For the first several years after production had finished, most secondary market sales of F1s were handled by McLaren, who acted as agent and received a commission from the seller. A standard part of that service was a full inspection of the car, and documentation of its production and service history.Official McLaren F1 certification service announced as McLaren Special Operations reveals F1 GTR '25R' restoration at Hampton Court Concours of Elegance
31 Aug 2018
First factory programme to authenticate McLaren F1 supercar now available to owners
New service aims to safeguard originality of iconic car for future generations
Ex-Le Mans F1 GTR ‘25R’ emerges from rebuild by McLaren Special Operations as fully restored, first F1 Certified car
McLaren Automotive, the British manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sportscars and supercars, today introduces a new service to authenticate the heritage of iconic McLaren F1 supercars. The launch of the new programme is coincident with the unveiling of the first F1 to be approved for certification, the renowned ‘25R’ 1997 F1 GTR Longtail. Pristine after a full restoration to ‘as new’ condition by McLaren Special Operations, the last F1 GTR to compete in period is one of the stars of the Hampton Court Concours of Elegance (31 August – 2 September 2018).
“Even among F1 GTRs, this car, designated ‘25R’, is unique – and now it is as near to being new as we can make it,” commented Ansar Ali, Managing Director, McLaren Special Operations (MSO). “The car is the exemplar of everything that the new certification programme stands for and we are proud to have ‘25R’ as the very first McLaren F1 Certified car.”
Announced at Hampton Court with the unveiling of the chassis number 25 car, the F1 Certified programme has been developed to guarantee the authenticity of both road and track versions of the Le Mans-winning supercar, offering ultimate peace of mind for current and future owners. A unique Certificate of Authenticity – which McLaren Automotive is the only body in the world able to issue – authenticates a car’s provenance, originality, service life, road/race history and condition. Conformity with the original specification and to any McLaren-sanctioned upgrades is confirmed by reference to the factory archives.
Along with the certificate, owners receive a bespoke illustrated book documenting the history of their car. In total 106 McLaren F1s were built between 1993-98, among them 64 road cars and 28 GTR race cars, and all are eligible for the scheme.
Get Your McLaren F1 Certified To Make Sure It's Not Fake
Justin T. Westbrook
You used to lay awake with hopes of owning a McLaren F1. Then you worked hard and made enough money and you bought one. Congratulations. But now McLaren wants to keep you awake wondering if your McLaren F1 is legitimate.
The good news is you can pay McLaren even more money now to certify your F1. McLaren Special Operations has announced a new certification service to guarantee the authenticity of all of the McLaren F1s that are out there, including both road cars and race cars.
To get a certificate of authenticity, only McLaren Automotive can comb over your car’s background and compare it with company archives, including provenance, service life, condition, race history and originality.
All of this to confirm that you are indeed a very special person for owning a very special McLaren F1, valued at millions and millions of special dollars. I just can’t help but feel like this is just another barrier to convincing owners to actually drive their F1s. For what’s supposedly one of the best engineered driving experiences ever, judging how much it actually gets driven even harsher seems like unfortunate discouragement of a good time.
Jalopnik has reached out to McLaren to ask if the certification service costs owners anything and we’ll let you know if we hear back.
In recent years, the majority of secondary market sales have been done through independents, such as Tom Hartley Jr, Symbolic, and RM-Sothebys - used car salesmen whose knowledge of the F1 in general and any specific F1 chassis is limited to what a schoolboy would find in a quick Google search.
I see this new McLaren service as being an attempt by MSO to reinvigorate their relationships with those F1 owners with whom contact has diminished. It won't have any effect on the F1 market, although it may help McLaren to get more mandates to buy or sell F1s.
As for "authenticity", F1s are sufficiently sophisticated and unique in their technology that it would be extremely difficult to make a forgery. A 250 GTO used a standard Ferrari engine block and gearbox that were used in other models. The bodies and chassis were crude metalwork. In contrast, the F1s' engine and transaxle were unique to the car. How would someone get the moulds for all the CF bodywork? Just procuring something like an ersatz windshield that would fit an F1 would be a big project. The only place in the world from which one can buy the cars' unique tyres is McLaren Automotive (or from them via Mac Philly).
The Jalopnik writer asks whether McLaren might offer this certification service to F1 owners free of charge. The chances of that are less than the chances that Stoffel Vandoorne will win this year's World Drivers' Championship.