1962 Ferrari 250GTO vs. 1995 McLaren F1 GTR

2017 Drive-my.com and Charlie Magee

The icons square up. Will the McLaren ever replace the Ferrari as the ultimate classic? The experts decide. Ferrari 250GTO and McLaren F1. Three decades apart yet still ultimates in their own right: but can the F1 take a tilt at the GTO’s connoisseur crown? They’re two of the most desirable cars in the world – and they have more in common than you might think. But can McLaren’s first hypercar ever aspire to the mantle of the ultimate Ferrari? Photography Charlie Magee.


On the face of it, the comparison seems an unlikely one. Pitch an early-1960s Ferrari against a McLaren that appeared more than half-a-century later? Yet there’s no dispute about their desirability, that’s for sure: the going rate for a 250GTO is north of £20 million and, while the F1 is worth only a fraction of that, as fractions go it’s still a substantial amount – say £2.5-3 million.

But the suggestion for this unique back-to-back came from no less an authority than the motor sport historian Doug Nye, who provocatively claims that the two cars have more in common than you might think. Over the page, you can read his entertaining explanation of what links the GTO and the F1. And, to continue the theme, Mark Hales explores the way the two cars drive; while international classic car broker (and F1 owner) Simon Kidston speculates on how they may both fare on the market in years to come.

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We’ve also included some comments from the two individuals lucky enough to own our feature cars. You certainly need to be very well-heeled to buy one, these days – but do they cost a fortune to run? The answers may surprise you…


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Doug Nye on The Big Question

Provenance, race history, ultimate design and engineering credibility: both have it. So does the McLaren F1 stand a chance of matching the 250GTO in the eyes of seasoned enthusiasts?


I was a bit fazed when Ron Dennis phoned me. Ooh-err. We hadn’t spoken in years, ever since I’d completed the owner’s special edition of our McLaren F1 book Driving Ambition and Ron had decreed that, although I could have a copy, I would have to pay full price for it. I have seldom been more deeply unimpressed.


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Never before had I been refused a discount on one of my own books. On principle I suggested an alternative destination for the volume in question. I think I’d already blotted my copybook when he’d suggested that I’d make an ideal manager for a McLaren F1 Bonneville record attempt. I’d honestly confessed that while I’d love to do it, his confidence was wildly misplaced, I actually knew my limitations, and by his standards I’d just prove I couldn’t even run a bath. Another – unspoken – reason was that I couldn’t see myself willingly wearing some team uniform, plastered in sponsor logos from people and products I might detest. Hmm – but now he again wanted something from me.

I opened the conversation by remarking ‘Oh gawd – what have I done wrong?’ Chuckling, Ron assured me that he simply wanted to check some ancient history and we had an enjoyable half-hour or so exploring the field. But my notions of old McLarens’ monetary value were laughably out-of-date, as he made clear. I then readily explained in detail what my long-time associates at auctioneers Bonhams totally understand. I’m a history man, not a money man, and to me no old banger can itself be worth more than five to ten grand. It’s then that genuine stature, proven record, superstar association and – above all – market perception add the zillions.

In contrast, a long-overdue lunch with Gordon Murray – creator of the McLaren F1 – went rather better. We giggled a lot, recalling when he had invited me to tag along with the inaugural McLaren Cars project – as a kind of semi-resident Boswell to his Dr Johnson – very early in the piece.

He and McLaren’s late, wonderful, Creighton Brown had first asked me to sign a confidentiality agreement which, in puzzlement, I did. Then they took me down into the workshop at their spanking new Albert Drive factory in Woking, and there sat a rough-cut MDF cockpit mockup. It was at the time all that existed of the McLaren F1. Its windscreen was defined merely by strings stretched between tacks in the timber header rail and scuttle top.

Creighton’s confidentiality agreement was explained by the arrow-head seat layout and centreline driving position. Despite my prejudice against ‘ordinary’ roadgoing supercars, I recognised that Gordon had brought me in on the birth of something truly wonderful – and in later years it proved a real privilege to tell the full story.

This March, part of that story came full circle. The great Nick Mason and I found ourselves co-presenting a group of our favourite cars to a select – but frankly dauntingly highly qualified – audience at the 7th Connoisseurship Symposium in Miles Collier’s fantastic Collection at Naples, Florida. We had only an hour, more or less, for that module, but spent 25 minutes of it on the very first car selected: the McLaren F1.

