Any McLaren F1 is a unicorn, but the ultra-rare F1 LM-Specification cars are unicorns among unicorns. How rare? Only two were ever built. On average, ‘standard’ F1s routinely clear $10 million at auction, which is nothing to sneeze at, but the two LM-Specification cars could each be worth north of $15 million. In other words, you don’t have enough kidneys.

You’re probably familiar with the ultra-rare 1995 McLaren F1 LMs — five F1s built at the factory (plus one XP1 prototype) with upgraded engines, stripped-out interiors and McLaren’s Extra High Downforce Package. The ‘LM-Specifications’ are a bit different. Both chassis numbers 018 and 073 started life as a road-specification F1s and were later fitted with the more-powerful V-12 and high downforce aero package from the LM at the McLaren factory, but unlike the purebred LMs they retain the road car’s more-livable interior.

Chassis 073 never actually left the factory in its original specification. Originally built in 1998, its owner specified AMG Green Velvet paint with a two-tone tan and green interior, but instead of taking delivery of the car, the owner asked that it be kept at McLaren’s factory in Woking to be fitted with new LM bodywork, unique multi-spoke 18-inch wheels and upgraded engine. It was also painted in the brilliant orange metallic color pictured above.

Less is known about the origins of 018, but this metallic-silver example was originally built in 1994 and is fitted with the same five-spoke wheels as the LM. It currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand.

Updated 08/14/2015: This very rare McLaren F1 LM was sold at an auction in Monterey for a staggering $13.75 million, representing a new record for the car. This special F1 LM is part of the Pinnacle Portfolio collection, which will be sold off during the weekend in Monterey.

Continue reading for the full story.

  • 1998 McLaren F1 LM Specification
  • Year:
    1998
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    680 @ 7800
  • 0-60 time:
    3.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    225 mph
  • Price:
    15000000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

1998 McLaren F1 LM Specification Exterior
- image 637462
1998 McLaren F1 LM Specification Exterior
- image 637463
1998 McLaren F1 LM Specification Exterior
- image 637476

Think of this car as a more luxurious take on the F1 LM, but from the outside, they’re almost identical. The high down force body kit consists of a deeper front fascia with a ground-scrapping front splitter and side skirts. Out back there’s a larger race-spec rear diffuser and massive rear wing, both crafted in carbon fiber. Each of the five LMs came exclusively in papaya orange, but in the case of LM-Specifications, it was the customer’s choice. As mentioned, before 018 and 073 each have their own unique sets of wheels as well.

Interior

1998 McLaren F1 LM Specification Interior
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While the exterior and drivetrain where designed for the Mulsanne Straight, the LM-Specification’s three-seat interior with central driving position was designed more for Rodeo Drive. Re-trimmed in beige magnolia leather and Alcantara for 073, it boasts several modern amenities (at least by 1998 standards), including upgraded air-conditioning, new stereo, Phillips satellite navigation and a helicopter-grade intercom system, so you can hear your passengers scream as you wind the 6.1-liter V-12 past 7,000 rpm.

Chassis 073 also has McLaren F1 head designer Gordon Murray’s signature scrawled on the transmission tunnel just ahead of the ignition switch, and both cars came with a gold-plated titanium Facom tool roll originally supplied by McLaren.

Drivetrain

1998 McLaren F1 LM Specification Exterior Drivetrain
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The LM-spec engine produces 680-horsepower at 7,800 rpm, up from 618 horsepower in the standard F1, thanks to an increased compression ratio, new cams, new pistons and a sport exhaust.

The LM-spec engine produces 680-horsepower at 7,800 rpm, up from 618 horsepower in the standard F1, thanks to an increased compression ratio, new cams, new pistons and a sport exhaust.

Larger radiators were also fitted to improve cooling. Power is channeled to the rears through a six-speed manual transmission.

The four-wheel independent suspension gets light alloy dampers in all four corners, front anti-roll bar and ventilated four-wheel Brembo brakes.

To our knowledge no one has ever collected performance data from either of the two LM Specification cars, but it’s reasonable to expect performance on par with or at least very close the F1 LM, which does 0-60 in just 2.9 seconds and has a top speed of about 225.

That latter figure is slower than the standard F1 due to the increased drag created by the high downforce body kit.

Racing driver Andy Wallace, who set the top speed record of over 240 mph for the standard F1, used an LM to set a long-standing 0-100-0 mph record of just 11.5 seconds in 1999 at the Alconbury Royal Air Force base in England.

Prices

1998 McLaren F1 LM Specification Exterior
- image 637461

With a sample size of only 106 examples, pinning down McLaren F1 values isn’t easy, and it gets even harder when you narrow that down to just two cars. Chassis 073 will be crossing the auction block about a month from the time of this writing, so we’ll update this section when we have a hammer price. Expect something north of $13 million.

Competition

2003-2004Ferrari Enzo

2003 - 2004 Ferrari Enzo High Resolution Exterior
- image 32277

First introduced in 2003, the Enzo is a bit newer, but it’s probably Ferrari’s best on-paper rival for the F1. As the fourth in Ferrari’s halo car lineage, the Enzo has a radical (for the time at least), wind-cheating shape that strikes a sleek mid-engine profile. It’s 6.0-liter V-12 produces 660 horsepower and 485 pound-feet of torque, making it good for a 0-60 time of 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 221 mph.

While not as rare as the McLaren F1, Enzos aren’t exactly plentiful either. Only 400 were ever built, and prices are currently hovering around $3 million, which is a relative bargain compared with current F1 values. For a bit more performance, there’s also the Enzo-based track-only 2005 Ferrari FXX and 2008 Ferrari FXX Evoluzione.

Read our full review here.

2004-2007 Porsche Carrera GT

2004 - 2007 Porsche Carrera GT High Resolution Exterior
- image 631001

Before the digitized 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid, there was the Carrera GT, a carbon-monocoque supercar with shrieking, race-bred 5.7-liter V-10 and an honest six-speed gearbox. As one of the last ‘analog’ supercars it’s become known as a Porsche that doesn’t suffer fools. Its small clutch is grabby and difficult to operate in traffic and its handling traits are not tailored for amateurs. But, when everything comes together, the GT is still one of the finest driving tools around.

The V-10 produces 612 horsepower and 435 pound-feet of torque. The sprint to 60 mph takes 3.8 seconds and it tops out at 205 mph. There are also plenty of Easter eggs for Porsche geeks like the wooden shift know inspired by the Le Mans-winning 917 race car. With 1,270 units built, it’s far more plentiful than both the McLaren F1 and Ferrari Enzo combined, and prices currently sit around $1 million.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

1998 McLaren F1 LM Specification Exterior
- image 637459

With the comfort of a standard F1 and all the additional drama and power of an F1 LM, the F1 LM-Specification provides the best of both worlds. That, combined with its extreme rarity, means the only two examples in existence will continue to appreciate in value at a ridiculous rate. Too bad McLaren didn’t think to build more.

  • Leave it
    • * It’s tad pricey
    • * Uh…

1995 McLaren F1 LM

1995 McLaren F1 LM
- image 240515

Read our full review here.

Source: RM Auctions

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