McLaren F1 with one-off headlights is for sale

McLaren F1 with one-off headlights is for sale

August 6, 2022 Off

McLaren F1s are quickly catching up with Ferrari 250 GTOs in terms of stellar auction prices, and a pristine example coming up for sale should be no exception.

The car will be offered via private sale by RM Sotheby’s alongside the auction house’s traditional sale that runs Aug. 18-20 and coincides with 2022 Monterey Car Week.

This F1 was built in 1998 and is car number 59 of the 64 road-going F1s built. It’s noted for its headlight design, which is only found on this particular car, making it instantly recognizable to fans.

McLaren F1 bearing chassis no. ending in 059 – Photo credit: RM Sotheby’s

Midway through the F1’s production run, McLaren started to develop an updated headlight design in response to existing owners complaining of poor night-time lighting. Car 59 was the testbed and its unique headlight design is a prototype featuring internals borrowed from a BMW Z1’s headlights and an outer housing that’s slimmer than those on other F1s. The car is also fitted with the F1’s available High Downforce Kit.

The car’s original owner was a U.K. resident by the name of John Studholm, the founder of a company that produced typewriter cassettes and later ink-jet printer cartridges. He traded the number 17 F1 to purchase this car, and would go on to own an F1 GTR race car.

Car 59 was sold to its second and current owner in late 2012, at which point it was brought to U.S. soil under the Show or Display rule. It’s been mostly kept in climate-controlled storage together with a second F1 belonging to the same owner, and has accrued less than 300 miles since it last traded hands. According to RM Sotheby’s, multiple F1 owners have more than one example of the car, making the total number of F1 owners significantly lower than the 106 examples of the car (road and racing) built.

McLaren F1 bearing chassis no. ending in 059 - Photo credit: RM Sotheby's

McLaren F1 bearing chassis no. ending in 059 – Photo credit: RM Sotheby’s

Almost 30 years after its introduction, the F1 remains an icon thanks to innovative design features like a central driving position, carbon-fiber bodywork (a novelty at the time), and a gold-lined engine bay. It’s also wonderfully analog, sporting a high-revving 6.1-liter BMW V-12 coupled to a 6-speed manual transaxle.

How much might car 59 go for? An F1 with just 243 miles on the clock sold for almost $20.5 million in 2021. Another went for $19.8 million just two years prior.

Monterey Car Week runs Aug. 12-21 in and around Monterey, California. It culminates with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Aug. 21. For our full coverage, head to our dedicated hub.

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