• You’ve Never Seen A McLaren F1 Quite Like This

And if you’re stinking rich, you can even own this one yourself

The McLaren F1 is a marvel of engineering—especially for a car that was conceived in the 1990s. The moment it came out, it became the fastest production car in the world with a top speed of 221 mph. Yet it wasn’t just due to its top speed that it became iconic because it also drove literally just like a Formula 1 car for the road. This particular unit we see here is the 59th out of the 64 road cars ever produced, and it’s unlike every other McLaren F1 out there.

Have You Spotted What Makes This McLaren F1 Unique?

You've Never Seen A McLaren F1 Quite Like This
- image 1095300
This 1998 McLaren F1, which has a production number #059, isn’t your ordinary F1 due to one unique detail

If you look closely, this 1998 McLaren F1 has a unique set of headlights. As a matter of fact, it’s the only vehicle to leave the factory with headlights straight out of the BMW Z1. The shorter and slimmer headlight housings, as well as its projector lenses, give this particular McLaren F1 a slightly more modern look as well.

You've Never Seen A McLaren F1 Quite Like This
- image 1095310
The headlights are slimmer and shorter than the headlights of other F1s, and that’s because these are straight from the BMW Z1

The reason why this McLaren F1 is the only production road car to receive these headlights is that, as customer cars started accumulating mileage, it was discovered that the nighttime output of the headlights was the supercar’s weakness. Chassis #059 became a testbed of sorts for the new headlights, and it was the only vehicle to actually come out of the factory with these sleeker-looking and brighter headlights.

So, What Else Makes This McLaren F1 Unique?

You've Never Seen A McLaren F1 Quite Like This
- image 1095303

If you’ve got an eye for attention to detail, 59 also happens to be the number of the McLaren F1 racecar that took the overall victory at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans. This doesn’t make this particular vehicle any better than other F1s as this is most likely pure coincidence, but to collectors, this detail can be significant for them.

You've Never Seen A McLaren F1 Quite Like This
- image 1095324

Other than these details, this 1998 McLaren F1 packs the same internals as other units. It is powered by a 6.1-liter V-12 that was made by BMW, and it produces 618 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. This is mated to a six-speed manual, driving the rear wheels. You also have to remember that one of the McLaren F1’s innovations is its lightweight carbon fiber monocoque chassis, which gave this supercar an extremely light yet rigid body.

You've Never Seen A McLaren F1 Quite Like This
- image 1095318

This McLaren F1 is one of the last units to roll off the assembly line in 1998, and it’s accumulated a total of just under 16,400 miles by its two owners. The second owner has shipped the vehicle to the United States, which is why it’s now here, waiting to be auctioned. It has also been comprehensively serviced, with invoices from 1998 to 2012 readily available.

This Magnesium Silver unit that’s upholstered in a combination of black and red leather with black Alcantara will be put up for auction at RM Sotheby’s on August 18, and it will be up there for 48 hours. The vehicle, however, needs recommissioning, though, despite that, a car as rare and as iconic as this definitely won’t be cheap. For the record, a 241-mile McLaren F1 was sold for more than $20 million last year.

Source: RM Sotheby’s

Isaac Atienza
Isaac Atienza
Isaac Atienza is a Filipino motoring journalist who joined TopSpeed.com in 2021. He is a car enthusiast who especially thinks that wagons are the best type of vehicle, though sports cars and anything with three pedals also tickles his fancy.  Read full bio
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: