The McLaren F1 has never been a car you’d call affordable. When it launched in 1994, a brand-new example cost around $1 million, give or take some tens of thousands. And that, despite enthusiastic road test reviews by publications like Automobile, is why only 64 road-going examples were ever produced, with just seven of those being privately federalized by Ameritech for U.S. consumption. Now, at Bonhams’ 2017 Quail Lodge auction during Monterey Car Week, the first federalized McLaren F1 has sold for an incredible $15,620,000–a new auction record for the model.
The car in question, chassis 044, has under 10,000 miles on its odometer. It was consigned by its original owner, who took the machine on a cross-Europe roadtrip after taking delivery at McLaren’s England-based headquarters. The car has been regularly serviced throughout its life and was treated to its second fuel cell replacement in 2009, with the most recent service being just last month.
All in all, a nice return on investment after 22 years and just north of 9,000 miles of enjoyment. The sale price seems to prove what many believe to be true–that the McLaren F1 may go down in history as the Ferrari 250 GTO of a newer generation.
Bonhams had several other strong sales, including a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy, which brought $3,080,000. This particular car was used for factory testing before being sold to its first owner and is one of 60 two-cam cars with lightweight aluminum alloy bodywork.
We love the original shade of light metallic blue and the car is recently Classiche certified by Ferrari. A later 1967 four-cam 275 GTB/4 brought $2,519,000 and a rare, ex-Team Cunningham 1963 Jaguar E-type Lightweight that was a previous 24 Hours of Le Mans entrant sold for an even $8,000,000.
Several Group B rally homologation specials found new homes with Bonhams, including a 1983 Lancia 037 Rally Stradale which seemed a little light on price at $264,000, especially with fewer than 10,000 km on the clock.
A low-mileage 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Stradale achieved $440,000, a 1985 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 did $198,000, and a 1986 Ford RS 200 Evolution (one of 24 built), sold for $550,000 showing that the final bad boys of this series are commanding ever-stronger money.
Unfortunately, the 1958 Ferrari 250GT TdF Berlinetta Alloy that we drove ahead of the Quail Lodge sale failed to meet reserve.
In total, Bonhams’ 2017 Quail Lodge sale brought in $56,430,000 and enjoyed a solid 80-percent sell-through rate.
In 2016, Bonhams sold just $34.8 million worth of cars, but had a slightly higher sell-through rate of 88 percent.