Within that select audience there were several owners of F1s and, significantly, of 50-year-old Ferrari 250GTOs. Nick himself, as a discerning connoisseur of truly great cars, has one of each. Back in the late ’80s when he ‘only’ had a £70,000 GTO he had lent it to mutual friend Murray.

And this is where, though my sense of attached monetary numbers is demonstrably inadequate, I can claim some insight. Nobody would claim that a GTO offers 21st-century refinement, quiet, comfort and mod cons. But by happy circumstance the Ferrari design team that developed the model in 1961-1962 provided one of the best-balanced, most driveable and forgiving private-owner quasi-competition cars of all time. Nick tells me that today he’s perfectly happy to have his GTO circuitraced on a Sunday by professional drivers (with a realistic prospect of a decent result), while remaining confident that the car will emerge fit enough for his wife to take it on a comfortable, enjoyable – and QUICK! – week-long Rallye Feminin next day. What’s true today was just as true 50 years ago when the first of the 39 Ferrari 250GTOs built first rolled out of Maranello’s factory gates.

It was Nick who loaned his Ferrari F40 to Gordon back in 1989 for the engineer to experience what a standard-setting contemporary ‘supercar’ did well, and what it did poorly. The old 250GTO went along so Gordon could also study the essence, the soul, the character of a truly iconic connoisseur’s car… and to absorb the experience that cannot be defined by factory drawings, data recordings, nor numbers on graph paper.

Nick assured Gordon: ‘I don’t know how you do it, but that’s what you need to capture!’

Today, $35 million is regarded as the benchmark price for a 1962-63 Ferrari 250GTO. Yet $40 million has been offered for one or two, and rejected by long-term owners who know darned well that, if they sell, they’ll probably never own another. Once sold it’s lost forever. For many (of the favoured few), a GTO is for life.

But let’s now address another aspect of car connoisseurship. Only a minority of life-sentence ‘car guys’ will ever possess the funds to indulge their enthusiasm. What’s common between us all – both those who can buy, and those who can’t – is that we are all conditioned to a great extent by the whizzbang wonders of our youth. I grew up made absolutely starry-eyed by Carrera Pan Americana Lancia D24s, Le Mans D-type Jaguars and, of course, Mille Miglia Mercedes-Benz 300SLRs. Then we were smitten by Aston Martin DBRs, the 250GTOs… and the affordable E-type Jaguar. Slip five years or so and the Ford GT40 plucks the heartstrings. For fans of ’70s vintage, the Porsche 917s and Ferrari 512s surely float their boat. From the 1980s it might be Porsche 956s and 962s, the Walkinshaw Jaguar XJRs or Lancia’s startling LC2s – and more recently the Le Mans Audis or Peugeots?

But for decades now, purebred racing cars – even sports-racing cars – have become track-day propositions. As with zoo animals, freedom could kill them. Attempt to run one on the open road and it’s a toss-up what will happen first: expensive break age, or arrest and prosecution. I have driven both a number of 250GTOs and a Ferrari 275LM on the open road and the high-tide of usability is plainly exceeded by the latter. Hair-trigger clutch, hopeless three-quarter visibility, the LM proved as uncongenial for road use as the 250GTO is a delight.

And for perennial teenagers deeply imprinted in youth by GTOs, the wealth to acquire one provides entry to the coolest of private clubs. This remarkable usability – the GTO being equally at home on road or track, in Historic motor race, club rally, concours, shopping trip or (if you’re rash enough) pub crawl – will remain the GTO’s prime asset as long as governments permit private motoring.

But if there’s a modern-era successor rapidly achieving recognition as the future 250GTO, I think it has to be the McLaren F1. This carbon-composite V12-by- BMW-engined wonder offers (albeit in a more variant-dependent manner) as much of the 250GTO’s usability as 21st-century traffic law can concede. And if we compare it, inch by inch, by record and charisma, with the 50-year-old Ferrari, the parallels become quite fascinating – save for one critical factor.

That critical factor is initial design philosophy. When Giotto Bizzarini’s little design team began work on what became the 250GTO they were consciously producing a racing car. Then, 30 years later, Gordon Murray’s little design team specifically produced an uncompromised road car… in no way a road racer, but a purebredroad car.

So before we go further, just park that essential 180-degree difference and let’s proceed with that in mind. I’m going to present a worst case, contrasting the broadly useable yet racebred Ferrari 250GTO Berlinetta family with the reluctantly race-developed McLaren F1 GTR Coupés. McLaren’s more numerous standard F1 road cars, of course, have accrued no competition record to challenge the Italian’s. At not too great a pinch, an enthusiastic owner could still drive his F1 GTR to the race meeting and back, without too intense grief to follow.

