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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McLaren, the famed racing group, has quickly integrated itself into making high performance street cars. Starting with the legendary McLaren F1 in the 1990’s, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren in the early 2000’s and now the McLaren MP4-12C.
McLaren has recently announced that the MP4-12C will cease production as of 2014. Don’t worry though- McLaren already has the replacement 650S ready to go and the highly exclusive, million-dollar P1 has begun delivery to some very lucky clients.
The 12C was in production from 2011 to 2014, making it a very quick run. No formal production numbers have been released by the British company, but in 2011 it is estimated that 1,000 vehicles were sold in nineteen different countries, including 500 to the United States.
McLaren took the super-car world by storm with the release of 12C. The car features stunning angles that only years of wind tunnel testing could produce. McLaren had not put out its own street car since the end of F1 production in 1998 and enthusiasts began to wonder if McLaren’s street days were over. In 2009, Frank Stephenson was hired by the automotive group to head the 12C design team. After years of testing, the 12C was born.
Sitting on a carbon MonoCell, the chassis weighs just 176 pounds. Extensive Carbon Fiber was used throughout the vehicle to reduce weight. The total product is a car hitting the scale at only 2,868 pounds. In the legendary F1, a three-person seating style was used; the driver in the middle and two passengers slightly behind and off to the side. The 12C went back to the conventional two-seater sports car but the interior is purposely narrower than most cars, bringing the driver closer to the center. McLaren, thoughtfully calls the cockpit of the car the “Driver Zone”.
Powering the 12C is a 3.8L V8 Twin-Turbo engine that originally produced 592hp. In October of 2013 the company decided to add some extra thrust. Offering free installation for all current McLaren owners the engine was retrofitted to produce a monstrous 616hp. All new models from 2013 on would come standard with the power upgrade. The exotic also features a seven speed dual-cluth automatic transmission. Of course the driver can manually shift gears using the paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel. This allows for faster and more precise gear changes.
With all that horsepower the 12C will sprint to 60mph in just 3.1 seconds and will scream to a top speed of about 207mph. McLaren also offers a spider version of the vehicle which comes with an automatic removable hard top. The coupe version will run the buyer a mere $239,400 while the spider goes for $265,750. A small price to pay for a truly amazing vehicle. You will be hitting the gas station a bit often as the exotic gets just 15mpg city and 22 highway; but hey, it’s a sexy car.
McLaren certainly did not hold back with this exquisite exotic. Drive around anywhere and you’ll be sure to find yourself the center of attention. When the famous McLaren doors rise up towards the heavens the vehicle will show off it’s beauty. There is truly not one bad angle on this car, and not one bad color choice either. My personnel favorite being Volcano Yellow.
With the sad news that the MP4-12C will halt production following the 2014 model year, McLaren is not letting anyone down. They have already released the replacement- the 650S. In fact, some are already out on public roads being tested. The replacement offers more power, and other upgrades. The coupe is set start at $265,400 and the spider at $280,225.
The king of super-cars in my opinion will always be the McLaren F1. It is my all time favorite exotic car. Although just 106 were made from 1992 to 1998, this $2 million dollar vehicle tops the list of all street-cars. In tribute to the king, McLaren recently unveiled the P1. At $1.5 million each and top speed of 218mph this is a legend in the making. Only 375 units will be made and all have been sold.
If you or anyone you know happens to drive or see a 12C, F1, SLR, 650S or P1, tweet in your pictures and videos to @CarZachdotCom on Twitter. Follow us on Instagram @carzachdotcom and be sure to subscribe via email on the left hand side of the screen or simply click “follow” in the top left corner.
Spring has sprung and the exotics are out tearing up the roads here in Long Island, New York. I snapped this photo in the fall of 2013 while attending a massive car show. Over 300 locally owned exotics showed up including this Ferrari F430 and Ferrari F430 Scuderia. The 5.4L engine powers out 490-503 horsepower. The specially tuned exhaust note is music to the ear. Look for the differences in both models (Scuderia on right), different tail pipes and engine bay. Sadly, the F430 stopped production in 2009, but the beautiful 458 Italia has taken over!
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Well here it is everybody- my daily driver! It is a 2004 Volvo S60 2.4. Now as an exotic car enthusiast this obviously is nothing to boast about. The car carries a basic 2.4 liter engine that produces 168hp. The car was purchased right off the showroom floor ten years ago and is the most basic model for the S60. Yes, I know nothing too exciting and certainly nothing to be compared with the exotics in previous posts.
Volvo, a Swedish company has always been known more for their innovative safety rather than design and performance. The company was started in 1927 and produced just a few hundred vehicles a year. Since then the company has grown and now produces many vehicle models. Volvo also builds 18-wheelers, construction vehicles, luxury busses and even sail boats. Today, Volvo sits in the entry-level luxury vehicle category although strong, and successful efforts are being made to compete with Mercedes, BMW and Audi.
My car features affluent leather seating that helps make trips of all durations pleasant. The driver seat has great electronic memory, and at a push of a button will adjust both the seats and mirrors to the drivers pre-set position. I find this very useful when I return to the driver seat after another family member has been driving. Also, the stock radio has been replaced by a simple JVC unit. This was done about a year ago, as the original tape deck in the car stopped working and would no longer accept an MP3 connection.
