McLaren is a name that is recognized even by people who can’t differentiate a Corvette and a Camry. So when Google takes Street View into the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England, you know it’s going to be something special.
I have an automotive bucket list of places I need to see before I die. Monaco Grand Prix, Nürburgring, Laguna Seca, and of course the McLaren Technology Centre. Unfortunately, these fantasies are a long ways away, so until then I’ll have to settle for Google Street View. It’s seriously worth checking out. There are dozens of F1 cars, from pre-Senna to post-Hamilton. You can even see inside some of the production facilities where P1 bumpers are lying about. However, what piqued my interest the most were these two McLaren F1s. In case you are twelve years old and still fantasize over the Bugatti Veyron, let me tell you that the McLaren F1 is better. Much better. The only similarity between them are their top speed records. But for simplicity’s sake, I guess you can consider this the Veyron of the 90s. Let’s start with the one on the left.
Welcome to the McLaren F1 GTR. This particular car (#59) was entered into the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans by Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing. It wasn’t alone; there were 6 other F1 GTRs participating in this same race. #59 qualified 9th, a respectable position for the first year of the F1 GTR. With one of the most peculiar sponsors in automotive history, Tokyo Ueno Clinic, the #59 car pulled off a win. The other F1 GTRs were not far behind.
This is quite possibly the most famous McLaren of them all. The success of the F1 GTR spawned a road going version, the F1 LM. This car is the prototype for the F1 LM, codenamed XP1-LM. Most of the LMs can be recognized by this unique color, Papaya Orange, a tribute to Bruce McLaren’s racing career.
And in case you were wondering, a total of 106 McLaren F1s were produced. Less than 30 of these raced, and only five McLaren F1 LMs were ever sold.