Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 12-20, 2023
Is this a McLaren or a Ford? Well, kind of both. The Fox-Body Mustang debuted for 1979 to replace the much-unloved Mustang II. It was a return to the Mustang’s true self, and Ford wanted to prove they were serious, so they teamed up with McLaren Performance to build a special Mustang.
These started as a regular Mustang until they were sent to McLaren, where their turbocharged, 2.3-liter inline-fours were torn apart and rebuilt to a higher spec by McLaren. This bumped output from 132 horsepower to 175. They also received steel fender flares, a pretty crazy hood, functional brake ducts, and BBS wheels. This particular one is the only one with a four-speed manual gearbox (the rest had five-speeds).
The plan was to build about 250 of these with a price tag of $25,000. But Ford formed their Special Vehicle Operations team, and the SVO Mustang was soon on its way. Only 10 M81s ended up being built, and this was the original prototype that was also used as a dealer demonstrator. It is one of seven finished in Bittersweet Orange.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 1, 2023
The McLaren Senna went into production in 2018 for the 2019 model year. They planned to make 500, and who knows if they actually have. The Senna is supposed to be a supercar, but it’s really a track car for the street. How many road cars come with a push-to-drink system?
Anyway, in 2020, McLaren Special Operations introduced the Senna LM, which is the “track-focused” version of the already fairly-track-focused Senna. It still has a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, but its been tweaked a bit to produce 814 horsepower. Body work is also shared with the base Senna, but with a few extra bits in carbon fiber and revised aerodynamics.
RM says that just 20 were produced and only seven in McLaren’s Papaya Orange. This is a European-market example, and it’s basically brand new with like 25 miles on it. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 16, 2022
The SLR McLaren was Mercedes-Benz’s halo car produced between 2004 and 2009. It was actually developed in conjunction with McLaren, and various variants were produced after the initial coupe. These included the 722, a high-performance coupe, the Roadster, a drop-top version of the base coupe, and this, the 722 S Roadster, the hot convertible.
It debuted in Frankfurt in 2007, and just 150 were built. Power is provided by a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 that made 641 horsepower in 722 spec. Top speed for the roadster was a remarkable-for-a-convertible 208 mph.
This one-owner car has only covered about 60 miles since new. It’s finished in Sienna Pearl and features lightweight wheels, a revised suspension, and some design tweaks over the base car. The pre-sale estimate is $490,000-$735,000. These cars are still very expensive, which, frankly, I don’t quite understand. But anyway. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Munich, Germany | November 26, 2022
Adrian Newey (and team) designed a pretty stout car for the 2001 Formula One season. It wasn’t enough to best Ferrari, but it was enough to place second in the constructor’s championship. It was McLaren’s sixth-straight season with drivers David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen.
The period West livery has been replaced with “David” graphics, as Coulthard did well in this car. It’s competition history (for this, chassis MP4-16A-05) includes:
2001 San Marino Grand Prix – 2nd (with David Coulthard)
2001 Spanish Grand Prix – 5th (with Coulthard)
2001 Austrian Grand Prix – 1st (with Coulthard)
2001 Monaco Grand Prix – 5th (with Coulthard)
2001 Canadian Grand Prix – 3rd (with Mika Hakkinen)
2001 German Grand Prix – 12th, DNF (with Coulthard)
It was also used as a test car at various races. During the season, it was powered by a 3.0-liter Mercedes (Ilmor) V10 that made about 830 horsepower. Now it just has a dummy display engine in its place. No estimate is provided. Click here for more info.
Offered by Aguttes | Sochaux, France | October 23, 2022
McLaren’s MP4/9 was used for the 1994 season, which was the only season that McLaren partnered with Peugeot as their engine supplier. This was Peugeot’s first season as an F1 engine supplier, and things did not start out well.
Their 3.5-liter A4 V10 was unreliable. Both McLarens failed to finish the first two races. For race number three at San Marino, they upgraded to their “A6” spec V10, which was also a 3.5-liter unit. It made about 740 horsepower, and this chassis, number seven, still has it in there. The competition history for this chassis is confusingly listed, but it was driven in races and as a reserve car during the 1994 season by Mika Hakkinen and Martin Brundle.
It was later stored at McLaren for 26 years and is being sold from Peugeot-Citroen’s collection. The pre-sale estimate is $1,165,000-$1,450,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022
The Sabre is a car that came out of McLaren Special Operations after they asked American VIP customers what kind of car they’d want. Apparently there answer was “a Senna, but less ungainly looking.” This car is Senna based, and it was McLaren’s fastest two-seater ever when all examples were built in 2020.
Power is from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that was rated at 824 horsepower. No hybrid assist here. Just pure internal combustion power. Top speed is 218 mph. The cars were only supposed to be for the U.S. market, but apparently a few went overseas. And it’s unclear if they built 15 or 16 of them. This car is #11.
