650s CoupΓ©

650s CoupΓ©

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br d

7,084 posts

170 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
Charlie360 said:
Hi Brad, thank you for the input, having owned both, I guess you've voted with your feet and gone from 650 to 570 via 720, so are well placed to answer that - is the 720 really noticeably faster on the road (I know Mclaren figures show 0-60 in 2.9 vs 3.0 or something similar) but do you really notice 0.1 of a second? and from my perspective, it's the more intangible differences, plus the reliability question - the depreciation is a known (or rather we can make our own judgement, based upon the vehicle's values on the market) Sorry for the rambling question, but I'm trying to judge if it's worthwhile and am therefore interested from an ownership perspective, which I cannot judge from a 5 minute test drive of either car.
Hi Charlie, no problem at all for the question, having owned a 650, 720 and 570 in the space of 18 months I probably do have some insights but please bare in mind I don't track cars, can't tell one end of a spanner from another and I'm far from being a driving god so don't take my word as gospel!
And very importantly this stuff is all subjective, these are just my thoughts on these cars, not to be confused with the real world!

There have been some great comments after yours from people who know what they're talking about. What WCZ says about the appeal of knowing you are in an "everything else slayer" is spot on, you do get a lovely frisson whenever you get in your 720 and I initially thought that was worth a fair chunk of the money alone, however, my opinion changed.
I've been buying decent cars for about 15 years and always chased the numbers, always wanted the quickest car I could afford and it becomes a bit of an addiction. When I test drove the 720S I wasn't even really concentrating on the cars characteristics, it was the fastest thing on the road so I was buying it, end of story.

When there were threads on PH about how much power is really usable I was always the person who said "You can never have too much! Even if you don't use it just having it in reserve is great!"
I don't feel like this any more. I should have listened to myself really, when I took the 650S to Europe I wrote on a thread on here that I couldn't drive the car to anywhere near it's capability, even on empty, perfect roads in Southern France or Germany I couldn't floor it through the gears because it was just too insanely quick.
On a track it the 650S would have been the greatest piece of metal money could buy but on real roads, no matter how open, safe, grippy, isolated or whatever else comes into your head you cannot get it to break a sweat. Of course you could throw it into a 20mph hairpin at 80 but you know what I mean.

The 650S did everything I could wish for, coupled with it being a spider which was a huge part of the enjoyment for me, especially on Euro trips, I was in heaven. Okay it doesn't sound too exciting but the roof down makes up for a lot of that.
Of course once I'd seen a few facts about the 720S my brain imploded and the car was ordered. Bye bye 650S!

I bought it with the Gorilla glass thinking that would at least compensate a bit for being a coupe and all the other shiny options that drive up your blood pressure.
The car arrived in late March and I had a long Euro trip booked for May, perfect timing. I had about 400 miles on it when I set off and the first trip was a long Toll Road run down to Beaune so it would be nicely run in before the real roads started.
Let me say the 720S is an absolute monster. Anybody who owns one has hit the jackpot in life and my hat is off to them. The power of the thing is beyond anything you can imagine unless you've spent a bit of time racing cars. Isaldiri is right, it is noticeably quicker than the 650S and that hardly seems credible. The first time I drove it hard on a 50 kilometre stretch of empty roads outside Beaune I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
The rate at which the numbers climb on the speedo is frankly ridiculous, all the cells in your body are vibrating like a Rampant Rabbit and you literally forget to breath. You aren't judging the cars handling or assessing it's turn-in or any of that car enthusiasts bks you're just fking tripping balls!
When you finally pull up somewhere you slither out of the thing with legs like jelly.
That was being alive there's no doubt about it.

BUT.

It wore off.
This is the bit I find hard to explain because Petrol Heads look at me like I've gone senile.
It's just way too much.

