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by George Skentzos

With McLaren Automotive returning to the pinnacle of supercar production with the new MP4-12C, the brand has paid homage to its original icon – the McLaren F1 – celebrating the 20th anniversary of its most famous nameplate.

McLaren has chosen to celebrate this milestone by inviting F1 owners past and present to a celebration dinner at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England – many of whom brought their own McLaren F1s along to mark the occasion.

With 21 McLaren F1s in attendance, the event marks the largest number of F1 cars ever assembled in one place – accounting for about one-fifth of the total number of McLaren F1s ever built.

Ron Dennis, McLaren Automotive Executive Chairman, said: “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; the F1 remains one of McLaren’s proudest achievements.”

In 1988, McLaren decided to expand on its involvement in Formula 1 and set about to build “the finest sports car the world had ever seen” – a dream which became a reality on May 28, 1992 in Monaco when the McLaren F1 was launched to the world.

The McLaren F1’s ground breaking moment happened March 31, 1998 when McLaren race driver Andy Wallace took XP5 – the fifth and final prototype with some 45,000 miles on the clock – to the Ehra-Lessien proving ground in Germany.

It was here that the howling V12 propelled him to an amazing 386.4km/h – an outright record which stood for almost a decade until the likes of Koenigsegg and Bugatti emerged.

Today the McLaren remains the world’s fastest normally aspirated production road car in the world and has cemented McLaren’s status as the only manufacturer to win the Formula 1 World Championship, the Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

In total, six variants of the McLaren F1 were built between 1993 and 1997 for both the road and the racetrack – all of which shared the same BMW-sourced 6.0-litre V12 powerplant which produced between 447kW and 507kW in various states of tune.




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