Photo: Courtesy Kevin McCauley
Starting in 1992, the McLaren F1 was the king of the road.With a top speed of 242 MPH, it didn’t cede the throne for 12 years, when the insane Bugatti Veyron came along and went 253 MPH.
But the Bugatti needed nearly 400 horsepower more than the McLaren to reach that speed, and that’s all down to the lightweight body and function-before-form aerodynamics. Every piece on this car has one purpose: To make it fast.
The McLaren F1 had 627 horsepower from its BMW V12. That’s almost mundane by today’s standards. You can even buy a Ford Mustang with more power than that.
Although it was never officially imported into America, a few cars have made it through thanks to “Show or Display” permits. Only cars that are considered historically significant are able to make it onto these shores.
Obviously, the F1 is one such ride.
Over the weekend, our good friend Kevin McCauley saw an F1 that made it to America at a Cars and Coffee event in Texas.
The car was designed by F1 legend Gordon Murray, who spared no expense in getting exactly what he wanted.
While the design of the F1 may not be as dramatic as a Ferrari or Lamborghini, the details are striking.
Newey specified an engine that developed 550 horsepower for his car. The engine BMW delivered was slightly overweight, but it also made 75 more horsepower. Seems like a fair trade.
But view the car in sections, and you notice little details like the single centre lugnuts on the wheels.
Kevin told us that this particular car has had two previous owners, one of whom was Mansour Ojjeh, one of the owners of McLaren.
At just over 2,500 pounds, the McLaren weighs nearly the same as a Mazda Miata. And it makes 500 horsepower more.
The F1 even has central seating for the driver with passengers to each side. This is one of the only cars ever to be configured this way.
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