I realised pretty quickly that driving it like that was so far outside my comfort zone that I was just being a complete arse. I would kill someone, no question.l I wasn't capable of reacting to even the slightest issue at that level.
So I stopped doing that. I wasn't ever going to take the wrapping off properly so to speak. After 15 years of chasing numbers I finally did it, I bought something that I couldn't use.
And then it wasn't quite so special after all. I had 18 days of glorious sunshine in the Alps and it felt like I was sitting in a chicken coop, the Gorilla Glass does nothing, you're in a box basically with the sun shining outside. That applies to any non-convertible of course but I could've had a convertible. It handles fine of course but around town it is a little bit heavy handed, the radio was st, there were too many rattles.
As you can tell I went off it. And once the magic has gone then things that wouldn't usually matter start being a pain.

Remember, this is only my opinion!

In the end we didn't gel, me and the 720S.The best way to describe it is that after driving 3 thousand miles around the best roads in Europe something didn't happen. I don't know what didn't happen, I'm not clever enough to tell, but something didn't.
When I pulled up on the driveway at home after the trip I just thought "Nope". And when you're spending this sort of money on a car you can't be thinking like that, that's right out. Life is too short to be unmoved by a toy you just spent north of a quarter of a million quid on.

So I ordered a 570S Spider! I thought why not? The latest Ferrari range bores me a bit and while I do love Lambo's in general I didn't like the Huracan and the Performante is just too "Boy Racer" for me (sorry guys!!) so lets have another McLaren. It's the only one I hadn't had (I don't make Senna money), it was a current model and I could have a Spider again!

And it's fantastic. It's easily the best of the 3. I know people might say "Well you would say that because you own one" but come on, I had a bloody 720! A car the vast majority of people would rate way higher than the 570. I drove it 3500 miles in a month, very few do, and I moved it on because it didn't suit, I don't just say stuff for the sake of it, the 570 Spider is a fabulous thing!

Obviously, the roof but so much more. The 650 and 720 both had that "Plant your foot and hang on" thing going on, the 570 is different, you have to drive it. It wakes up at about 4 and half thousand revs so you have to work the box, you feel like you're involved even if it is still paddles. I have an MSO exhaust which makes a lovely scream high in the revs so I constantly row through the gears to keep it on. The steering is epic. I loved the 650 but it was a bit light up front.
The 570 goes like stink! On paper it's slightly slower than a 650 but I can't tell and much more importantly I can use it. I can floor it and be in control. Of course the 720 is faster but to what end? I live in South Essex, there's a speed camera every 74 inches, I have to get out in the country roads early on a Sunday to enjoy myself and the 570 is perfect for that.
It feels light, rapid, sure-footed and up for it. Good grief I may keep it!

Now as I said at the start this is all subjective.
I'm not saying the 570 is a better car than the 720 but I am saying the 570 is a better car for me than the 720. And I bought the T-Shirt.

I'm very happy with this car. Of course I'm 55 next year, slowing down a bit definitely. This is probably all different for you young bloods and Charlie you'll definitely need to drive them all as much as you can before parting with the cash.

After all this waffling if I had to give any advice I'd say get a convertible, McLaren have nailed that side of things (cough Carbon Tub cough), it just juices the whole experience up and great for driving trips.
Oh, and take driving trips.



RobDown

3,506 posts

72 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
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Thank you BR D, very interesting post

Sarnie

6,154 posts

153 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
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Great post!!!

IMI A

6,779 posts

145 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
^^^ Great post. I've always found the most impressive people I've met over the years know their own limitations. I think a 720s would be too much power for most of us to handle on a typical leafy give and take UK B road smile

f1ten

1,825 posts

97 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
Very good Write up on the ownership experience. It does seem now that the top super cars are actually too fast well too fast for 90% of roads and at least 50% of the time.

Ive Driven a 650s spider and thought it was bloody rapid and drove a 570gt but although a slightly smaller car I liked the pin sharp 650s more.

