mclaren F1 GTR

One of the greatest road cars ever becomes one of the greatest racing cars ever.

4y ago

When the McLaren F1 GTR debuted in 1995, it was the result of racing teams badgering Gordon Murray to let them compete using his road-going masterpiece. Original GTRs were very similar to the road cars and shared the majority of their parts. Carbon brakes, ducting, a roll cage and an adjustable wing were added, but apart from that the F1 GTR was shockingly similar to the F1. It used the same engine and gearbox as the road car to win the 1995 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans against prototypes designed and built for that very race.

By 1997, the big boys were tired of their purpose-built racers losing to a road car. Porsche had done well with the 911 GT1 the previous year, and Mercedes was about to introduce the CLK GTR. The elegant ‘Long Tail’ body shape was designed to increase aerodynamic downforce, allowing the car to corner at higher speeds. The engine was tinkered with and the road car’s gearbox was axed in favour of a sequential six-speed. McLaren was forced to build 3 road-going versions of the GTR Long Tail. Imagine that on the high street.

This particular GTR Long Tail's livery makes it look like it has a moustache, and I like that. It’s chassis #19R, and was used as McLaren’s competition development mule before being sold to private interests. It was raced in one form or another from 1997-2001, and is 1/10 GTR Long Tails ever built. As such, it’s worth $12 million. It’s very special indeed.

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