It only has low (100) miles, as many modern supercars do. Which is either because the owner’s have plenty of other cars to drive… or they are horrible to actually drive. Probably both. This might be the first one to come up for public sale, and the price will be into the seven figures. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | December 2021
The Senna is one of McLaren’s “Ultimate Series” cars and is the successor the the P1. It’s basically a track toy for the street, but to make sure you knew that it was intended for the street, McLaren released the track-only GTR variant in 2018 (though the production version would come two years later). Only 75 were to be made. This is car #28.
Power is from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 rated at 814 horsepower in GTR spec. That’s 25 more than the base car. It’s got a racing gearbox, an adjustable dual-element rear wing, seating for two, and air conditioning. And there are shops that will apparently modify these into “road-legal” cars.
This auction has a few days left, but at the time of this writing, the bidding was already at $1.3 million. So the price is only going to go up. It must be that Gulf livery… Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Moritz, Switzerland | September 17, 2021
McLaren-Mercedes was a pretty solid chassis/engine combo in Formula One about 10-20 years ago. The MP4-17 was actually used in two slightly different configurations over two seasons. There was the initial car (later retroactively dubbed “MP4-17A”) that was used for 2002, and there was 2003’s updated car, the MP4-17D.
This chassis (#06) debuted in 2002 and was later upgraded to “D” spec. Power is from a 3.0-liter Mercedes-Benz V10 good for 845 horsepower. The competition history for this chassis includes:
2002 European Grand Prix – 3rd (with Kimi Raikkonen)
2002 British Grand Prix – 14th, DNF (with Raikkonen)
2002 French Grand Prix – 2nd (with Raikkonen)
2002 German Grand Prix – 11th, DNF (with Raikkonen)
2002 Hungarian Grand Prix – 4th (with Raikkonen)
2002 United States Grand Prix – 3rd (with David Coulthard)
2002 Japanese Grand Prix – 18th, DNF (with Coulthard)
2003 Australian Grand Prix – 1st (with Coulthard)
2003 San Marino Grand Prix – 2nd (with Raikkonen)
2003 Spanish Grand Prix – 20th (with Raikkonen)
2003 Monaco Grand Prix – 7th (with Coulthard)
2003 Japanese Grand Prix – 2nd (with Raikkonen)
The car was also used as a test car here and there. Once its competitive career was over, the car was backdated to “17A” spec, in which it currently exists. It is expected to sell for between $2,200,000-$2,750,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Silverstone, U.K. | July 17, 2021
Booo your lame watermark, RM Sotheby’s. I have no patience for that kind of old-school internet garbage. Anyway, this one-car auction will be a pretty remarkable opportunity for some well-heeled individual to acquired the first-ever F1-race-winning car driven by Lewis Hamilton to come to market.
The dude has won 98 races. 98! And that’s as of this writing… he’ll probably have a few more by the time this thing sells. But this isn’t one of the boring, show-killing Mercedes Silver Arrows, this is a McLaren. From back when Lewis actually had to try. The 2010 season was a good one. Five drivers won races, but it was kind of a toss-up as to who would win every week. Vettel won the championship with Red Bull, but Alonso was right there in a Ferrari. Hamilton was fourth in the driver’s championship, just ahead of his teammate Jenson Button.
The MP4-25 was powered by a Mercedes FO 108X 2.4-liter V8. Hamilton won three races in 2010, including the Turkish Grand Prix in this car. It is unclear what other races it competed in, as RM has yet to publish a full lot description. The pre-sale estimate here is $5,000,000-$7,000,000. It’s also unclear who is selling the car and how, if it isn’t McLaren themselves, it escaped the factory’s control. The world in which a random person propositions a major F1 team to purchase a previous season’s race-winning car is quite a different world than the one in which I spend my days. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | April 10, 2021
McLaren has gone on a spree of producing pretty out there cars of late. From the P1 to the Senna to the Speedtail and now this, the Elva. The name harkens back to the lightweight Elva racing cars of the 1950s and 60s. McLaren had a relationship with that company back in the day, too.
This new Elva features a carbon-fiber monocoque, a full carbon-fiber body, and no windshield. In place of the latter, the car has an air management system that directs air from the nose up and around the cockpit. It’s like a windshield made of air. It’s the sort of thing you’d expect James Dyson to produce. Lamely, U.S.-market cars will get a windshield and side windows.
The twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 is rated at 804 horsepower. McLaren claims the Elva is the lightest car they’ve ever made. It’ll hit 60 in 2.8 seconds and tops out at 203 mph. McLaren was going to initially build 399 examples, and they later cut it back to 249. Bonhams claims this is car #45 of only 149 built. It carries a pre-sale estimate of $1,700,000-$2,100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.