GT4RS

Original Poster:

1,791 posts

141 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
br d said:
Charlie360 said:
Hi Brad, thank you for the input, having owned both, I guess you've voted with your feet and gone from 650 to 570 via 720, so are well placed to answer that - is the 720 really noticeably faster on the road (I know Mclaren figures show 0-60 in 2.9 vs 3.0 or something similar) but do you really notice 0.1 of a second? and from my perspective, it's the more intangible differences, plus the reliability question - the depreciation is a known (or rather we can make our own judgement, based upon the vehicle's values on the market) Sorry for the rambling question, but I'm trying to judge if it's worthwhile and am therefore interested from an ownership perspective, which I cannot judge from a 5 minute test drive of either car.
Hi Charlie, no problem at all for the question, having owned a 650, 720 and 570 in the space of 18 months I probably do have some insights but please bare in mind I don't track cars, can't tell one end of a spanner from another and I'm far from being a driving god so don't take my word as gospel!
And very importantly this stuff is all subjective, these are just my thoughts on these cars, not to be confused with the real world!

There have been some great comments after yours from people who know what they're talking about. What WCZ says about the appeal of knowing you are in an "everything else slayer" is spot on, you do get a lovely frisson whenever you get in your 720 and I initially thought that was worth a fair chunk of the money alone, however, my opinion changed.
I've been buying decent cars for about 15 years and always chased the numbers, always wanted the quickest car I could afford and it becomes a bit of an addiction. When I test drove the 720S I wasn't even really concentrating on the cars characteristics, it was the fastest thing on the road so I was buying it, end of story.

When there were threads on PH about how much power is really usable I was always the person who said "You can never have too much! Even if you don't use it just having it in reserve is great!"
I don't feel like this any more. I should have listened to myself really, when I took the 650S to Europe I wrote on a thread on here that I couldn't drive the car to anywhere near it's capability, even on empty, perfect roads in Southern France or Germany I couldn't floor it through the gears because it was just too insanely quick.
On a track it the 650S would have been the greatest piece of metal money could buy but on real roads, no matter how open, safe, grippy, isolated or whatever else comes into your head you cannot get it to break a sweat. Of course you could throw it into a 20mph hairpin at 80 but you know what I mean.

The 650S did everything I could wish for, coupled with it being a spider which was a huge part of the enjoyment for me, especially on Euro trips, I was in heaven. Okay it doesn't sound too exciting but the roof down makes up for a lot of that.
Of course once I'd seen a few facts about the 720S my brain imploded and the car was ordered. Bye bye 650S!

I bought it with the Gorilla glass thinking that would at least compensate a bit for being a coupe and all the other shiny options that drive up your blood pressure.
The car arrived in late March and I had a long Euro trip booked for May, perfect timing. I had about 400 miles on it when I set off and the first trip was a long Toll Road run down to Beaune so it would be nicely run in before the real roads started.
Let me say the 720S is an absolute monster. Anybody who owns one has hit the jackpot in life and my hat is off to them. The power of the thing is beyond anything you can imagine unless you've spent a bit of time racing cars. Isaldiri is right, it is noticeably quicker than the 650S and that hardly seems credible. The first time I drove it hard on a 50 kilometre stretch of empty roads outside Beaune I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
The rate at which the numbers climb on the speedo is frankly ridiculous, all the cells in your body are vibrating like a Rampant Rabbit and you literally forget to breath. You aren't judging the cars handling or assessing it's turn-in or any of that car enthusiasts bks you're just fking tripping balls!
When you finally pull up somewhere you slither out of the thing with legs like jelly.
That was being alive there's no doubt about it.

BUT.

It wore off.
This is the bit I find hard to explain because Petrol Heads look at me like I've gone senile.
It's just way too much.

I realised pretty quickly that driving it like that was so far outside my comfort zone that I was just being a complete arse. I would kill someone, no question.l I wasn't capable of reacting to even the slightest issue at that level.
So I stopped doing that. I wasn't ever going to take the wrapping off properly so to speak. After 15 years of chasing numbers I finally did it, I bought something that I couldn't use.
And then it wasn't quite so special after all. I had 18 days of glorious sunshine in the Alps and it felt like I was sitting in a chicken coop, the Gorilla Glass does nothing, you're in a box basically with the sun shining outside. That applies to any non-convertible of course but I could've had a convertible. It handles fine of course but around town it is a little bit heavy handed, the radio was st, there were too many rattles.
As you can tell I went off it. And once the magic has gone then things that wouldn't usually matter start being a pain.

Remember, this is only my opinion!

