Decades ago, a dominant Formula One team made a few dozen examples of a sports car that was as devastating on the track as it was on the road, and as such, it has become highly sought-after by collectors willing to pay millions - even tens of millions - for the privilege of ownership. We have to be talking about the Ferrari 250 GTO, right? We very well could be, but in this case, no: we're talking about the McLaren F1 - a legendary supercar whose values seem to be skyrocketing in the footsteps of its arch-rival's most iconic classic. And if this latest pre-auction estimate is anything to go by, it will only continue to climb as quickly as it accelerates.
The past couple of McLaren F1s on whose sales we've reported traded hands for over $5 million apiece and we thought that was pretty spectacular, but this latest example consigned to Gooding & Company for its upcoming sale at Pebble Beach has an expected selling price of between $12 million and $14 million.
Chassis No. 031, a 1995 model, is a bit of a rarity in that it's one of only a handful of McLaren F1s painted in white, and the only one in this particular shade of Marlboro White, adopting the color of the grand prix team's title sponsor at the time. It's had only three owners who've put barely over 1,000 miles on the odometer, starting in Japan, where it resided with collector Shin Okamoto for 15 years before he sold it to a collector in Chicago, who in turn sold it to its current owner who's putting it up for auction. The 27th example built, it's said to be in "highly original" condition, was extensively serviced at the McLaren factory as recently as 2008, and comes with all its original manuals, tools and fitted luggage.
Is all of that enough to make this 1995 McLaren F1 worth more than twice what they've been going for? If someone pays it, we suppose it will. But the McLaren isn't even the most expensive lot consigned for the auction. Little surprise, it'll have to compete with a number of much older Ferrari models for that honor: a 250 GT SWB California Spider is estimated to fetch $13-15 million, the estimate for a similar coupe has not even been released, and a rare three-seater 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale could go for over $20 million.
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