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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, everyone. This is my first post on this forum, and I'm happy to be here! :)

I found this image while searching for F1 pics on Google.


Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any info on this particular car.

Does anyone know which car this is (chassis #)?
Who does the car belong to?
What is the name of the paint colour (I know it's gray, but there must be a specific name for this custom colour)?
Any info about this special F1 will be much appreciated! :D

Cheers!
 

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This photo you have found is several years old but to cover the basics the F1 is chassis #009 and it has been in Australia all its life. The 'VIC' on the plate there is for "Victoria". I'd call the paint color "Dark Silver" as it matches a couple of other F1s (#012 and #045) which were both sprayed that color originally, however this is not chassis #009's original paint.

This F1 was originally owned by Dean Wills, the CEO of the Coca Cola bottling company in Australia. As you may know, Australia has some very strict rules governing passenger cars being RHD in their country so apparently it took some special help from elected officials to allow the F1 to be imported there. Chassis #009 was originally painted Magnesium Silver - a rather bright normal silver color that a large percentage of the F1s were originally sprayed. Here's a photo of the car on the stand one year at the Sydney Motorshow in its original configuration:

<-- click

In 1997 while in for routine service at BMW of Sydney, the car was being test driven by the technician and was crashed quite heavily. The damage can be seen in this unfortunate photo. :eek:



The car went back to McLaren in Woking for repairs and it resulted in Australia's highest insurance payout of nearly $1M AUD. Even more surprising though, the mechanic who crashed the car was able to keep his job.

When the car was rebuilt it was resprayed as you see it in your first photo and the wheels had been painted to match the body color - a rather unique touch. Here's the full set of images from that day:





Wills kept the car until December 2004 which is when those photos were taken. He sold it to Tony Raftis, one of the owners of Maranello Motorsport, and it was Tony who had the wheels redone in the more traditional silver. Personally I'd have left them as they were - it looked great. He displayed the car at the Melbourne Grand Prix in early 2005 and you can see they have been changed.

<-- click

Tony kept the car for about 6 months and then sold it to what should be it's current owner, Barry Fitzgerald. Barry made his money with McDonald's franchises so one has to wonder just how many Big Mac's he sold to buy the F1, which some also refer to as a 'Big Mac'. :D

I use this photo of #009 as my iPhone wallpaper. Click the image to see the original photo taken by my friend Daan Hoffmann. :cool:



It also made a recent appearance at Motorclassica in Melbourne back in October:

<-- click

<-- click

>8^)
ER
 

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As you may know, Australia has some very strict rules governing passenger cars being RHD in their country so apparently it took some special help from elected officials to allow the F1 to be imported there. ER
I know they are very strict on cars being RHD. There was a Ferrari F50 that spent over a year in a bonded warehouse in Melbourne before the owner gave up trying to import it and finally shipped it back to the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you very much Peloton. Very very sorry for such the late reply. Thanks for all the info. I as well bow down to you and admire your insane wealth of knowledge about the F1 and pretty much all the individual chassis numbers. It's truly amazing, really!

Cheers! :)
 

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Damage is not that severe from my sources on the ground following the Tour in NZ. He's a good guy who drives the F1 more often than most owners do, so its a shame to see. The unfortunate publicity and perhaps a bruised ego or scolding from the wife who I believe was along for the ride will be his biggest negatives here.

>8^)
ER
 

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Assuming an F1 appreciates even a few percent each year, these cars can afford a few repairs every now and then haha.
 

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Based on the pictures of the accident scene, it looks like the car went nose-first into a ditch and a berm. Based on that, I'd be surprised if the damage is serious; remember, this is the car that McLaren joked cracked the cement wall when it did its head-on government-required crash tests.
 

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I have post-crash photos taken after it was removed from the ditch and the damages appear limited to the lower left front corner where it came to rest.

Driver was charged with Careless Driving today and the news reporting is getting a bit carried away. Again, the primary negative in all of this. MSO will no doubt be able to remove all evidence of this incident except for the headlines.

>8^)
ER
 
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