After all, the F1 GTRs were basically road cars fitted with rollcage, fixed wing and nose spoiler. Even the 1997 ‘Longtail’ versions shared the same mid-section structures. While 39 Ferrari GTOs were made – including the platypus-nosed GTO/64s – McLaren Cars delivered 28 F1 GTRs, so the British cars are rarer. A comparison of the two designs is intriguing, considering that both are V12- engined. The mainly 3.0-litre two-cam Ferraris, of course, have the power unit mounted ahead of the two-seat cabin and a tiny boot pre-packed by fuel tank and spare wheels. In contrast, the 6.1-litre four-cam McLaren has its BMW developed engine amidships, behind a cabin that in road trim offers three seats, centre-drive, and further practical baggage space in the helicopter-style side lockers.

Yet despite the McLaren’s better packaging, overall dimensions are within a gnat’s of one another. Ferrari 250GTO: length 4300mm, width 1760mm, height 1235mm and weight 950kg. McLaren F1 GTR: length 4287mm, width 1820mm, height 1140mm and weight 1050kg. That weight disadvantage of even the racing F1 GTR still gnaws at Gordon Murray. He’d aimed at a metric tonne, no more, but that remains a rare miss.

In period the Ferrari 250GTOs contested nine FIA World Championship-qualifying events in 1962, 14 in 1963 and 13 in 1964, including such races as the Sebring 12 Hours, Nürburgring 1000Kms, Spa 500Kms and the Le Mans 24 Hours (two seconds and a third there). In these events the GTO derivatives finished in the top three places as follows: 1962: three first places, six seconds and three thirds (from seven of the nine races).

1963: four first places, seven seconds and two thirds (from eight of the 14 races).

1964: three first places, five seconds and three thirds (from six of the 13 races).

This record for the Ferrari 250GTO in period is noble, without really fulfilling the praise since heaped upon it. In period, while I for one adored the look, sound and success of these magnificent motor cars, much more enthusiast attention was paid to their Ferrari sports-prototype sisters, which were normally storming around much faster in overall contention. One question must be asked, however, involving proper historic perspective. It’s quite simple.

Who did the GTOs beat? In 1962-1963 the answer was most often the 250GT Short-Wheelbase Berlinettas they had superseded. Anybody else? In category, no. Come 1964, the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupes began to out-muscle them at top level, so the fine finishes mainly of the GTO/64 cars as listed above demand credit.

OK, now spool forward 30-odd years to the McLaren F1 GTRs’ era, 1995-97. Here we saw a broadly GTO-like pattern of mainly private owner/drivers campaigning their cars in rather more races; 13 in 1995, 20 in 1996 and a final dozen in 1997 before, with FIA connivance, Formula 1 swallowed virtually all top-level motor race funding – and worthwhile sports/GT racing died.

The 45 individual races are too many to list here, but let’s summarise the F1 GTRs’ record in those three seasons, 1995-97 inclusive.

1995: ten first places (from 13 races), seven seconds and six thirds.

1996: 16 first places (from 20 races), seven seconds and five thirds.

1997: six first places (from 12 races), one second and three thirds.

In essence, during 1962 the now so legendary, so revered Ferrari 250GTOs won one in three of their races. In the parallel race season of 1995 the McLaren F1 GTRs won once per 1.3 races contested. During 1963 the Ferrari 250GTOs won once in every 3.5 race outings. In the parallel race season of 1996 the McLaren F1 GTRs won once in every 1.25 race outings. During 1964 the Ferrari 250GTOs won once in every 6.5 race outings. And in the parallel race season of 1997 the McLaren F1 GTRs won every second race contested. Taken overall, through 1962-1964 the Ferraris won one in four of their races, and during that period they also achieved a hat-trick of three consecutive outright victories in the FIA GT World Championship.

In contrast, while racing – it must be said – in a devalued era of endurance competition through 1995-97, but latterly against strengthening (and some claim rule-bending) opposition initially from Porsche, then Mercedes-Benz, the McLaren F1 GTRs won once in every 1.3 race outings, far outperforming the illustrious 250GTOs’ record.

