The Long Financial Nightmare Of Owning A McLaren F1

1y ago


Jaws often drop at the cost of owning the a Bugatti Veyron. Tires, fuel, servicing, even depreciation--all these things can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per year regardless of how much the car gets driven. But the Veyron came out in 2005. The McLaren F1 came out in 1992, and even decades after its release, maintaining one is every bit as trying.


In this video, microcar museum owner and Dubble Bubble magnate (two qualifications I will forever aspire to) Bruce Weiner walks us through the eye-watering amounts of money he had to pay to keep his car in good order. He was willing to pay $1.2m for his F1, but the previous owner initially wanted a hundred grand more than that; they couldn't come to an agreement and Weiner left the deal alone. A year later, however, the car still hadn't sold. The previous owner came down to Weiner's offer of $1.2m, Weiner sent the money, and the car was promptly delivered. Then the problems began.

Pretty much everything in the F1 was bespoke, from the BMW V12 down to the fire extinguisher. And when you're talking about multi-million-dollar, record-breaking supercars, that's basically code for "everything breaks a lot."

Weiner's biggest problem was that most of the McLaren F1's parts are disposable--they have shelf lives. As he describes it, no matter how much things like the tires or the fuel cell get used, they must be replaced by McLaren at set intervals. As you can imagine, the costs pile up. The fire extinguisher alone cost $800 because it had to be specially fabricated to fit into its little slot inside the car.

The most ridiculous chain of events was when it came time for Weiner to replace the tires. He says it only cost $7,000 for the rubber itself, which is exorbitant, but not out of the question by supercar standards; however, the car then had to be shipped from Weiner's home in Georgia to a racetrack in the Carolinas, which cost several grand. Then a driver had to be hired, an ambulance put on retainer, and insurance paid so the car could be calibrated on the new tires--hence the need for the racetrack. All this brought the final cost of replacing your tires, even if they're completely unused, up to a ridiculous $50,000.

After hearing about this, I'm glad my car is ancient and slow, because when stuff breaks, I don't really need to care about it unless it actively causes me bodily harm. And I don't have to pay the equivalent of a new 5-Series when I get a puncture.


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