Seeing a single McLaren F1 is a notable occasion, but seeing 22? Good job our supercar snapper was on hand!
Road trips. Many of us aspire to one day go on one. Many of us have been on one. Many of us have waited by the side of the road for the AA to save us from one. However, I'm fairly confident when I say this, not many of us have taken our McLaren F1 on a road trip. And even fewer of us have joined 21 other McLaren F1s on a road trip through the French countryside to celebrate 25 years of Woking legend.
However, earlier this summer, the McLaren F1 Owners Club did just that. 22 McLaren F1s gathered including seven F1 GTRs (five of which were road legal), alongside 14 P1s, three of the six P1 LMs ever made, and a P1 GTR at a hotel in Bordeaux. French school children, who had clearly caught wind of what was going on, pressed up against the fences of their school yards to cheer as cars that had actually raced at Le Mans tore through their sleepy villages. It was a sight like no other.
Never before in my life have I stood in a car park where the £10 million Rolls Royce Sweptail was pushed to one side, and was less valuable than more than half of the cars there. Never before in my life have I stood on a wet French B-road and heard the V12 roar and characteristic gearbox whine of the F1 GTR over and over as yet more of the ultra rare, ultra valuable cars emerged mixed in between P1s, F1 road cars, MSO High Sports, and Carbon Series 675LT Spiders for good measure. Never before in my life have I driven behind a road legal F1 GTR Long Tail, only to be overtaken rapidly by a P1 LM with wing big enough to make the Wright brothers proud.
The entire occasion was surreal. Impossible to take it all in. Money and history everywhere. Three grown men stuffed cosily into cars that are worth more than most northern towns. Personal highlights included the last ever F1 built finished in the colour Yquem, which is a deep orange named after a vineyard in Bordeaux, car 018 all the way from New Zealand featuring the rare High Downforce Kit and finaly 21R, the road legal Fina F1 GTR Long Tail. Using it on the road seems completely nonsensical, making it all the more epic!
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