In the end we didn't gel, me and the 720S.The best way to describe it is that after driving 3 thousand miles around the best roads in Europe something didn't happen. I don't know what didn't happen, I'm not clever enough to tell, but something didn't.
When I pulled up on the driveway at home after the trip I just thought "Nope". And when you're spending this sort of money on a car you can't be thinking like that, that's right out. Life is too short to be unmoved by a toy you just spent north of a quarter of a million quid on.

So I ordered a 570S Spider! I thought why not? The latest Ferrari range bores me a bit and while I do love Lambo's in general I didn't like the Huracan and the Performante is just too "Boy Racer" for me (sorry guys!!) so lets have another McLaren. It's the only one I hadn't had (I don't make Senna money), it was a current model and I could have a Spider again!

And it's fantastic. It's easily the best of the 3. I know people might say "Well you would say that because you own one" but come on, I had a bloody 720! A car the vast majority of people would rate way higher than the 570. I drove it 3500 miles in a month, very few do, and I moved it on because it didn't suit, I don't just say stuff for the sake of it, the 570 Spider is a fabulous thing!

Obviously, the roof but so much more. The 650 and 720 both had that "Plant your foot and hang on" thing going on, the 570 is different, you have to drive it. It wakes up at about 4 and half thousand revs so you have to work the box, you feel like you're involved even if it is still paddles. I have an MSO exhaust which makes a lovely scream high in the revs so I constantly row through the gears to keep it on. The steering is epic. I loved the 650 but it was a bit light up front.
The 570 goes like stink! On paper it's slightly slower than a 650 but I can't tell and much more importantly I can use it. I can floor it and be in control. Of course the 720 is faster but to what end? I live in South Essex, there's a speed camera every 74 inches, I have to get out in the country roads early on a Sunday to enjoy myself and the 570 is perfect for that.
It feels light, rapid, sure-footed and up for it. Good grief I may keep it!

Now as I said at the start this is all subjective.
I'm not saying the 570 is a better car than the 720 but I am saying the 570 is a better car for me than the 720. And I bought the T-Shirt.

I'm very happy with this car. Of course I'm 55 next year, slowing down a bit definitely. This is probably all different for you young bloods and Charlie you'll definitely need to drive them all as much as you can before parting with the cash.

After all this waffling if I had to give any advice I'd say get a convertible, McLaren have nailed that side of things (cough Carbon Tub cough), it just juices the whole experience up and great for driving trips.
Oh, and take driving trips.
Great post, thank you for taking the time to write it on this thread.

Food for thought for all.

Fermit and Sexy Sarah

6,979 posts

44 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
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Nice write up Br D. Written in such a way that I can get exactly what you're getting at, even having owned nothing above 300bhp.

Superleg48

691 posts

77 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
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This becoming an excellent thread. Great reading.

dsl2

1,242 posts

145 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
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Another quality post by br d.

Proper insight from someone who's been there & done it with his own money.

Great stuff & very pleased to hear the 570 Spider has hit the spot, roll on your 2019 Euro trip back in a convertible, happy days.

MDL111

3,666 posts

121 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
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Very interesting write up
Also loved your road trip thread

I really need to try a 720 - for me it would mostly be an Autobahn and track day car - in theory it should excel at both (and I am not a fan of convertibles). Having said that, I get the too fast point - I think it gets a little much on a public road with other road users

isaldiri

4,767 posts

112 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
f1ten said:
Very good Write up on the ownership experience. It does seem now that the top super cars are actually too fast well too fast for 90% of roads and at least 50% of the time.

Ive Driven a 650s spider and thought it was bloody rapid and drove a 570gt but although a slightly smaller car I liked the pin sharp 650s more.
One could probably argue sports cars have been too fast for 99% of roads and probably 90% of the time as well for a good long time already as one is realistically limited by how much risk you're prepared to put others and yourself on the road rather than by the car as long as it's a reasonably modern sports car. I do think the issue is more an issue of perception of speed though. Yes the 720 is almost unbelieveably quick but a 675 isn't, all things considered, much slower than a 720 but the sensation of speed is far greater so you don't look down at the speedometer when you think you're pootling along and see well in excess of 3 figures. That's also something ime the 570 arguably does better than the 12c/650 did.

