Back in 1992 when the British folks at McLaren dropped the wraps on the F1, journos and enthusiasts were equally amazed for its seating that placed the driver in the centre. The F1 was fast, neck-snapping, zooming in the traffic and head-turning fast for its time. It saw unspeakable glory in its days and for the right reason indeed.
So, we can only wonder what its aficionados must feel when we say that the MSO has been restoring the 63rd model for the past 18 months. Bazinga! Now before we get into what went under the MSO’s shed, a background on the moniker is in order.
The McLaren F1 was deemed to be way ahead of its time. It dropped like a nuke when people least expected it to. BMW gave the engine, and the ones that were homologated for the streets were made to be faster than their racing siblings that took on the 24-hour endurance race Le Mans.
At its peak performance, the McLaren F1’s exhaust would heat up to 700 degrees Celcius. And for the ones who needed a toned-down version of the car, McLaren optioned an engine with thicker engine inlet duct, for a more subtle and silent touring experience. Needless to say, nobody ordered it. To weigh like a cloud was its underlying formula. Hence, McLaren even made the toolkit out of titanium to keep the weight as low as possible.
Back to #63, MSO began the work on the car by stripping the body and drivetrain. We’re afraid we can’t show you the process because of our editorial policy to avoid NSFW content and because we actually don’t have them. Once the car was taken apart, it was time, to begin with, the interiors first. McLaren’s blessed children took this opportunity to completely re-trim the interior in a one-off semi-aniline leather.
The shade chosen for the same resembled was the dismal gloomy British sky for sure. Now before another white guy jumps on to the comments section to banter us, let us tell you that the shade is indeed called the Woking Grey. Similar to the sky that hovers over the McLaren HQ and MSO’s garage.
The carpets in the car were renewed, mats piped with grey leather and the steering wheel replaced with MSO’s stock of original parts. Wowza! The paint-job on the McLaren F1 was done after body panels of the car were redone with Magnesium Silver “to a meticulously high standard”. This took around 900 hours to finish before it was laid back on the car’s bone.
And the very best bit? The engine, of course, was stripped to its last nut to be reworked, so that it can churn out the same 618bhp as it did back in the nineties. And boy does its new avatar look gorgeous. The dampers of the car were sent back to Bilstein while driveshaft and hubs were sent back to its original suppliers for a complete overhaul. After putting the final piece of the puzzle together, the car was then sent to the track for a final shakedown.
In all amounting to 3,000 hours of work in 18 months of time. The rebuilt F1 is given along with a certificate that only the manufacturer can give. This added with the LASER-scanned McLaren F1 scaled model (pictured above) makes the deal even sweeter. Of course, because having an actual car that broke conventions and brought everyone on their toes was clearly not enough.
Back in its days of glory, McLaren only built 106 iterations of this car out of which 64 were road-going and the rest were GTR race cars. And if you’re planning to get your hands on one, make sure your money tree is well watered as the last one went under the gavel for a whopping Rs 165 Crores.