The car has about 138,000 miles on it, but upkeep hasn’t been too stressful. There have a been a few costly repairs, the most recent was for about $1,000 and will most definitely be the vehicles last major fix. I do find that lightbulbs seem to constantly die out; but they are a quick, cheap, do-it-yourself fix. Of course, like any 10-year old vehicle there are the average dings and dents but the car was never in any serious accidents. The S60 was purchased for just over $28,000 in 2004. Kelly Blue Book has valued the car at about $1,200 for a trade-in.
The car drives pretty well, especially in the snow. My favorite feature of the car is the “W” mode the vehicle is equipped with. What this button does is slow down the acceleration of the car making sure that the front tires (FWD) do not spin to fast on ice. I find that driving in the snow is often easy. The car does slide around on occasion but traction control swiftly corrects any issues. The car does not have any sort of rear-window wiper, which sometimes makes visibility difficult under certain conditions. I am very surprised of how well it handles the bad weather. I very rarely find myself stuck or sliding, I always feel that I am in complete control.
In dry conditions the car handles like any luxury vehicle should. The ride is pretty tranquil and outside noises are well silenced. On hot summer days, the AC works fast, cooling off the often scorching hot black leather seats. The sunroof and moonroof allow for great airflow and do not cause any unnecessary noises. In the winter, the two-level heated seats for the driver and passenger offer great warmth as does the powerful heating system. I’ve noticed that the car does have a heavy steering wheel compared to other vehicles I have driven. The car will do 0-60 MPH in a sluggish 7 seconds but I find that once the car is up to speed (about 40MPH) it swiftly responds when more power is needed. The engine even gives a nice growl as it accelerates up to speed.
The back seats are just as opulent as the front. Leg-room is not to great, depending on the seating position up front. Although the car seats three in the back I find that it’s better off with only two people. The trunk is absolutely massive and can fit multiple suitcases, camping gear or even an inflatable kayak with ease! The headlights offer unique “mini” wipers that help keep them clean anytime windshield wiper fluid is being used.
In summary, this 2004 Volvo S60 has stood the test of time and miles. The car continues to start perfectly, and rarely has any concerning issues. The car gets decent gas milage about 18 City and 21 Highway. I would most definitely recommend a Volvo for anyone wanting a well-priced luxury vehicle. If you’re in the market for a first car, or luxurious used vehicle, I would again recommend a Volvo at any milage. The new Volvo’s are a bit more pricey at $32,000 but are very delightful and even powerful. I definitely see where Volvo is competing with top luxury brands. They offer great vehicles for often less money than other competitors! Stop by any Volvo dealer and check out their new line up; you won’t be disappointed!
Is it possible that Lamborghini managed to overproduce their beloved baby bull? At the end of November 2013, the very last Gallardo rolled off the production line at the factory in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy; stopping production at 14,022 units!
A Quick History:
Lamborghini first started the Gallardo line back in 2003. It entered the super car market as an entry-level Lambo. It’s “big brother” bull was the legendary Murcielago. The V10 engine in the baby bull produced 439hp and launched the car to 60mph in just 4.10 seconds! The exotic hit the market with a sticker price of $185,000 and has since risen upward of $225,000. Since the early production days in 2003, Lamborghini has released numerous special edition models such as the Superleggera– a lighter, faster edition kept unique by its limited fleet of 172 units. The latest model was the 2014 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Squadra Corse which produced 570hp and would cost a buyer $264,195 as just 50 cars were produced worldwide.
Over the years the car has battled the spotlight with everything from the Ferrari F430 to the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG. As the Gallardo was the successor to the Lamborghini Jalpa, it now has paved the way for the newest member of the family: the 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4! The new supercar will be the baby bull to the already established legend Lamborghini Aventador. The new bull will boast a 5.2 liter V10 with 610hp propelling the vehicle to 60mph in just 3.2 seconds with a top speed of 201mph!
With 14,022 Gallardo’s produced it is Lamborghini’s best selling car. In comparison to these high production numbers, Lamborghini made the Murcielago very rare, only making 3,983 in its 10 year model run. One of the Gallardo’s first competitors, the Ferrari 360 Modena, has 17,800 cars today. This includes coupes, spiders and special editions. The Ferrari F430 has also ended production. Although no specific production numbers have been released, it is estimated that around 8,000 vehicles were produced. The Gallardo definitely tipped the scale when it came to production numbers, however it still remains a more rare sighting than a Ferrari here on Long Island. With so many baby bulls tearing up the road one can expect that they will certainly depreciate at a faster rate than some other vehicles, such as the Murcielago. For these high-end performance car owners, this is not good news. However, for those who dream of one day becoming a Lambo owner this is great news– as prices will fall and more used Gallardo’s will be available.
So was the Gallardo over produced? In my opinion, yes. But, hey, who really cares? All that means is that there are more of these beautiful handcrafted machines roaming the streets of the world, and used models will be available for a “reasonable” price.. perhaps around $90,000.
Tell me what you think!