Finding a McLaren F1 for sale these days is no easy task. Only 106 examples exist, and locating someone willing to part with theirs is next to impossible. That's why this year's Bonhams Quail Lodge auction in Carmel, Calif. was a big deal for prospective F1 buyers. , #044, just sold for $15,620,000 at the event, making it the most expensive F1 ever.
This story, originally published 7/19/17, has been updated on 8/18/17 to reflect news of this car's sale.
McLaren F1 #044 is one of just 64 road-legal F1s built, and the first of only seven cars federalized by Ameritech for road use in the United States. In order to get the cars legal on this side of the pond, Ameritech used removable bumper and reflectors to get it federalized, which the owners promptly took off once they received the car. This makes 044 exceedingly more desirable for American buyers, since they can actually use it on the road as intended.
According to , 044 was the 37th car off the assembly line, finished in its original silver paint with black/gray Connolly leather interior. Besides normal wear items and a twice-replaced fuel cell, this F1 is entirely original, with 9600 miles on the odometer.
Like every other original road-going F1, 044 features a BMW-sourced 6.1-liter V12 making 627 horsepower, connected to a six-speed manual transaxle connected to the rear wheels. Zero to 60 happens in just 3.2 seconds, and top speed is 242 mph. Even today, it's a world-beater.
Given the recent rise in F1 values and the fact that this example is particularly nice, it's not surprising to see it go for such a high price. It's not the most expensive British car sold at auction—a Le Mans-winning Jaguar D-Type sold for nearly $22 million at RM Sotheby's Monterey auction last year—but it's close.
At this point, it seems like the sky is the limit for McLaren F1 values. You can only imagine what one of the six ultra-rare F1 LMs would sell for if they ever turned up for auction.