Each year at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours in California, auto enthusiasts from across the globe witness the emergence of some of the most breathtaking luxury cars, both modern as well as vintage. At the Pebble Beach Concours this month, one of the most renowned racing cars of the yester years, a Gulf Team Davidoff 1997 McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ made headlines, after it was sold for a mind blowing $13 million. This stunning sale was part of a Bonham’s Auction that took place at the Pebble Beach event and the sale of the McLaren F1 GTR broke the record of a previous auction of the same car that fetched $3.9 million. The 1997 McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ was designed and developed by the iconic Gordon Murray, who also happens tp be the creator of the widely popular McLaren F1 supercar.
In the year 1997, after successfully sporting the McLaren F1 on the racing tracks, the company went to the drawing board to bring about extensive modifications to the F1 chassis, which in turn resulted in the formation of McLaren GTR ’97 ‘LongTail’. This was the same year that FIA GT Championship came into effect and brought along with numerous changes to the car requirements for the racing tracks. This further led to aerodynamic intensive modifications to the McLaren F1 in an effort to compete with the emerging competitors on the GT tracks in the form of Porsche 911 GT1, Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR etc. One of the principal changes made to this luxury supercar was the addition of a longer tail and nose, while retaining the original carbon fiber monocoque body work. The McLaren F1 GTR is powered by a state of the art BMW S70 V12 engine that generates a thunderous 600 hp and enables this luxury supercar to achieve a maximum speed of 200 mph, while sporting a 6-speed sequential transmission.
The particular Gulf Team Davidoff 1997 McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ auctioned off by Bonham’s was originally developed with the chassis number 027R. However, after suffering from damage during one of its transport routines, the F1 GTR was reclassified with the chassis number 028R and was designated as spare car. After repairs, the Gulf Team Davidoff 1997 McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’, chassis number 028R was eventually put through its paces at the race circuits, with most notable appearance being the FIA GT Championship 4-hour races at the Nurburgring in 1997.