• 1997 Gulf McLaren F1 GTR Longtail

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It’s a car that will more than likely just take up some space in someone’s garage, but it could still fetch millions at an auction the same way one of its contemporaries did just over a year ago.

The piece of automotive racing history that we’re talking about is the Gulf Team Davidoff McLaren F1 GTR Longtail, and should you have millions of dollars in your piggy bank, you’ll be happy to know that the car is headed to the upcoming Pebble Beach Auction in August 2012 in Carmel Valley, California.

Judging by the level of interest surrounding this car, the sky is really the limit on how much it’s going to go for at the auction. Combine that with the fact that a similar make and model was sold last year for $3.9 million, and you have a rare racing car that’s going to sell for a lot of zeroes.

This particular F1 GTR Longtail also happens to have an interesting history behind it. It was originally built as chassis number 027R, but ultimately ended up as a spare car - chassis 028R - after sustaining damage during one of its transports. In the end, the car wound racing in a number of racing events, highlighted by its participation during the 1997 FIA GT season.

Should you be interested in owning a true hard-to-find racer, you better break open that piggy bank because you’re going to have to pay a fortune for the chance to show off the car to your buddies.

Find out more about the 1997 Gulf McLaren F1 GTR ’028R’ Longtail after the jump.

  • 1997 Gulf McLaren F1 GTR Longtail
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History Behind the McLaren F1 GTR Longtail

McLaren F1 GTR Long Tail for sale
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The success of the McLaren F1 GTR in 1995 and 1996 didn’t go unnoticed in the racing world. But when the FIA GT Championship was born from the BPR Global GT Series in 1997, McLaren was forced to give the F1 GTR a series of extensive modifications in order to keep up with its race-spec competitors.

The most significant modification done on the F1 GTR - one that eventually stuck to its name - was to make it longer to gain aerodynamic downforce. The race car was given a longer nose, a longer tail, and a wider rear wing, earning it the nickname "Longtail." In addition, the race car’s wheel arches were widened to give the tires added grip while the engine was also given a significant upheaval. In order to prolong the engine, McLaren engineers performed stroke reduction on the car’s BMW-sourced S70 S70 V12 engine. Despite the ’smaller’ displacement, the car’s output remained the same at 600 horsepower.

Chassis No. 028R

McLaren F1 GTR Long Tail for sale
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The model that will be auctioned off at Bonhams is a special F1 GT-R Longtail because it was the 28th and last F1 GTR McLaren produced in Woking, Surrey. In 1997, this model competed in a number of races, including the FIA GT Championship 4-hour races at the Nurburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Austria’s A1-Ring, Donington Park and Mugello, plus the Sebring and Laguna Seca 3-hours events and the Suzuka 1,000 kms.

Adding even more allure to what is an already attractive classic race car, ’028R’ was dressed in the now iconic sky blue and orange Gulf livery.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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