McLaren F1 breaks auction records

This 1995 McLaren F1 sold for $27m, setting a new record price

A McLaren F1 has blown past expectations to fetch a record US$20.46 million ($27m) at the Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach auctions.

Expected to sell for US$15m, the BMW V12-powered McLaren designed by the legendary Gordon Murray attracted a bidding war in large part thanks to its pristine condition. The car, chassis #029, has been a private collection in Japan for much of its existence and has driven less than 400km. It also still has its original Goodyear tyres, tool chest, luggage, handbooks and TAG Heuer watch.

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It’s hailed as the best car of all-time by many but ironically McLaren’s decision to build just 106 F1 between 1992 and 1998 was driven largely by a lack of demand. Since then it has become a must-have for many collectors and has fetched big sums in recent years.

This McLaren F1 has less than 400km on the odometer after 26 years

At the 2019 Pebble Beach auction a 1994 F1 converted to LM specification, then owned by New Zealand gentleman racer Andrew Bagnell, sold for US$19.8m; the previous record for a McLaren sold at auction.

To put into context just what a huge sale it was, Goodings & Company sold 172 cars at the weekend’s Monterey Car Week for a total of $107m. That means the McLaren accounted for almost 20 per cent of the total against the other 171 cars. And it wasn’t a weak line-up of other cars either. Among the other cars sold by Gooding & Company sold on the weekend included a 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder with Weissach pack, ‘92 Ferrari F40, ‘89 Lamborghini Countach and ‘63 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster.

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Also going under the hammer was the ‘Silver Surfer’ collection owned by the late Neil Peart, drummer in rock band Rush. His stunning collection fetched big dollars with his ‘70 Lamborghini Miura selling for US1.3m, his ‘64 Shelby Cobra commanding US$1.1m and his ‘63 Chevrolet Corvette Split-Window going for US$368,000.

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