It's not just a question of 'is the car too fast for the road' but perhaps a matter of 'is it simply too effortlessly quick'....? actually having to put a bit of effort into driving quickly (especially that quickly) is something that matters as much and perhaps more than absolute performance for some people...

GT4RS

Original Poster:

1,791 posts

141 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
isaldiri said:
f1ten said:
Very good Write up on the ownership experience. It does seem now that the top super cars are actually too fast well too fast for 90% of roads and at least 50% of the time.

Ive Driven a 650s spider and thought it was bloody rapid and drove a 570gt but although a slightly smaller car I liked the pin sharp 650s more.
One could probably argue sports cars have been too fast for 99% of roads and probably 90% of the time as well for a good long time already as one is realistically limited by how much risk you're prepared to put others and yourself on the road rather than by the car as long as it's a reasonably modern sports car. I do think the issue is more an issue of perception of speed though. Yes the 720 is almost unbelieveably quick but a 675 isn't, all things considered, much slower than a 720 but the sensation of speed is far greater so you don't look down at the speedometer when you think you're pootling along and see well in excess of 3 figures. That's also something ime the 570 arguably does better than the 12c/650 did.

It's not just a question of 'is the car too fast for the road' but perhaps a matter of 'is it simply too effortlessly quick'....? actually having to put a bit of effort into driving quickly (especially that quickly) is something that matters as much and perhaps more than absolute performance for some people...
I have to agree that cars have become to fast for the road, I was only speaking to a family member the other day when asked what I felt about my current 991.4s . My reply was it’s a beautiful car and makes me smile everytime I look at it and clean it but being honest it’s far to fast for the road!

We have all this technology and buttons to press to make these things go fast but being honest most are to fast for the road without pressing extra buttons.


tyrrell

1,396 posts

152 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
Great write up br.d, At a Mclaren event in the summer I was chatting to Amanda Mclaren as you do lol, I asked her if there was one car in the range she would buy with her own money what would it be ? She said 570S Spider without a doubt, and she gets to drive the whole range on road and track.

br d

7,084 posts

170 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
dsl2 said:
Another quality post by br d.

Proper insight from someone who's been there & done it with his own money.

Great stuff & very pleased to hear the 570 Spider has hit the spot, roll on your 2019 Euro trip back in a convertible, happy days.
You have to take some of the responsibility for the 570 ds! It was chatting to you on the way back at the Tunnel about yours that helped the seed to germinate!

br d

7,084 posts

170 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
Thanks to everyone for their kind words. You're lucky I didn't have a lot of time or I would have wittered on for hours!

Charlie360

350 posts

202 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
Brad, Firstly thank you very much for taking the time to respond in such depth. As someone else said this is turning into a really good thread. Oh and I still really want a 720 I'm afraid!

I've had some reasonable cars in the past, starting with TVRs which were a real love/hate relationship and that's something that I do fear with the Mclaren's - you nailed it when you stated that once the magic was gone things that you'd normally not think too hard about really start to annoy - I had this with the two Cerberas in spades and this is one aspect that I really don't want to return to.

I thought I'd "grown out" of fast cars, as most of my friends (who don't 'get' cars) these days tell me that it's a childish obsession, but I really hanker after another sports/super car having spent a few years out of them, but it seems I just have to scratch that itch again. I too am not really that interested in any of the current crop of Fezzas, Porsches or Lambos, but there is something about Mclaren, their British racing heritage, and that carbon tub, having been trained as an engineer, plus above all of that, as you say, knowing that you have the "everything else slayer" ability is the bit that I find so alluring.

Yeah sure I know that you can't really use it on the road - I have a current RS6, which frankly I can't use the performance of on the road and it wouldn't hope to see which way a 720 went. For this reason, I worry that if I saved a significant chunk of cash and bought a nice 650 coupe like the one this thread started about, would I forever wonder how much more a 720 would offer (on paper) and therefore still have to scratch that itch? I guess only I could answer that. The problem is that both you and WCZ have said that the 720 is noticeably quicker, which I'd really hoped you wouldn't, hence the way I phrased the "do you really notice the 0.1 second 0-60 difference?" - of course I know it must be noticeable - I was just hoping you'd say it wasn't!

