One-Of-One 1998 McLaren F1 Could Shatter Another Auction Record

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This particular F1 has been in hiding for a decade.

The McLaren F1's place in the automotive hall of fame is cemented forever. Three decades since it went into production, it remains one of the fastest cars in the world, setting new benchmarks for what can be achieved in a naturally-aspirated car. Basically, you'll need lightning-fast reactions and a Bugatti Chiron or a modern EV to keep up with it.

With only 106 examples being made, the V12-powered F1 is incredibly valuable and has shattered several auction records. But the one you see here has a quirk that makes it especially unique. Apparently unseen for the last decade, chassis #059 is one of the 64 road cars built but is the only one to leave the factory with a unique headlight design that differentiates it from every other F1.

Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

An issue with the headlights of the McLaren F1 was discovered as the car packed on the miles, so during production, the team devised an alternative design tested for the #059 that involved replacing the original headlight internals with ones from the BMW Z1 Roadster. As a result, this F1 has shorter headlight housings and had improved headlight output compared to other F1s.

Of course, this 1998 McLaren F1 is special for other reasons, too. The 059 chassis designation is the same as the race number for the F1 that won the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans. Yes, that doesn't tangibly make this car better than another F1, but these are the details that catch the eye of collectors.

Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Like other F1s, this one is powered by a 6.1-liter V12 from BMW making 618 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a six-speed manual gearbox and blessed with a lightweight body with a carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) monocoque chassis, the F1 could rip to 60 mph in around 3.2 seconds. As the speeds rose, the F1 remained shockingly quick and could reach 100 mph in just 6.3 seconds. With taller gearing, Gordon Murray felt that the car could top out at 230 mph.

This F1 has covered under 16,400 miles from new and has only had two owners. The car underwent a stringent servicing regimen, and invoices documenting every service from 1998 to 2012 are available.

Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

The car is finished in Magnesium Silver and has a black interior finished in a mix of leather and Alcantara. Its first owner was based in the UK and bought it for the equivalent of $771,000 at current rates, after which #059 was acquired by its current owner in late 2012 and exported to the US. It spent much of this time in climate-controlled storage, hence the superb condition of the car. Requiring recommissioning, this one-of-one McLaren F1 will go up for sale on August 18 and bidding will remain open for 48 hours. Expect it to command a jaw-dropping price.

Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Patrick Ernzen ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

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