1997 McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ to star at Bonhams' 2012 Quail Lodge sale
The famous pale-blue/orange Gulf colours were first seen on John Wyer-run, GT40-based Mirages in 1967. The Le Mans-winning GT40s of 1968 and 1969 put the colour scheme on the map, and Steve McQueen’s 1970 ‘Le Mans’ film cemented the image in the public’s imagination.
In 1970 and 1971, Wyer ran works Porsche 917s that totally dominated the Championship, winning just about every race – apart from the famous French 24 Hours.
After winning Le Mans in 1995 with only a slightly amended road car, McLaren went on to produce more highly specialised racing cars with improved aerodynamics via a longer tail and other modifications. This is the type of car you see here, a ‘short circuit’ chassis that was raced at the Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Austria’s A1-Ring, Donington Park, Mugello, Sebring and Laguna Seca.
The regular driving line-up included Andrew Gilbert-Scott, Geoff Lees, Anders Olofsson and John Neilsen.
Mark Osborne, Head of Motoring at Bonhams USA, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed by an international collector to represent this breathtaking piece of competition machinery.
“Racing legends like the McLaren F1 GTR rarely if ever appear at auction and Bonhams' appointment speaks volumes about our leadership in this sector of the market.”
The Bonhams Quail Lodge sale will take place at a larger venue within the grounds of Quail Lodge on 16, 17 August 2012.