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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My day at McLaren.

Let me start by saying that to fully appreciate what the 12c and P1 are all about, you really must visit the McLaren Technology Center.

As you approach the roundabout in front of McLaren, the massive sign greets you letting you know that something very special is about to appear - and it is, indeed, special.

After we are cleared by security, we were directed to park in the VIP executive area. As we drove along the circular road that borders the lake in front of the building, I could not stop staring at the architecture, so much so that I narrowly escaped from driving into the lake, despite my wife reminding me to keep my eyes on the road. seriously, last thing I wanted was to make the company newsletter as the first driver to end up in the lake
(in a rented Peugeot).

We were greeted at the entrance by our tour guide, Rak. The interior of the facility is even more amazing than the exterior. I can honestly say I have never experienced a building quite like this, and I am not sure I ever will again. It is almost surreal.

Rak escorted us through the Jetson -like elevators up to level 1 where we were offered refreshments, but we were already adequately refreshed, so off we descended to level minus 1. On the way, we passed by the multiples of Formula 1 cars and the three F1s. I was hoping that Rak would toss me the keys and tell me go for a spin. At least the F1 steering wheel is in the center, so for a while I could get away from the right hand drive cars.

We descended into the tunnel connecting the two buildings, then we entered the McLaren Production Center and climbed up a circular staircase to a landing above the production floor.

To the right was the P1 production line and to the left was the 12c production line, both filled end to end with magnificent cars.

We decended to the production floor. At the bottom of the stairs sits the first P1, which is Silver. We walked the P1 line seeing the cars gradually come to life. The first P1 has Just shipped, so some very fortunate person is about to have the drive of their life.

We then walked up the 12c line looking for my car, production number 7614 was sitting between a Black and a Volcano Red. And then we saw it - my 50th anniversary in McLaren Orange. It was completely naked with no outer panels on at all. It was like peering at an xray of my car. I could see all the mechanicals, all the plumbing and wiring harnesses. Unfortunately, the seats were not installed yet, nor had the engine been fired up, but the dash was in place and I could start to see the beginings of the colour scheme of saddle tan and black. In a few days, the car of my dreams will be ready to roll out of the assembly building under her own power.

We headed back up to ground level to explore the Formula one area and visited the Electronics, Gearbox, Carbon fiber fabrication workshops. While walking down the corridor, we bumped into Sergio Perez who has just returned from the Japan GP for a debreifing. We then round a corner and we come face to face with Jenson Button. We bumped into Jenson several more times as he was being followed by a film crew.

We were led back to our starting point by Rak, still discussing the F1 cars in front of us. As we were listening to Rak recount their history, Frank Stephenson came up to us to introduce himself. He then lead us up to the back offices of the design area where he presented me with a poster he made of my car with the licence plate " Zach's McLaren 50th", which he autographed. He then took off his McLaren lapel pin and gave it to me. Before we are led back to the main entance, I made one request to Frank: that he sign my car, which he promised he would do. I am not a person who have ever been impressed by celebrities or fame. However, to meet Frank, who is such a talented designer and has had a significant impact on the auto industry, was a thrill of a lifetime.

My visit to McLaren was truly an amazing experience. To see Sergio Perez and Jenson Button, to watch my car being built, and to meet the amazing designer, Frank Stephenson, was a bucket list experience which more than exceeded my expectations. That was my day at McLaren.

My 50th anniversary 12c will remain in my collection till the very end.
 

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For Frank to take time out of his day , give you his precious lapel pin, signed poster and further commitment to sign your car is outstanding..............we now know that the P13 will suffer delays to market!

Glad you, and presumably, your wife enjoyed the visit and experience to the max.
 

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Thanks for the review Zach,very few places impress my cynical self,but going back to the MTC is always as exciting as the first time,i will never tire of it :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What a fabulous experience, and then you get to keep the car....
All you missed was a hug from Ron!
I don't get the feeling Ron is the touchy feely kind.:)
 

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What a fantastic experience! I did the same with mine and its unforgettable. Glad you enjoyed it.
 

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You can buy him a pint!
 

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Been fortunate to visit MTC three times now and have never been disappointed and as Andy say, every time is just so special.

However, have never set eyes on a designer, let alone one of the F1 jockeys.

Truly envious, but pleased for you Zachary.

Not only have you out trumped us with your visit, but also with your 12C

Enjoy
 

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I almost got there for a trip from Australia (it's a loooong flight) before I bought my 12C. Hopefully they'll do another McLaren Experience soon and I'll get there. I'm a bit jealous of you Zachary. Although I did get to meet Ron Dennis at a launch event.
 

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What a day it must have been for you and your wife Zachary, very happy for you! I hope the weather was fine, it adds so much to that fantastic and beautiful view out over the lake when it's sunny! Any chance you can show us a picture of that poster that Frank signed for you? Would love to know too where on the 12C he'll be signing it for you? What a lucky guy! Might have to see if he'll do that to my P1 next year...
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
What a day it must have been for you and your wife Zachary, very happy for you! I hope the weather was fine, it adds so much to that fantastic and beautiful view out over the lake when it's sunny! Any chance you can show us a picture of that poster that Frank signed for you? Would love to know too where on the 12C he'll be signing it for you? What a lucky guy! Might have to see if he'll do that to my P1 next year...
The weather was overcast, as it has been for most of this trip. It was still an awesome experience, and one that I highly recommend.

Once I return home I will scan the poster and post it. Frank told me he would sign the car once it was finished. Then let me know where to find it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
For Frank to take time out of his day , give you his precious lapel pin, signed poster and further commitment to sign your car is outstanding..............we now know that the P13 will suffer delays to market!

Glad you, and presumably, your wife enjoyed the visit and experience to the max.
Yes my wife did enjoy the day, but was a little disappointed that there was no gift shop. I suggested that she pick up a P1 for me as a momento, but she already maxed out her credit card.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the review Zach,very few places impress my cynical self,but going back to the MTC is always as exciting as the first time,i will never tire of it :)
They are building another facility accross the road and will be moving the aerodynamics and electronics divisions once completed. 2500 people work at the facility and they have run out of space.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I almost got there for a trip from Australia (it's a loooong flight) before I bought my 12C. Hopefully they'll do another McLaren Experience soon and I'll get there. I'm a bit jealous of you Zachary. Although I did get to meet Ron Dennis at a launch event.
It would be worth the looooooong flight to experience the MTC, you will have a new appreciation of the car (s).
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Here is the poster that Frank Stephenson presented me with.

 
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