A Collection of Mid-50s California Racing Film

Available at Pebble Beach: 1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1 on auction by Gooding at Pebble Beach

This is much, much newer than the typical fare here on The Chicane, but I think I include it here for good reason. This machine has already proven itself to be one of the great collectable sportscars of the modern era and examples will doubtless be drawing top dollar at auctions for decades to come. This distinction, however, is not without a curse all its own. This car was masterfully constructed by McLaren in 1995. In the 19 years since, this poor neglected piece of perfect has driven a scant 1,000 miles. That’s just over 50 miles a year.

What’s the point?

When this McLaren F1 crosses the block at Gooding & Co’s Pebble Beach auction next month, there’s a very good chance that it will achieve the estimated hammer price of $12,000,000 – $14,000,000. If you’re the one to take her home, do yourself a favor and drive it a little, wouldja?

More information at Gooding’s Lot Detail page.

Stance Works’ Day at the Beach

Head In the Pebble Beach Sand

I know it doesn’t help anything on a macro-level, but I’m intentionally not posting about the Pebble Beach auctions. Why? There were amazing cars there, right? Cars that are on my personal list of favorites. And hell, if Yahoo Business or the Huffington Post can get traffic today reporting on the auctions, why wouldn’t an actual vintage sports and racing car site do it?

It’s simple. I would rather talk about what these cars do on the track than what they do on the auction block.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for this weekend’s buyers and their new 904 or Spyder California or Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competizione or (my goodness!) Gurney-Weslake Eagle Mk 1 Formula 1 car. I’m just not that interested in the sales numbers. When these cars show up at the Mille Miglia or the California Mille or Goodwood or any local road course, then you’ll be reading about them here. I just don’t want to play into the hype machine of who’s buying what and how many millions did they pay for it and oh-my-gawd-did-you-see-how-rich-that-guy-is of it all.

Whenever I’ve talked about the economics of vintage sports and racing cars here, it’s set off a bit of a firestorm of negativity. This is not intended to restart that whole argument of “racing cars should be for enthusiasts” versus “rare=expensive, deal with it”. The only side I’ll take on that argument is that I hope these new buyers use their cars; that they get out on the track or out to the concours or out on the street. Anything. So long as it’s not just sitting in a vault waiting for the next auction.

The cars deserve it.

Congratulations to this weekend’s buyers and sellers. Congratulations to this weekend’s blue ribbon winners. Now let’s strap on a helmet and see what she can do.