As a car enthusiast there is always one question that is asked in conversion—what is your favorite car? I have been asked this question countless times by so many people and my answer has never changed. Of course, the Lamborghini Murcielago, Enzo Ferrari and Maserati MC12 come to mind, but one super-car stands tall above the rest—the 1995 McLaren F1 LM.
Produced by the legendary racing company McLaren, the F1 LM is an extremely limited-edition version of the already insane F1 and F1 GTR. The F1 LM has modifications from the track only F1 GTR to make it street-legal.
It all started in 1992 when Gordon Murray designed and produced the original McLaren F1 that would be allowed on public roads. McLaren had already more than proven itself on the track, but could it compete with Ferrari and Lamborghini which were already having great success producing street cars? Well, the answer was yes. It did more than compete; it absolutely tore up any competition. From 1992 to 1998 only 106 F1 cars rolled off the assembly line in Woking, Surrey, England; only five F1 LM’s were produced. Before we even get to the performance specs, the production number instantly adds huge value to the car.
The more “common” McLaren F1 boasts incredibly impressive design, power and handling. BMW and the M Sport division built Murray a custom 6.1L V12 engine called the BMW S70/8. Producing 627 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque the F1 will reach 60 mph in a blistering 3.2 seconds, 100 mph in just 6.3 seconds and will top out at 248 mph. As one can imagine, these are unheard of numbers in the nineties, and the vehicle quickly became the worlds fastest street-legal car and held the title until 2005. The naturally aspirated engine sits in Carbon Fiber body panels surrounded by gold foil for heat insulation. A reported 16 grams of gold was used in each McLaren. The limited F1 LM uses the same engine as the track-only F1 GTR; a naturally aspirated V12 producing 680 horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque. The F1 LM will scream to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, 100 mph in 5.9 seconds and has a max speed of 243 mph. The top speed is lower on the the LM due to added aerodynamic drag.
Pop-open the enormous gull-wing doors and you’ll be quite surprised when you notice where the drivers seat is. Murray designed the cars to have the drivers seat in the middle of the car; this gives the driver a more complete F1 racing experience. It not only positions the driver in the same spot as if in a real F1 car, but it allows for much better views of the road in front. Sitting just behind and to the side of the drivers seat are two passenger seats. Yes, this astonishing super-car has room for three passengers. To make things even more intense, it’s recommended both the driver and passengers wear headphones to allow communication to the other passengers during a ride. This is due to the monstrous noise the engine makes. To save weight, little to no insulation was used to keep out the V12’s roar.
All five McLaren F1 LM’s produced were painted Papaya Orange to honor Bruce McLaren and the color of his race car. There is in fact a sixth version of the LM called the XP1 LM (also painted in Papaya Orange) that is owned by McLaren and remains in the factory. The car was original promised to Lewis Hamilton, McLaren’s F1 team driver if he won two world championships. Hamilton left the company in 2013 to join Mercedes-Benz after winning one world championship. Rumors have it that the car today is valued at over $4,000,000.
This super-car came far from stripped down; Murray wanted to give drivers comfort as well as performance. Each vehicle came with a specially designed lightweight 10 disc Kenwood sound system that was specifically made to tailor to the buyers music preferences. The cars do not have a radio however because Murray said that he himself barely ever listened to it. The cars also surprisingly come with air conditioning, window defrosters, electric windows and remote control locking. Inside the cabin the lucky owner will find button releases for outside panel access, a storage compartment,and courtesy lights. Also included is a gold plated tool kit, high performance headlights and reverse/fog lights.
Upon purchasing the record-setting vehicle each buyer received a custom edition Tag Heuer Chronometer wristwatch. Each car was specifically produced to the buyers’ needs and wants. McLaren flew out all the buyers to have the seats custom fit to the their body types. The seats are also non-adjustable because they too are specifically set for the driver’s ideal driving position. This of course makes finding a used F1 that much more difficult if you plan to drive it (which I hope you would).
The value of the McLaren F1 and F1 LM have skyrocketed above its original price tag of just under $1,000,000. In 2008 a McLaren F1 was sold for about $4,000,000 and in 2012 at the Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance chassis number 066 was sold for a record breaking $8,400,700. Although it is difficult to find an owner willing to give up one of these masterpieces, many have been offered for sale fetching from $4,000,000 all the way to $10,000,000 and above for the F1 LM. McLaren will not release the names of the owners to the public but it is known that famous designer Ralph Lauren has a collection of the cars in his personal garage. There is no doubt that the price of these cars will continue to grow in the future.
Today, it is extremely rare to see one of these monsters on public streets. I have only seen three in person and yet this has been my favorite car since I was young. My first sighting came over ten years ago at the New York International Auto Show when Mercedes-Benz had a black F1 on display. A few years a later I spotted the insanely rare F1 LM in its beautiful Papaya Orange crossing over the George Washington Bridge here in New York/New Jersey. My latest sighting came on the Long Island Expressway here in New York as a white F1 flew by just a few years ago. Unfortunately, all three sightings came and went so fast that I was unable to snap a picture. All pictures shown throughout the article have come from CarZach fans who have generously sent them over to CarZachdotCom@Gmail.com. I encourage you to send in any sightings you have!
Contrary to popular thought that McLaren would never put out a “newer” F1, they did. The McLaren P1 debuted in 2012 and was limited to just 375 units. All units were sold out by November 2013 at a price of $1,350,000. In my opinion, the F1 and F1 LM will never be replaced. No matter how advanced technology gets a super-car will never be produced so pure and beautiful as the F1. I would love to hear your opinions on whether or not the P1 can truly be considered an F1 replacement. Feel free to comment on the article, tweet us, Instagram us or send us a direct email to CarZachdotCom@Gmail.com.
