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The McLaren F1 Road Car. The new kid on the block

Having had decades of success on the Formula one tracks, and grand Prix the McLaren constructor team decided that if they could find success out on the track why not use the name as a sign of quality and build a road legal sports car. The ultimate plans were to rival the established order of the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Jaguar. It was the concept of F1 racing car designer Gordon Murray. He was able to convince the head of McLaren Ron Dennis that the marquee could produce a street legal sports car that could compete with the big boys and trade on the good name of McLaren. In 1998 Ron Dennis agreed Murray was able to go ahead with the project. With the cost originally being £1 million pounds (now upwards of £15 million) then the nearest that most of us will get likely to owning one is if we choose it to be the subject of a Sportscar Lap tray from https://personalisedlaptrays.co.uk/collections/sport-lap-trays.

Although its aging and been replaced the even more impressive P1 the McLaren F1 is still an iconic vehicle that was the fastest the legal road car on the market until the Koenigsegg CCR and then the Bugatti Veyron. The F1 is still a remarkable car in terms of its designing and speed. It is the first time a road car has really embraced the ideals that a race car has. The most striking is a simple feature of having the steering wheel in the centre of the car with the passengers sat slightly behind them. The perception was that the Company of McLaren would be unable to produce a car that was able to be used on the road and affordable. At a £1 million-pound price tag that seems as if they failed but you did get a free set of Calloway Golf clubs and a gold Rolex with the purchase.

There was a real reason for the price tag. The car is made of the standard Carbon fibre to reduce weight however when it came to the lining for the engine bonnet there could only be one choice that would baffle the engine sound that was light enough not to impact on the weight of the car. It was solid gold. It was also Murray’s dream to have a car that was a three-seater. This did require a certain set of safety features and this were tested in Namibia when it rolled several times after hitting a rock. There were other disappointments when it became clear that Honda, who were currently supplying the racing team with a power unit would not get on board with the road car. The engine went to BMW in the end. Secondly the wing mirrors were the same as the prototype and the indicators were substandard to non-existent. These minor setbacks made no difference to the cars legendary status.

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