I guess my other big fear is that as you say 720 money is proper cash and their current trajectory on depreciation is frankly slightly scary. If I buy one and hang onto it, then that becomes slightly academic, because you only really crystalise that loss when you sell and aside of your reasons for selling, I fear that if I had a problematic car for that kind of money it would just annoy me and I'd want out of it, through possibly no fault of my own, but I'd still be taking the hit (and I'm guessing that spread currently is probably between 30 and 50K) - so I'm sitting on the side lines currently (obviously combined with market uncertainty, as I'd need to sell investments to fund it).

I've not driven either a 650 or a 720, but I'm not certain what I'd learn from a test drive of either - I already know that the 720 is the everything slayer, so I'm not going to learn that and as I'm only going to be on a test drive for a very limited period of time with a salesman sitting next to me and telling me how amazing it is, but not to exceed the 30 mph limit........ what can I learn that I don't already know, without jumping in feet first? I'm certainly not going to get the experience you did around Beaune on a test drive (I was wine tasting there in September and can only imagine what it must have been like with 720 in tow)

so, in summary, for me, this is a difficult one and you have only made it a little more difficult - thank you again.

oh and please do witter more when you have the time - it is a very enjoyable read.

Edited by Charlie360 on Wednesday 19th December 21:30

Dc5991

23 posts

171 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
I think its the same car, been for sale here for a while, looks amazing, if only !!!!

https://www.thecarfinders.co.uk/copy-of-vehicle-3

Mark-C

3,035 posts

149 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
GT4RS said:
Car was originally priced £3k less
So offer them £5k less than what they're now asking?

And then less than that in four weeks time if they still have the car.

LotusJas

821 posts

175 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
As it's a 650S thread, I will keep this very brief.


I've owned and driven a lot of extremely fast cars, the last one I owned being a Exige S1 with supercharged and charge-cooled Honda. Some of you will know how extreme that this. That car was extremely fast, and I always thought it too fast for the road, but I did thrash it on road when conditions allowed. Mostly used fast on track though. It rarely scared me.

The only car I'd driven that was truly scary was a Michelotto race engined F40. And that was mostly because of its terribly peaky power delivery.

The 720S is simply on another level. Stupidly, breath-takingly, terrifying fast if you push it hard. It truly scares you. It feels like it goes into warp, and just keeps on accelerating. I found it much easier to cope with on track, but even then, it is much quicker than I can think and react to.

Can I use its performance fully? No way. I think only a pro race driver can do that.

So, do I want a slower car. No way smile In fact I plan to get the 7xxLT. Not because the 720S is not quick enough, but …. "just because". I'm a petrolhead, and life's too short. So why not enjoy the very best car (IMHO) there is smile

dsl2

1,242 posts

145 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
Hi dr b. Haha I think you had already mentally checked out of the 720 when we chatted at the tunnel & had your sights firmly locked on the 570 Spider at that point. Very pleased you are suitably chuffed with your new steed.

In amongst some of this Forums posters obessive depreciation laden concerns, reasons not to buy & worrying over potential losses of what in reality for this level of car if buying used with someone pontificating about not wanting to buy unless he can just loose circa £5 or £10K a year (really?) I must say I've had zero regrets about buying mine back in April despite the fact its undoubtedly down a good chunk of change already.

I get a palpable frisson of excitement every time I open the garage door & jump into it, its a fabulous exciting car far exceeding my expectations & so useable too.

The stunning summer I've just enjoyed with my 570S will live with me far far longer than the loss of something as transient as money is long forgotten. Someone on here a while ago made a comment that struck a cord with me especially as the years pass & people that matter to me are starting to encounter serious health issues, money comes & goes, whereas time just goes.....

If you want a McLaren (any of them will likely blow your socks off) & its within your mean's I'd highly recommend you do it, your a long time dead.