The last 1997 McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ supercar sells for over $13 Million
Historically, the 1995 Le Mans 24-Hours race-winning McLaren set the foundation for more highly competitive racing cars of the McLaren F1 GTR series, including the 1997 F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ with improved aerodynamics via much longer tail and nose, as well as a wider rear wing. Now, an absolute icon of modern era sports car racing; the ultimate ex-GTC Gulf Team Davidoff 1997 McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ FIA GT Endurance Coupe that took on the giants of Porsche and Mercedes-Benz on unequal terms in racing, and sometimes beat them, became the highlight of the Bonhams’ Carmel Auction on 17 August, after realizing a price of staggering $13 million. The 10th and last of the highly-developed 1997-season McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ endurance racing coupes with chassis ’028R’, this breathtaking piece of competition machinery is a point-scoring veteran of 8 premier-league FIA GT World Championship-qualifying races. Also, we have earlier seen the sale of another example from the McLaren F1 GTR series, the 1997 McLaren F1 GTR race car which went up for auction in Tokyo, Japan in 2009.
This particular example is also one of the cars that campaigned in 1997 by the McLaren F1 GTR racing program’s most charismatic and livered teams, the GTC Motorsport Gulf Team Davidoff operation. With its iconic Gulf racing-blue finish, it’s a successor to the revered bloodline of Gulf-Ford GT40, and Gulf-Mirage, to name a few which became the landmarks of history of motor racing.
Described to be definingly beautiful and an ultra-modern competition coupe, this vehicle, chassis ‘028R’ embodies all the lessons learned during that highly successful racing period. Gordon-Murray designed this beauty which is now considered to be most exclusive, and one of the finest racing coupes available in the world.
This Gordon-Murray designed vehicle got carbon-composite monocoque shell, while its longer tail and nose were carefully shaped, under-floored, profiled, and proven in the moving-ground wind tunnel.
And, this handsome Gulf Team Davidoff car which was co-driven most often by the experienced pairing of Swede Anders Olofsson and Briton Geoff Lees, made its racing debut on June 29, 1997 in the FIA GT Championship-qualifying Nurburging 4-Hour race in Germany.
The vehicle boast fabulously futuristic good look and magnificent bespoke BMW V12 engine, which was absolutely tailored to McLaren’s racing requirements.