Sale Of The Century: McLaren F1, Careful Owner, Zero Kilometres... POA Photo:
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Peter Anderson | Apr, 16 2013 | 3 Comments

In the back of every motoring enthusiast's mind is the car they would give up everything to drive just once - for some of us, that's the McLaren F1.

For the more well-heeled, that dream might go a little further - maybe, just maybe, there's a McLaren F1 out there that has never turned a wheel in anger.

Luckily for those buyers, there is just such an example up for sale in Japan through Art Sports Osaka.

The bright yellow F1, bought during the heady supercar-as-investment days of the Nineties, has spent seventeen years tucked away in Japan, out of sight and off the road.

The advertisement for the car is a charmingly low-key classifieds-style ad on a Japanese website.

The seller says that it has zero kilometres on the clock, and still has protective style plastic wrappings throughout. It is exactly as it left the McLaren factory.

The F1 was the first car from McLaren Automotive. Designed by Gordon Murray with external styling by Peter Stevens, the unique three-seater was a bolt from the blue and went into production in 1992, competing with the Jaguar XJ220 and Bugatti EB110.

Murray and McLaren boss Ron Dennis allege the idea for the car was born in an airport lounge after the 1988 Italian Grand Prix with a sketch and a conversation.

Despite the McLaren team being powered by Honda engines, the Japanese company could not be persuaded to build one for the road car.

So, Murray turned to BMW's Motorsport division, which tasked Paul Rosche with designing the iconic 6.1 litre V12 known as the S70.

The S70 delivered 461kW and 793Nm of torque, which took the F1 to a number of top speed records, only recently broken by the Bugatti Veyron.

(A record the Veyron briefly lost last week when Guinness decided that disabling the speed limiter broke the rules. It later reversed the decision, restoring the Veyron's record.)

Fuel consumption was found to be as low as 10l/100km when tested by European authorities.

The McLaren's price reflected many of the incredible details found in the car - gold heat shields in the engine compartment, extensive use of advanced alloys and exotic materials for the body.

The car was so strong that even after a multiple rollover during high-speed testing in Namibia, the driver walked away.

Brakes and steering were unassisted for maximum feel and there were no electronic aids for the driver. The whole package weighed no more than 1138kg, depending on specification.

The Kenwood stereo was built specially for the car and weighed less than any other available unit.

Just 106 McLaren F1s were produced, 64 were the standard version, five were the road/race LM, three longtails for the road and 28 LM race cars.

Plans were in place to produce more, but a global economic downturn scuppered the chances of the entire run being completed between 1992 and 1998.

The last one left the old McLaren showroom in Mayfair in 2004.

The purchaser of this fine example will be able to return the car to one of eight authorised McLaren centres for checks or have the car completely rebuilt to their own taste by McLaren Special Operations in England.

As for the price, a recent used example went for $5.5 million, so this 0km machine will surely fetch much more. We're not sure if the profit is worth the Herculean self-control the owner would have to never have driven it, though.

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