Since McLaren only made five of them (plus one prototype), F1 LMs don’t come up for sale all that often. The last time one passed the auction block, the hammer fell with the price at nearly $20 million. And that was in 2019 - values of all F1s have nudged even further north since then, so it’s likely the next one would go for a lot more.
What you see here is a much cheaper alternative. With the prospect of owning the real thing impossible for a chap called Danie Brough, he set out 23 years ago to build his own. And unlike that surprisingly realistic Porsche Boxster-based F1 LM replica we were looking at a few months back, this one was made from scratch.
Although the project spanned more than two decades, the bulk of the work was completed in about three years. Brough built his creation on a platform made from a mix of aluminium and carbon fibre, using only pictures and models of the F1 for reference.
The really neat part about the build is it has some parts which are identical to those found on an F1. Being a small, independent company, McLaren Cars had to source components from a variety of places, some not especially exotic. So, Brough has been able to fit the same wing mirrors to his recreation, which are from a VW Corrado, and the same kind of brake lights, which you’d usually find on a bus.
The famous LM shade of Papaya Orange has been recreated too, although that wasn’t easy. McLaren understandably wasn’t keen on assisting Brough with obtaining down the right colour code, and paint-to-sample with a model F1 LM wouldn’t work either, as it didn’t look right when scaled up. Eventually, he tracked down the code and had the paint mixed.
Further linking it to the genuine article, the replica has a BMW 8-series-soured V12. The S70/2 McLaren version of the BMW V12 was very different, of course, with changes including an increase in displacement and a switch from single to dual overhead camshafts. Brough had no chance of matching the F1’s power output while keeping his V12 naturally aspirated, so instead, he added a couple of turbochargers.
Now, it makes 650hp. At the wheels. At 1180kg, it’s only slightly heavier than the car it replicates. In his test drive Cars.co.za’s Ciro De Siena admits the F1 tribute is a little rough in places and difficult to drive but concludes it’s “one of the greatest expressions of the love of motoring that I’ve ever encountered.”