The McLarens also won Le Mans outright, in 1995, which is a feat the GTOs – facing sports-prototypes – never managed. As Gordon recalls: ‘The McLarens could have just tooled round for 24 hours and still dominated their class, but instead they went for an outright win. If anyone had told me one of our road-car-based GTRs would would lap 16 seconds slower than the prototypes in the wet, at night, I wouldn’t have disagreed. But when JJ Lehto was 16 seconds a lap faster, I was blown away! They went-balls-out! And won…’

And the F1 GTRs also won the GT Championships of 1995-1996, then added the All-Japan Championship of ’1996, and even the 1998 British GT Championship. So it is with eminently good reason that the carbon-composite McLarens of the 1990s are now increasingly highly valued by an emergent new generation of knowledgeable car connoisseurs. I vividly recall the day, early in the F1’s test programme, when Creighton Brown let me drive the works prototype homeward from its proving ground, and in Millbrook village – as we took a sharp right at a junction – we saw a dog-walker coming towards us on the footway. And the instant he saw that new grey McLaren snuffling into the corner, he threw up his hands, dropped to his knees and salaamed energetically in our honour.

And then equally vividly (how could I forget) I recall the day on the Classic Adelaide Rally in Australia when the generous Paul Vestey let me drive his Ferrari 250GTO on the Gorge Road special stage past the Kangaroo Creek reservoir. With thin Perspex door windows slid ajar, we ripped down that gloriously rhythmic road in mainly third and fourth gear, the wailing Italian V12’s exhaust note, up around 7000rpm, reverberating back at us from the sheer roadside rock faces. That was pure aural sex. And while the McLaren record absolutely shines against that of the fabulous Ferrari GTOs’, I must confess I remain more grateful for the latter. Aah nostalgia, the real thing.

Thanks To both owners and to Kentvale Transport.


 

TECH DATA

‘Only a minority of life-sentence “car guys” will ever possess the funds to indulge their enthusiasm’

‘if a modern-era successor can achieve recognition as the future 250GTO, it has to be the McLaren F1’


Above. More than 30 years apart, the new car with an engine more than twice the size and power of the older one’s, but the older car worth ten times as much as the newer one. Will time alter that ratio?

Far left and above There can be few sights more evocative than that of the 12 intake trumpets topping a 250GTO V12’s Weber carburettors; tacked-on speedometer is evidence of the GTO’s race-only heritage: the revcounter is dead ahead of the driver.

Right and far right Central driving position means right-hand gearshift for all, though only GTR drivers get to see this extra bank of controls; mid-mounted 6.1-litre BMW V12 is a genuine Le Mans-winning powerhouse, and a bespoke design by M-Sport’s Paul Roche.


1962 Ferrari 250GTO

ENGINE 2953cc V12, SOHC per bank, six Weber 38 DCN carburettors

POWER 300bhp @ 7500rpm

TORQUE 254lb ft @ 5400rpm

TRANSMISSION Five-speed manual, rear-wheel drive

STEERING ZF worm and peg

SUSPENSION Front: double wishbones, coil springs, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar. Rear: live axle, locating rods, Watt’s linkage, semi-elliptic leaf springs, telescopic dampers

BRAKES Discs

WEIGHT 1050kg approx.

PERFORMANCE Top speed c170mph. 0-60mph c6.5sec (dependent on gearing)


1995 McLaren F1 GTR

ENGINE 6064cc V12, DOHC per bank, 48-valve, electronic fuel injection

POWER 600bhp @ 7000rpm (standard road car 627bhp @ 7400rpm)

TORQUE 480lb ft @ 4000-7000rpm

TRANSMISSION Six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive

STEERING Rack and pinion

SUSPENSION Front and rear: double wishbones, coil springs, telescopic dampers. Front anti-roll bar

BRAKES Vented discs

WEIGHT 1021kg dry

PERFORMANCE Top speed 240mph. 0-60mph 3.2sec


 

Owning a Ferrari 250GTO

‘It’s been incredibly easy to own!’ claims Sir Paul Vestey, who bought chassis 4115GT over 30 years ago from noted car collector Neil Corner. ‘I think we replaced the rings in the engine once when it was smoking a bit, and changed the synchros in the gearbox, stuff like that, but that’s all.

‘I’d always wanted a GTO since seeing them race in the 1962 TT, and when the chance came up to buy this one I moved heaven and earth to do so, selling a D-type and a DB3S to raise the money; the whole process frightened me so much I lost my voice and my wife had to do the deal! The car has an honourable rather than a distinguished competition history: it went to Germany when new, and did quite well in local flugplatzrennen and the like.

