari dealership in France. We didn't know much about the car at the time, only that it was by far the cheapest McLaren on the market with a $45,000 price tag. Fast forward to today and we managed to find another identical rolling 12C chassis for sale in the US. The seller is a McLaren authorized dealership in Illinois called Lake Forest Sports Cars. The dealership also sells Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lotus and Koenigsegg models.
The chassis is listed for sale as a 2012 MP4-12C with zero miles on it. Like the other chassis that was for sale in France, this one also comes with the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8, full suspension, and brakes. We rang the dealer up, and they explained that these cars were a required display item for the first McLaren dealers back in 2012. This dealership was one of the original nine McLaren dealers in North America, and it had to buy the chassis from the manufacturer. The exposed chassis was a great tool to show customers how the complicated suspension worked on the 12C. It also allowed potential buyers to see the carbon fiber monocoque chassis that was so heavily advertised for the car.
Five years later, the 12C is out of production and the dealership no longer has the need for this display piece. The dealership is listing the chassis for $79,900, which is close to double what the dealer in France was asking a year ago. Perhaps this car has already appreciated in value over the past twelve months. The salesman on the phone told us that only 35 of these display cars were built, so they may actually be quite collectible. We could easily see the right McLaren collector put this next to their F1 and P1. It would certainly make a collection look cooler, but unfortunately that may be all that this chassis will do.
The last time we saw one of these for sale, we speculated about what could be done to it to turn it into a new supercar of some kind. After all, the chassis does have everything that someone would need to make a running, driving car except for a basic body structure. Unfortunately the dealership told us that this car could never be turned into a working car. The chassis is more of a museum piece for a collector who loves McLaren. Some ambitious collector may come along and grab the engine to use in another project, although there are probably cheaper ways to buy an engine from a car that has already been wrecked. Unfortunately this chassis is art only.
We did have a few other ideas for the chassis other than turning it back into a car. For instance, that setup would make the perfect shell for a racing simulator. What could be cooler than playing Forza with a McLaren while sitting in an actual McLaren? If we had the money lying around, we'd even take the car, put an extra seat in it and stick it in the living room instead of a sofa. We would love to sit and watch TV from the seat of our limited edition McLaren. It's a bit sad that this chassis will probably never see the road, but it is the cheapest way to buy a limited edition McLaren.