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Mystery British buyer spends £6million on unique McLaren F1 supercar

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: May 02, 2014

  • The 240mph McLaren F1 is regarded as the Holy Grail of high-performance motoring and is worth at least six times as much as a typical Bugatti Veyron.

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A British petrolhead is thought to have spent more than £6 million on a McLaren F1 in what could be the highest price ever paid for a modern sports car.

The 240mph McLaren F1 is regarded as the Holy Grail of high-performance motoring and is worth at least six times as much as a typical Bugatti Veyron.

It is the most desirable car of the past 40 years and, with just 64 ever built, it is also one of the hardest to buy.

But now an anonymous Brit - a self-described "car nut" - has joined the ranks after spending what is possibly a record-breaking estimated $10 million on the Woking-built motor.

He joins an exclusive group of enthusiasts who own an F1 with Rowan Atkinson, Jay Leno and Ralph Lauren among a select few lucky enough to have a set of keys.

George Harrison, the late Beatle, also owned an F1 with his bespoke car currently held in a family trust.

This particular model, known as chassis 28, was originally given to US racing driver Michael Andretti by McLaren.

It is one of only two red McLaren F1s and it still has Andretti's signature on the back of the sun visor.

The racing driver held onto it for a couple of years before selling it to a Japanese collector. It has since been owned by two California-based F1 fans.

After spending the past ten years on the West Coast of America, the car has now returned to British soil thanks to Hertfordshire-based DK Engineering.

James Cottingham, vehicle acquisition consultant at DK, spent six months trying to source a car for his buyer.

A car was found and an agreement was finalised last month with the red supercar now shipped over to the UK as the world's most expensive modern car.

The price is thought to be around #6.2 million ($10m).

It achieved this price, in part, thanks to its breathtaking performance which comes courtesy of a 6.1-litre BMW engine developing 627bhp.

This gives the supercar, where the driver sits in the centre of three, a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of more than 240mph.

Despite being 20 years old, the McLaren F1 remains the world's fastest normally-aspirated car - a title it is unlikely to lose in the near future.

This latest model is the second McLaren F1 which Mr Cottingham has sold in the past year, an impressive feat in its own right.

He said: "I think this is one of the most important F1s because it was built for Michael Andretti, one of McLaren's race drivers and therefore seals the car's close links with the company's terrific motor racing heritage.

"F1s are without doubt one of the most difficult cars to sell or buy. You have a lot of 'fantasy' cars for sale so getting a genuine customer and genuine vendor is very hard.

"Likewise for a buyer, finding a dealer who will be able to fulfil the task in hand is very hard indeed.

"It took six months to find a car and get the deal in place and the new owner did not see the car before the transaction took place. I flew to California with 24 hours' notice and the deal was completed just a few days later.

"The F1 is the most significant road car since the Ferrari 250 GTO. A lot of 250 GTO owners also own an F1.

"Last year a model sold at auction for $8.5 million and the market has moved on since then."

McLaren only built 64 road-going F1 cars and they were sold in the mid-90s for a then staggering £540,000.

The Woking firm had hoped to build 300 F1s but there weren't enough wealthy fans at the time who were willing to spend more than half a million on a new car.

But their values, unlike most modern cars, have continued to rise and over the past few years have gone through the roof.

In 2008, a McLaren F1 sold for a then world record £2.53 million with the latest sale representing an increase of more than 1,000 per cent over its original retail price.

Gold, which has been one of the best investments over the past 20 years, has increased by around 300 per cent during the same period.

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