This Ultra-Rare McLaren F1 Could Fetch Over $20 Million at Auction

You haven’t been able to buy a brand-new McLaren F1 since the late 1990s, but an upcoming auction offers the next best thing.

Next month, Sotheby’s Sealed will sell the only example of the British supercar finished in Creighton Brown. That alone would make this auction noteworthy, but this F1 going up for bid is also believed to be one of the lowest mileage examples still in existence, if not the lowest.

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Ask any car buff about the F1 and you’re likely to grow misty-eyed and start gushing uncontrollably. That’s because the vehicle, which made its debut in 1992, was, for a time, the platonic ideal of a supercar. It’s the brainchild of legendary race car designer Gordon Murray, who approached former McLaren owner Ron Dennis in the late 1980s with the idea of building a road car that would deliver best-in-class looks, performance, and, most importantly of all, driving experience. Countless automakers have set out to build such a car, but the F1 is one of the few vehicles to actually deliver on all this. It was also rare, with only 106 examples rolling off the line between 1992 and 1998, of which only 64 would end up being street-legal in the end.

The 1995 McLaren F1 with its doors open
1995 McLaren F1 in Creighton Brown

Murray may have conceived of the F1, but its distinctive look was dreamt up by Peter Stevens. That design—marked by athletic lines, a bubble cockpit, and butterfly doors—still feels fresh more than three decades later and traces of it can still be seen across the McLaren lineup. This particular example, which was originally delivered new to Japan but has since been imported to the U.S., is also the only F1 that ever left the factory in Creighton Brown. Brown isn’t the sexiest of colors, but the metallic hue really works here, accentuating the vehicle’s unique brand of athleticism. The interior, meanwhile, is covered in Light Tan and Brazilian Brown, a color combo that compliments the exterior just right.

The F1 may be one of the most beautiful cars of the last 40 years, but it’s also a true mechanical marvel. Murray’s vehicle was the first road car to feature a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis and was powered by a naturally aspirated, mid-mounted BMW 6.1-liter V-12 that produced 618 hp and 479 ft lbs of torque. All that grunt was sent to the rear wheels by a six-speed manual transmission, and thanks to that and its lightweight construction it could hit a top speed of over 240 mph, making it the fastest production vehicle in the world for several years.

Inside the 1995 McLaren F1
Inside the F1

As the preceding paragraphs make clear, the F1 is a pretty special car. This one, besides being the only one to wear Creighton Brown, is also the closest you can come to buying a brand-new example. This F1 has just over 240 miles on the odometer nearly 30 years after leaving the factory. The car, which has been federalized for use in the U.S., also comes with all its original accessories. This includes a custom luggage set that matches the interior, a FACOM tool chest, tool roll, and a TAG Heuer 6000 Chronometer that was made exclusively for F1 road car owners.

“The appreciation and value of the McLaren F1 is comparable to other landmark automobiles like the Ferrari 250 GTO and can even be likened to timeless artwork housed in the world’s most famous museums,” Shelby Myers, RM Sotheby’s head of private sales, said in a statement. “It’s not just a vehicle; it’s a masterpiece.”

A rear 3/4 view of the 1995 McLaren F1
A rear 3/4 view of the 1995 McLaren F1

Sotheby’s Sealed will sell the Creighton Brown F1 in an online auction that will run from Wednesday, May 15, to Friday, May 17. The house expects the car to sell for more than $20 million which would be in line with the $20.47 million it sold for the last time it was up for grabs in 2021. It was expected to sell for $15 million back then, though, so it wouldn’t be a huge shock if it beats its estimate once again.

Click here for more photos of the 1995 McLaren F1 in Creighton Brown.

The Creighton Brown 1995 McLaren F1 in Photos
The Creighton Brown 1995 McLaren F1 in Photos

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