‘It sounds boring to say it, but the ownership experience has been totally painless. We’ve done dozens of rallies, including several Tour Autos, and took it to Australia for the Classic Adelaide – thrashing it around closed roads in the Adelaide hills was great fun. Really, it’s quite a simple car mechanically, and you’d struggle to wear it out just using it for road-rallies.

‘It’s the favourite of all my cars and despite its value, I’ve never been tempted to sell – it would be like selling the family’s pet dog!’


Owning a McLaren F1

‘It’s not partIcularly comfortable as a road car – no air-con, fixed side windows – so I haven’t put a lot of miles on it; you wouldn’t want to take it down the pub…’ says the owner of chassis 07R, the F1 GTR that came fifth at Le Mans in 1995. ‘But when you’re on the move, it’s terrific. One of the best drivers’ cars ever. To sit in traffic I’ll take another car!

‘I bought the GTR more than ten years ago. I wanted something that had race history, and this one was subsequently converted for road use, which suited me. We recently took the rollcage out to make room for a passenger, but that’s all I’m going to change. It’s undeniably expensive to own, but a privilege at the same time.’

While acknowledging that F1 parts prices are expensive, McLaren’s Marcus Korbach, of the company’s Special Operations department, says: ‘For a car of this type, servicing costs compare very favourably. We’re committed to remanufacturing parts for the future, and we also offer a brokerage service – buy an F1 through McLaren and you will receive a mini-library of information about that particular example.

‘The F1 for us is a very important car, and we try to look after its owners, with either myself or one of my team available 24:7.’


 

Mark Hales on driving GTO and F1

No power-assistance, no driver aids, no safety nets: both the Ferrari 250GTO and McLaren F1 hark from the analogue age. How do they compare?


Both of these cars are powered by engines with 12 cylinders arranged in a vee. One is mounted in the front, the other lies behind the occupants, is twice the size and produces twice the power.

One has a ladder chassis, like most things made in the previous 50 years. The other has a moulded carbonfibre chassis tub, race technology from the missile era. The newer car boasts fully independent suspension all round; the earlier model, a beam axle at the back like an old Cortina, while the tyres on the later car – those four underappreciated pieces of distress purchase – are twice as big. And yet the pair have a few things in common.

In 1961, Ferrari allowed young maverick Giotto Bizzarrini to develop the GTO from the 250GT SWB (stands for ‘short wheelbase’), allegedly so he could make a few quid from wealthy customers who didn’t have a Ferrari GT for Le Mans. Some 30 years later, Ron Dennis, then CEO of McLaren, would doubtless cite promotion and branding as the reason for developing a GTR version from the F1 road car, but I suspect he charged well for a conversion that Gordon Murray – McLaren’s design guru – was very reluctant to build.

Murray is on record saying that if he’d wanted to build a race car, that’s what he would have done and he definitely wouldn’t have started from there. The F1 you see here was converted from race spec to road legality by McLaren but retains its race gearbox, wing and splitter.

What, then, of the drive? Neither car has any power assistance for anything so the steering in each needs firm effort, but any messages coming back to the rim are purer, something that’s hard to find these days. Whichever one I drive though, I always find myself wishing for more grip from the tyres… The vintage Dunlops on the GTO are about the width of those on a modern hatch – indestructible certainly, but old-technology crossplies nonetheless. Aim the car toward the turn and ease the rim towards the apex. Wind up all the joints and linkages and take up the slack. Feel it load up. Just a touch too fast in and the front will nose wide; not enough and the car will feel vague and imprecise. Get it about right, add-in the weight shifted forward by the brakes, and the energy will rotate the car almost before the corner, make it take a set as I get further into the turn.

Now I’ll feel the weight on the steering changing as the geometry moves with the body’s attitude, but I’ll try not to let the tail slide wide and call for opposite lock. Instead, sense the point in the process, the exact time to tread on the power to squat the back properly, stop the rotation and hold the attitude. If I do it right the car will drift nicely and I can hold the yaw with steering almost straight and barely a nudge at the wheel to keep it all going. If I don’t, either the front noses wide and I have to wait, tease it back, then start again; or the back slithers wide and I have to reverse the lock, wait, let the car come straight, and… start again. It’s all adjustable and intimate in a way you absolutely don’t find these days, but it won’t do the work for you.

No doubt you’ll arrive at the same turn much more quickly in the F1. The 6.1-litre BMW engine is massively, endlessly powerful and it seems to sweep you forward with a gruff, growly insistence that barely diminishes with the next gear. Feel the brakes grumble and judder as I shed the extra speed, then aim into the corner. Now, despite the lack of assist, I’m searching for messages that mean something. There are kicks and twitches but no absolute confidence that the front will go where I want, and it’s a feeling that changes with speed.

