McLaren F1 Chassis 63 is unobtainable and beautiful

McLaren F1 Chassis 63 is unobtainable and beautiful

The owner of McLaren F1 chassis #63 handed it over to McLaren Special Operations and pretty much gave them an unlimited budget. This is the result.

I have a proper car crush on the McLaren F1, as regular readers will be well aware. I nearly cried when my wife didn’t properly secure my copy of Driven Ambition and rain ruined the dust jacket. I’m too old for that and almost entirely unsentimental.

I have such a crush on this car I bought an E60 BMW M5 because the S85 V10 is closely related to the BMW Motorsport V12 in the McLaren F1. In short, I got it bad.

I don’t know if I have it this bad, though. The owner of Chassis #63 (yes of 106) brought his car to McLaren Special Operations for the full Certification Authority treatment. McLaren reckons it’s the only company in the world that can truly do this sort of thing and I believe them.

McLaren F1 Chassis #63

Now, obviously, McLaren isn’t going to tell us what this all cost, but let’s get some headline figures for you.

  • 3000 total hours including road testing and shakedown
  • 900 hours on the paint alone
  • Restoration took 18 months
  • #63 is one of 64 “standard” McLaren F1 road cars.

Basically, the car was torn down to its bare shell. The driveshafts went back for a rebuild, Bilstein rebuilt the shocks, the interior completely ripped-out and replaced and the 6.1-litre V12 rebuilt.

Each seat was recovered in a slate grey colour intended to reflect the colour of the sky in Woking. The red Alcantara inserts are a nice touch. The leather came from 18 hand-selected hides (one can never be too sure) and all the carpets renewed. The floor mats also scored some new piping.

Only the steering wheel didn’t survive – the owner wanted to keep it as a sort of souvenir. The new wheel came out of MSO’s cache of original parts.

As any McLaren F1 fan will know, the silver paint is the colour to have and took 900 hours of work. It’s stunning. And I can’t tell you how much I want to own/drive/see/be in the same room as this thing.

How much and when?

Well, your McLaren F1 starts at around US$20m before you can even think of doing this. Still, dropping another two or three million on a complete certification is probably not a terrible investment…