My Experience at the MTC - McLaren Life
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post #1 of 61 Old 03-05-2015, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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My Experience at the MTC

A few months ago, I asked members of this forum for assistance in obtaining a tour at the McLaren Technology Center. At first I did not get much of a response, but about a week after the initial posting, I received a rather ambiguous private message. The message read, “Let me know when you would like to visit and I'll make it happen. Honest.” I was a bit skeptical, but after about 6 weeks of correspondence with this anonymous person, I figured the invitation was too elaborate to be a hoax. With that being said, I did acknowledge the fact that this might all be a constructed by some mentally unstable/sociopathic forum user. Regardless, I flew to London and travelled to the MTC. The taxi just made it past the McLaren Sign when it was stopped by the guard post. I jumped out of the taxi and approached the small hypermodern building only to be greeted by four guards. I told them my name, however, I was told that my name was not on the visitation list, and that I should leave. However, after traveling this far, I was not about to turn back. After 15 minutes of making calls, one of the guards asked, “What about Frank Stephenson?” All of the guards quietly began to laugh. When I inquired about their laughter they replied, “Well he is a bit crazy, and certainly strange enough to let you in.” The guards finally called Frank, and he confirmed that he had set up the tour. I was elated and quite shocked to hear who our host was. I’ve known who Frank Stephenson was for quite some time, and loved much of his previous work. Cough cough… (Maserati MC12) Anyway, I walked into the pristine white MTC building and took a glass elevator up to the second floor. I was directed into a small reception room, and after 10 minutes of anxious waiting, Frank walked in. He was extremely kind and jovial, but had to attend a meeting, so another member of the design team took me around. At first, he took me to the Boulevard, and then to the 650s showroom. However, this was not the main attraction. Our guide went up the a touchscreen monitor and punched in a code. Then the entire back wall of the 650s showroom evaporated. He closed the wall behind us, and interacted with another touchpad. Lights came on, and a massive carbon fiber turntable with a yellow p1 became visible. I looked at the car for over 15 minutes and traced the airflow over its beautiful flowing geometry. I loved the experience. After that, we walked down the Boulevard and saw the evolution of F1 and its cars. I also took a look at the McLaren F1, which was amazing in itself. We walked to the Wind tunnel next, and took a look at some of the scale models. Finally, we took a short walk to the production center. There, we traced the growth of the P1 and 650s from carbon fiber fuselages to full developed racing machines. After that we met up with Frank once again, and we spoke about a myriad of topics for the next hour. At the very end of the trip, Frank took us to a number of extremely interesting places, which I am not at liberty to talk about. Regardless of that, the entire experience was extraordinary and one very memorable day.
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post #2 of 61 Old 03-05-2015, 09:03 PM
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great experience. thanks for sharing.
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post #3 of 61 Old 03-06-2015, 01:39 AM
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Wow that was an intense beginning. Great experience!
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post #4 of 61 Old 03-06-2015, 02:01 AM
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Haha that was a fun read. Glad you enjoyed it!
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post #5 of 61 Old 03-06-2015, 03:30 AM
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Great story.......what's worrying me is that I find Frank to be just one of the boys

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post #6 of 61 Old 03-06-2015, 03:46 AM
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That's a fantastic story. Frank's James Bond cred just ratcheted fully to double-O 7 status!

It's always heartening to hear when someone does random good things when they don't have to, just because. I hope Frank had even half as much enjoyment in doing this (and I impinge a lot of other nice things) as I did hearing about it; he'll have a really warm heart at that.
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post #7 of 61 Old 03-06-2015, 09:46 PM
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Has he finally figured out how to make the turntable work in the viewing room? (Sorry, Frank)

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post #8 of 61 Old 03-07-2015, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by texas mongrel View Post
Has he finally figured out how to make the turntable work in the viewing room? (Sorry, Frank)
I'm sure he has people for that sort of thing, Mongrel
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post #9 of 61 Old 03-07-2015, 02:52 PM
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I'm sure he has people for that sort of thing, Mongrel
Last time I was in the viewing room Frank was doing the presentation on his own,and now I come to remember it the table wasn't working then either .
No problem though,too engrossed in the car (and you too Frank )

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post #10 of 61 Old 03-07-2015, 03:05 PM
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Frank is 1 of 3 reasons I am still a McLaren customer.
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post #11 of 61 Old 03-07-2015, 03:30 PM
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Frank is 1 of 3 reasons I am still a McLaren customer.
You're going to make us ask aren't you.
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post #12 of 61 Old 03-07-2015, 04:24 PM
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Frank is 1 of 3 reasons I am still a McLaren customer.
I'm with you on that one 6th

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post #13 of 61 Old 03-07-2015, 04:35 PM
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You're going to make us ask aren't you.

Nope, just can't think of 2 other ones!
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post #14 of 61 Old 03-07-2015, 07:05 PM
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A bit of Man Love going on here me thinks and understandable as Frank lives performance.......I have never caught him up when he rides his Panegalle on a Sunday!

But the pressure is on.......all the next cars are Frank's cars.

In Frank we trust.

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post #15 of 61 Old 03-07-2015, 08:37 PM
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So Rocketman, who was the private message from?

Yes I know it was Frank, but what was his forum ID?

Course you will reveal all

Great story.

Up above the streets and houses.
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