F1 Certified. I mean, dammit, how long has this taken?
We’ve all been there, sleeping peacefully. It was a fun day out on the superyacht, dinner on the beach of a gorgeous, uninhabited Mediterranean Island.
It’s 2, maybe 3 am. You sit bolt upright in bed. Suddenly, you’re in a cold sweat. You flip open your laptop and access pictures of one of your prized automotive possessions. It’s your McLaren F1 road car.
You stare at the images then throw your head back, looking to the starry heavens. You let out an anguished cry – “Is my McLaren F1 authentic?”
There are only 106 people on this Earth today who can honestly have this problem and quite frankly, I don’t care if you do. You own a McLaren F1 and until you offer me a drive, I can’t care.
For some reason, McLaren felt the need to create F1 Certified. The program aims to provide reassurance and peace of mind to buyers.
So, basically, you’ll get a certificate telling you that it’s real, it was serviced and how many times Rowan Atkinson crashed it. If it’s a racing version, you’ll be able to show your friends that your $12 million purchase won this or that race.
Alright, I’m being a bit mean here. When you do lay out the cash, you want to know where the car has been and what’s been done to it. A few owners may have taken the car to some idiot like Mansoury and made a huge mess of
When you’ve taken it back to MSO and spent a truckload of moolah to return it to a tasteful state, you want a certificate to prove it. And the next owner can see you’ve saved it from a gold foil wrap and a hideous interior colour scheme.
It seems to me that it’s answering a question few people ask, but hey, it gave the company an excuse to unveil McLaren Special Operations’ latest project.
1997 25R F1 GTR Longtail
The first of the Certified F1 cars made its world debut at the Hampton Court Concours of Elegance. A Tudor castle hosting a car show is never not funny.
The 25R was one of three Gulf-Davidoff Longtails that ran in the 1997 Le Mans. Sadly, this one cracked an oil line two hours from the finish, catching fire and grinding to a halt.
McLaren patched her up and sent her back out racing in the hands of a Japanese owner. 25R was retired from racing in 2005 and put on display.
An anonymous owner bought the car and shipped it back to the UK, handing it over to MSO for a full restoration. That meant diving into the McLaren parts bin and fitting 1997-spec parts. Now it’s just as it was before taking to the La Sarthe 21 years ago.
“McLaren cherishes its rich heritage of iconic and world-beating cars such as the F1. 25R presented us with a unique opportunity to demonstrate this by restoring it to precisely how it was when it raced at Le Mans in 1997, thus ensuring its future. Maintaining the integrity of these historically significant cars is paramount and F1 Certified will play a big role in allowing us to do that for the peace of mind of owners today as well as preserving a wonderful heritage for future generations of car lovers.”McLaren Automotive Chief Executive Officer Mike Flewitt.
I would very much like to meet the person who paid for this and shake them by the hand. What a legend.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.