$2,095,000 USD | Sold
| New York, New York
- “The Professor,” an especially highly bespoke P1
- Unique Professor 2 Blue finish and numerous specially selected details; nearly $140,000 in MSO options
- Showing under 2,700 miles at time of cataloguing; exceptional condition throughout
- Sold new through McLaren Philadelphia
- Accompanied by window sticker, service invoices from McLaren Philadelphia, leather folio with pen, leather zippered pouch, hardback MSO book, and technical training handbook
- World-beating performance in a work of engineering art
McLaren has made its name in road cars that are not merely insanely fast, but that represent the highest level of automotive achievement. This reputation was made by the company’s first roadgoing car, the F1, which even today is widely heralded as the greatest automobile of modern times.
Poised at its introduction as “the new F1,” the McLaren P1 was a tour de force of the most advanced automotive technology. It featured a carbon monocoque chassis, scarcely tipping the scales at only 200 pounds, and external bodywork and major cabin structures created from a stunning, lightweight assemblage of carbon-fiber panels. Unique carbon-ceramic disc brakes, developed in conjunction with Akebono, were infused with silicon carbide to help dissipate heat and featured Brake Steer, a technology McLaren originally developed for the 1997 Formula One season before it was banned. Brake Steer applied braking pressure to the car’s inside-rear wheel when cornering above a certain threshold, bringing the P1’s nose closer to the apex.
The mid-mounted 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 produced 717 horsepower at 7,300 rpm and 531 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. An electric motor, itself producing 176 horsepower, served not to improve fuel economy but rather to “torque fill,” supplementing the normal gaps where the conventional engine would fail to produce peak performance, such as during gearshifts or at low rpms when the turbochargers were spooling up. As a result, the P1 was always ready to provide maximum power to the driver—a total output of 893 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Exceptional aerodynamic efficiency, achieved via adjustable front and rear spoilers to produce as much as 1,300 pounds of downforce, ensured that all that power was transmitted to the road. McLaren reported a top speed of 217 mph, with the sprint from 0–60 mph taking only 2.7 seconds.
Car and Driver described the P1 as “a uniquely extreme speed experience. …It is all drama. Lift off the throttle on corner turn-in and the turbo boost relieves itself with an initially shocking ‘woof!’ …You hear the low-register rage of the engine, which, even at idle, is incomparably loud for a street car. …But there is no perceptible change of pace when the big turbos get spinning in earnest. You do not notice the electric motor at work. There is just smooth, seamless, seemingly inexhaustible thrust.”
Only 375 P1s were produced, and the roster of customer slots was filled within eight months by some of the world’s foremost enthusiasts. They were treated to an unparalleled choice of options and features from McLaren’s engineers and artisans, ensuring that each P1 would be individually tailored—nonetheless, some of these cars were truly special, more so than others, through the individual whims of their fortunate buyers.
The P1 offered here was specially commissioned by its original owner in a unique shade known as Professor 2 Blue, which was reportedly finessed in hue and metallic grain several times before meeting the buyer’s standards. Similarly, the placement of the red accent stripes, the matte black and silver finish of the wheels, and the location of the McLaren badges were all adjusted multiple times over several months until the connoisseur had been satisfied. It is believed to be one of only two P1s equipped with these specially molded seats, upholstered in a pattern similar to that used on the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona. The pattern and finish of each section of the exposed carbon fiber monocoque visible within the interior was individually chosen, as were the colors of various console switchgear. In a particularly charming touch, a vanity mirror was installed in the passenger side sun visor for the owner’s wife, etched with the words “You are beautiful.” It is likely that even in the rarefied world of McLaren, few P1s were as bespoke in their finest details as this car. The options from McLaren Special Operations alone totaled $139,847, as noted on the accompanying window sticker.
After its completion, the P1 was signed by both Ron Dennis and McLaren design director, Frank Stephenson, then sent to McLaren Philadelphia, where it was displayed for some days in the showroom before its happy owner finally took delivery. He retained the car, which he dubbed “The Professor,” for two years, enjoying it on the roads near his home. In 2017, it was sold to benefit the original owner’s alma mater, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and was acquired at that sale by the present caretaker.
A devotee of high-performance cars of all eras, the current owner has maintained the car to the same extremely high standard as the other distinguished automobiles in his collection. It is accompanied by the aforementioned window sticker and invoices from McLaren Philadelphia for services completed under present ownership at a total cost of over $87,000—the more recent in September 2023 totaling $38,116.07. With fewer than 2,700 miles traveled since new at the time of cataloguing, it presents in exceptionally well-preserved condition.
This is not only one of the most special P1s, but among the most pristine—a truly unique offering, suiting any enthusiast with the same attention to detail that oversaw its creation.