Andrew Bagnall’s McLaren F1 is one of only two in the world fitted with the extra high downforce package, featuring dramatic aerodynamic modifications, and a 680bhp LM-spec race engine.
He’s owned many exotic and amazing cars which have eventually been sold on, but this is one car Andrew Bagnall will never part with. The entrepreneur and amateur racing driver from Auckland, New Zealand has owned his McLaren F1 – chassis #18 – for more than ten years. It’s no museum piece – he takes it out for a drive once a month.
‘I’ve owned, raced, driven a lot of nice cars and most of them pass on to someone else after a few years, but this car is so extraordinary and I just love it so much every time I hop into it that I would feel real loss if I let it go,’ he says.
The extra high downforce pack, which was fitted to only one other car in the world, was requested by the first owner in 1994. It comprises a spectacular rear wing, enlarged front splitter and impressive louvres on the front clamshell. These adornments aren’t there for show. ‘They make a difference to the way the car handles,’ says Andrew. ‘You really notice the extra downforce when you’re driving at speed on a circuit.’
This McLaren F1 HDF also sports larger wheels, different suspension and an LM-specification full-race engine – rebuilt to LM spec from the original engine – which revs 1,000rpm higher than the standard V12 and develops a staggering 680bhp.
‘The modifications have turned it from a comfortable, easy roadgoing car to a very taut quasi-racing machine for the road,’ he adds. ‘It changes gear with a snap like no other car on the planet.
Andrew is not just a fan of classic McLarens – he also loves today’s road cars, and is the proud owner of a similarly specced P1™, which he and his son drove on McLaren’s recent Epic New Zealand Tour. But the F1 is always destined to be close to his heart.
‘One of the wonderful things about it is that people seemed to intuitively recognise that this is something quite extraordinary.’