The faster you go, the more vague the front becomes while the rear gains stick because air is flowing over the wing. You definitely aim rather than steer and only when you can see the exit and the car is more or less straight, squeeze on the power. But I’ll still do it carefully…

The rubberwear was the best Bridgestone could make and still call road tyres, but if the fronts struggle with the effort of turning the car, the rears have even less defence in the face of 480lb ft of torque. And it’s when they spin up that the position of the engine asserts itself: you can be well out of shape in an instant without asking for it, and in fourth gear. None of this makes either car any the less impressive. Each is still a magnificent engineering statement and each deserves its iconic status but you still have to see them for what they are. Certainly in the case of the McLaren, the halfway house between race and road is not an entirely comfortable one, and it’s fairly safe to say that Gordon would have approved still less; fit a set of slicks to the F1 and lower the front end to keep out the air that would lift it – turn it back into a race car in other words – and it gains precision and imparts more confidence.

The GTO wouldn’t respond in quite the same way because it has the engine in the front and a chassis that isn’t anything like as rigid, but it doesn’t really need to. There wasn’t the enormous difference between road and race models in those days and indulging the slipping and sliding until you find out how to get the front and back ends in harmony is part of the appeal. Besides, the research is nothing like as scary.

It wouldn’t be right to end without a mention of engine and transmission. It’s a signature we see so rarely these days but the feel, and in particular the sound, are essential parts of each car, as is the challenge of negotiating clunky synchros and the gear-gate to produce a swift, smooth gearshift. Take that away, fit something turbocharged and controlled by paddles, and the performance might be similar, but the cars would no longer be icons.

‘Two magnificent engineering statements: each deserves its iconic status’


 

Simon Kidston on the market

The going rate for a 250GTO is £20 million or more – but will the F1 ever catch it up? International classic car broker Kidston adds his two-penn’orth.


I can’t believe the run-up in McLaren F1 prices’ is a comment I hear frequently. I can’t claim to be clever enough to have predicted this trend myself, much less to know where values are headed from here. Ageneration ago the same refrain frequently applied to Ferrari 250GTO sales, when the first one openly touched the million-pound mark at auction in May ’87 and the press thought the world had gone crazy. Many will remember well what came next: the same car was worth ten times that amount just three years later, before dropping to a fifth of its peak by 1992, and climbing steadily for the next two decades until today, when GTO values are generally regarded among insiders as ranging from $30+ million to more than $40 million depending on which car and, perhaps more importantly, which owner. The two most frequent reasons car collectors sell are to help finance something else, or to trade up, and it’s hard to see either applying to a GTO owner.

Does the market view the McLaren F1 as the next Ferrari GTO? I took part in both anniversary tours last year (the second as an impostor when a generous owner lent me his car) and it’s surprising how many serious collectors own both, despite scoffing at most supercars. The exclusivity is a big part of the F1’s growing status, which is almost self-fulfilling.

Its integrity of purpose – conceived by a world-beating Formula 1 racing team led by a legendary designer, not a marketing department, and with no concession to cost or corporate rules other than excellence – again sets it apart. As Doug clearly shows, its racing history speaks for itself. And last but not least (rival pretenders take note), usability is the F1 road car’s trump card, as anyone who has driven theirs to the pub can attest.

Like Doug Nye, I also spoke at the recent Collier Symposium and, again, the F1 was very much a hot topic among the heavyweights present. I remember auctioning one with almost delivery mileage back in 1998 for barely £400,000. A Latin 250GTO owner came to see it during the viewing and decided not to bid, decreeing that we had clearly overpriced it. To suggest that classic-car values will only go upwards is self-serving, and history shows otherwise, but I’d expect the mid-term price graph for both models to mirror each other, albeit at different levels. Longer-term, the current price ratio of six F1 road cars to one GTO might close as a new generation of buyers takes the lead and, equally, the discount for an F1 GTR (two seats and no luggage space) compared with an F1 road car may reduce as values climb and they get driven less. I just wish I’d started saving before 1998.


Thanks To Kidston SA, Geneva, who have discreetly handled Ferrari 250GTO and McLaren F1 sales over many years; +41 227 401939 or [email protected]

‘i’d expect the mid-term price graph for both to mirror each other, albeit at different levels’ 


 

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