One of the rarest McLaren F1s in the world lives right here in NZ
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We've said it before and we'll bore you to death well into the future by repeating it again and again; New Zealand punches very far above its weight when it comes to motoring and motorsport.
Our car culture here is diverse and on point with much of the rest of the world, the caliber of race driver, rally driver, and drifter that we produce tends to be first class, and the sorts of cars that live here — either privately hidden away, or publicly lauded — is very impressive. And this McLaren F1 is one such car.
The first thing that sets it apart is the large front splitter and tall rear wing. Both of these are elements from McLaren's own 'high downforce package' fitted as a rare option to just two of the marque's run of McLaren F1s.
This one's owned by Auckland's Andrew Bagnall and is utterly immaculate. I know that having seen the car at McLaren's Future Legacies Dinner last year. There it was parked next to the charcoal McLaren P1 that Bagnall also owns.
Beyond the aerodynamic alterations, larger five-spoke wheels, and stiffer suspension, the rather special F1 also comes with the 680bhp LM-spec engine — 60hp more than the standard variant. And when the standard car is so hallowed and feared, you know that adding another 60 horses to the mix is a recipe for a truly remarkable car.
If the Bagnall name rings a bell for you, then you may well have come across his name via his involvement in New Zealand motorsport. For many years, Bagnall was a regular in the New Zealand Porsche Carrera Cup championship, before the class folded a few years ago. He's continued to have a presence in endurance racing though, through competing in events like last year's Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
This means that when Bagnall takes out the F1 for a little blat to keep it happy — something that he does every month — he's talented enough to do so. Unlike some others ...
This is of course the second hyper-rare McLaren F1 to get some airtime in the last few weeks, after Nick Mason crashed his F1 GTR at Goodwood on the weekend. In both cases, potential museum-grade sportscars are given the occasional drive, where the public can enjoy them, and they can be driven how they were made to be driven. Jolly good, says I.