The McLaren F1 is a sports car designed and manufactured by McLaren Automotive. Originally a concept conceived by Gordon Murray, he convinced Ron Dennis to back the project and engaged Peter Stevens to design the exterior and interior of the car. On 31 March 1998, it set the record for the world’s fastest production car, reaching 231 mph (372 km/h) with the rev limiter enabled, and 243 mph (391 km/h) with the rev limiter removed.
The car features numerous proprietary designs and technologies; it is lighter and has a more streamlined structure than many modern sports cars, despite having one seat more than most similar sports cars, with the driver’s seat located in the centre (and slightly forward) of two passengers’ seating positions, providing driver visibility superior to that of a conventional seating layout. It features a powerful engine and is somewhat track oriented, but not to the degree that it compromises everyday usability and comfort. It was conceived as an exercise in creating what its designers hoped would be considered the ultimate road car. Despite not having been designed as a track machine, a modified race car edition of the vehicle won several races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995, where it faced purpose-built prototype race cars. Production began in 1992 and ended in 1998. In all, 106 cars were manufactured, with some variations in the design.
In 1994, the British car magazine Autocar stated in a road test regarding the F1, "The McLaren F1 is the finest driving machine yet built for the public road." and that "The F1 will be remembered as one of the great events in the history of the car, and it may possibly be the fastest production road car the world will ever see."
In August 2013, at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Gooding & Company auctioned off chassis 066 for a record sale price of US$8.47 million.
Design and implementation:
Chief engineer Gordon Murray’s design concept was a common one among designers of high-performance cars: low weight and high power. This was achieved through use of high-tech and expensive materials such as carbon fibre, titanium, gold, magnesium and kevlar. The F1 was the first production car to use a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis.
Gordon Murray had been thinking of a three-seat sports car since his youth. When Murray was waiting for a flight home from the Italian Grand Prix in 1988, he drew a sketch of a three seater sports car and proposed it to Ron Dennis. He pitched the idea of creating the ultimate road car, a concept that would be heavily influenced by the company’s Formula One experience and technology and thus reflect that skill and knowledge through the McLaren F1.
Murray declared that "During this time, we were able to visit with Ayrton Senna and Honda’s Tochigi Research Center. The visit related to the fact that at the time, McLaren’s F1 Grand Prix cars were using Honda engines. Although it’s true I had thought it would have been better to put a larger engine, the moment I drove the Honda NSX, all the benchmark cars—Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini-I had been using as references in the development of my car vanished from my mind. Of course the car we would create, the McLaren F1, needed to be faster than the NSX, but the NSX’s ride quality and handling would become our new design target. Being a fan of Honda engines, I later went to Honda’s Tochigi Research Center on two occasions and requested that they consider building for the McLaren F1 a 4.5 litre V10 or V12. I asked, I tried to persuade them, but in the end could not convince them to do it, and the McLaren F1 ended up equipped with a BMW engine."
Later, a pair of Ultima MK3 kit cars, chassis numbers 12 and 13, "Albert" and "Edward", the last two MK3s, were used as "mules" to test various components and concepts before the first cars were built. Number 12 was used to test the gearbox with a 7.4 litre Chevrolet V8, plus various other components such as the seats and the brakes. Number 13 was the test of the V12, plus exhaust and cooling system. When McLaren was done with the cars they destroyed both of them to keep away the specialist magazines and because they did not want the car to be associated with "kit cars".
The car was first unveiled at a launch show, 28 May 1992, at The Sporting Club in Monaco. The production version remained the same as the original prototype (XP1) except for the wing mirror which, on the XP1, was mounted at the top of the A-pillar. This car was deemed not road legal as it had no indicators at the front; McLaren was forced to make changes on the car as a result (some cars, including Ralph Lauren’s, were sent back to McLaren and fitted with the prototype mirrors). The original wing mirrors also incorporated a pair of indicators which other car manufacturers would adopt several years later.
The car’s safety levels were first proved when during a testing in Namibia in April 1993, a test driver wearing just shorts and a T-shirt hit a rock and rolled the first prototype car several times. The driver managed to escape unscathed. Later in the year, the second prototype (XP2) was specially built for crashtesting and passed with the front wheel arch untouched.
[Text from Wikipedia
This Lego miniland-scale McLaren F1 (1997), has been created for Flickr LUGNuts’ 89th Build Challenge, – "Over a Million, Under a Thousand", – a challenge to build vehicles valued over one million (US) dollars, or under one thousand (US) dollars.
This particular vehicle (Chassis 066) was auctioned by the Gooding & Company Auction house in August, 2013, where it sold for $8.47 million
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