McLaren F1 GTR Sponsored By Top Gear For Sale
If you read my "Six Reasons Why the McLaren F1 Is Still the World’s Coolest Supercar" piece from earlier this month, you probably already know that my arguments include the fact that F1s have become quite expensive recently. Whether they’re sold at public auctions or traded privately, buyers need to pay at least a couple of million bucks to take one home. A standard, road-going F1 in mint condition may fetch close to $10 million easily nowadays, but race-spec GTRs can be much more expensive. Exactly how expensive is something we will find out later this summer, when the Gulf-liveried F1 GTR Longtail shown above will change owners during a private sale supervised by McLaren itself.
Developed for the newly-formed FIA GT Championship in 1997, the Long Tail was the third and final iteration of the F1 GTR. Created to tackle the likes of the Porsche 911 GT1 and the Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR, the F1 GTR Long Tail featured a much longer nose and tail, as well as a wider rear wing. In short, the Long Tail was designed for the best possible aerodynamic downforce. McLaren built only 10 Long Tail race cars and three road-legal homologation versions.
This specific car, sponsored by Gulf, Dunhill, and Top Gear Magazine among others, had a rather disappointing career in the FIA GT Championship, scoring points only twice during the 1997 season. It changed owners many times following its retirement, fetching around $13 million at a Bonham’s auction in 2012.
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Why it matters
Naturally, the first question that comes to mind is whether this GTR will manage to best its $13-million record from 2012. Considering that F1s keep gaining value and that the car was already treated to a full mechanical restoration a couple of years ago, my guess is that it will sell for well over $15 million. However, given this sale is private, we might never find out the actual sum the collector who bought it paid to take it home. Money and records aside, I do hope the new owner will give this GTR some proper track time rather than keeping it locked in a nitrogen-filled garage.
Find out more about the McLaren F1 GTR Longtail here.