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It may be shocking to hear, but yes it is true! Exotic car sales are revving up. The economy may be struggling to fire on all cylinders but it seems as though the “1%” are doing just fine. It’s not just the United States that is seeing this market grow. According to CNN.com, the global sales of exotic vehicles are on the rise (Valdes-Dapena, 2014). Partly, these heightened sales are due to the fact that China’s wealthy are just now getting much easier access to these beautiful machines.
With 2013 over and done with, Lamborghini says that they sold a whopping 2,121 vehicles globally last year. According to CNN, this is the third straight year Lamborghini has had a sales increase! The Italian company currently sells only two different vehicles, one – the 700hp, $400,000, Aventador and the other, a more modest 562hp, $225,000, Lamborghini Gallardo. CEO, Stephan Winkelmann mentions that the United States continues to be the number one buyer of these high-priced cars (Valdes-Dapena, 2014). Personally, I would not be shocked to see the sale numbers increase yet again at the end of 2014 due to the release of the replacement Gallardo and a rumored SUV is in the making!
Need an exotic vehicle that can carry more then two people? And do it in opulent style? Well it seems the wealthy are in need of that. Rolls Royce, the fancy and sophisticated sister of BMW is also recording high sales. The very highly regarded brand sold 3,630 voluptuous vehicles this past year (Valdes-Dapena, 2014). This marks the fourth year in a row that the company recorded record sales numbers. Look for the new two-door Wraith, which seems to be the hottest car on the market for the wealthy who want to arrive in style.
The other luxury company to roll out of England is Bentley. They too recorded sales of more than 10,000 cars last year alone. Wolfgang Schreiber, the CEO of the company says that most sales come from China and that he expects them to continue to drive up sales in the coming years.
Yet again, it’s another company from England that is setting records. Aston Martin, has seemed to capture a huge audience of James Bond wannabe’s. The company sold 4,200 cars in 2013 (Valdes-Dapena, 2014). The British super car maker hasn’t seen numbers like that in nearly six years!
Heading back to Italy, Maserati sold 15,400 cars last year (Valdes-Dapena, 2014). Compared to every other exotic company listed here, Maserati offers the most “affordable” cars. The company even lessened its exclusivity and has released the Ghibli which will set back the buyer at least $66,000. This is the new entry-level vehicle and is meant to rival BMW and Mercedes. If you don’t want to be driving around in car that’s less than $100,000 please don’t worry as you can still buy an MC Stradale for $155,000!
If you’re curious as to why Ferrari didn’t make the list it’s because they’re actually cutting down on production. No, they’re not short on money. They just think that even if you have a few hundred thousand dollars to drop on a car, you should still have to search hard to buy a Ferrari.
With an inconstant global economy right now, who knows whether or not exotic car sales will continue to rev up in the coming years. I certainly would not predict that any of these companies will mass produce their vehicles. They will always hold their place in society as rare, exclusive, and of course exotic!
Valdes-Padena, P. Exotic Car Sales Surge to Record High-Except Ferrari. CNN.com
A photo I snapped while attending a local car show right here on Long Island! Great to see such a huge exotic car community that really loves to come together and show off their rides! Huge thanks to Blackstone Steakhouse for allowing these exotics to crowd up your parking lot!
Which exotic captures your attention the most?
Lets roll back to 1999 when the super car company Ferrari stopped production of the beloved 355 and brought to life the 360 Modena. The Modena went on to have a very successful 5 year model run with a production line of about 17,500 units! Ferrari made 3 different models of the 360- the 360 Modena, the Spider and the Challenge Stradale.
The 360 Modena and the 360 Modena Spider were identical except that the Spider was missing its roof. The Challenge Stradale was the most extreme model. This special edition model was 242 pounds lighter with a bonus 25 horsepower making a total of 425hp, compared to the regular 400hp in the Modena. In the rear of the car lay a 3.6 liter V8 engine which gave off a pitch perfect exhaust note every time.
The super car was named in honor of Modena, Italy– the hometown of the late Mr. Enzo Ferrari. The number 360 represents the supercar’s 3.6 liter engine. The prancing horse is able to launch to 60 mph in just over 4 seconds, making it very difficult for others to catch up.
Unlike most exotics at the time, the 360’s interior was just as striking as the outside. The car’s plush leather seats made long distance rides more enjoyable. The Stradale was completely stripped down of everything except the AC, making this model better off for quick runs. If you’re looking for a car with good rear window visibility then you may want to research another car. All Modena models have a very limited view of what they leave behind in the dust. One of the most notable features on the horse was the F1-like paddle shifters that swiftly change gears in just milliseconds. And of course a manual 6 speed transmission was still available for the old school.
The whole fleet of Ferrari’s had a top speed of around 180mph (the Challenge went 189mph), which for the late 90’s was groundbreaking. At the time, one could become an exclusive Ferrari owner if they dropped around $155,000 on this high-end vehicle. If you just so happened to have an extra $34,000 lying around, then you could obtain the Challenge Stradale. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time at the pump, this car, or any Ferrari for that matter, is not for you… the car gets just 11mpg city and 16mpg highway. Yes, I know that’s enough to drive any Prius driver crazy!
Yes, this is me (below) driving a 360 Modena around the track at speeds over 100mph! Turn up your volume and listen to the music at the bottom of the page!