McLaren F1 Celebrates its 20th Birthday

Twenty years of the McLaren F1; and it’s still the fastest normally aspirated production road car in the world. To many, it is the greatest supercar of all time.

McLaren Automotive celebrated the car’s 20th anniversary by inviting F1 owners past and present to Woking. The result was a display of 21 McLaren F1 road and race cars: the largest number ever assembled in one place.

Ron Dennis, Executive Chairman of McLaren Automotive, reflects the feelings of many owners when he says, “The F1 is a technological tour-de-force and a real triumph in terms of packaging and design. Whether endurance racing or on road, it is supremely fast, agile and yet comfortable. Its styling is enduring and will never fade. I enjoy driving mine more today than ever before because I find its technical purity highly satisfying.”

It was 1988 when McLaren first took the decision to expand from Formula One and build “the finest sports car the world had ever seen”, but not till March 1990 did the team that was to create the F1 come together for the first time.

Who will ever forget the startling innovations of their new supercar: the central driving position; the pannier side lockers providing unprecedented levels of luggage capacity in a car of this type; the patented suspension system to provide both control and ride quality.

The F1 was finally launched at a price of £540,000 in 1994 and, over the course of the next four years, sixty-four F1, five F1 LM and three F1 GT road cars were produced, together with twenty-eight F1 GTR race cars. An additional six prototypes were produced.

In October 2008, a delivery-mileage F1 was sold at auction for £2.53 million, underlining the F1’s status as one of the great motoring icons.

Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photos: McLaren


ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter
Free Subscription!