Skip to main content

McLaren Spent 18 Months Restoring an Ultra-Rare F1 GTR

For McLaren, there’s probably no better way to market its new certified restoration service than to debut a pristine F1 GTR race car as the first graduate of the program.

Related:

This particular example, chassis number 25R, led a noteworthy racing career that included a stint in the 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans, piloted by Ray Bellm, Andrew Gilbert-Scott, and Masanori Sekiya. After retiring from competition in 2005 (it was the last F1 GTR to compete in a contemporary racing series), the car was sold to a Japanese collector, where it sat until its current owner purchased the car in 2016 and brought it back to the United Kingdom. Originally, the owner asked McLaren Special Operations to refurbish the car, but the automaker decided to do a complete restoration as part of the new certification program.

After 18 months of work, this GTR Longtail looks brand new with its Gulf-Davidoff livery, orange wheels, and now-classic aerodynamic elements. While the standard McLaren F1 is already rare, with just 106 examples produced, the GTR is even more so — only 28 models were outfitted for motorsport. As such, the process of restoring this GTR was tedious. McLaren says it had to source stock parts from containers that hadn’t been opened in 20 years.

Along with a certificate of authenticity, the GTR owner (and all future customers of McLaren’s restoration program) will receive a bespoke illustrated book documenting the history of his car. McLaren isn’t the only high-end performance automaker to offer a classic vehicle restoration program. Jaguar, Aston Martin, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Ferrari all offer similarly obsessive services. One differentiator is that, for now, McLaren’s program will only focus on F1 models. As McLaren ages, however (the current entity is only eight years old), there will undoubtedly be more candidates for restoration.

We can’t guarantee that GTR chassis 25R will return to the racetrack (though we might suggest entry to the Rolex Motorsport Reunion in Monterey would be a fitting re-introduction), but it will debut at this year’s Hampton Court Concours of Elegance. Until then, the restored F1 GTR will sit among the owner’s collection, which is curated by classic car consultancy Kidston SA, founded by McLaren owner Simon Kidston.

Editors' Recommendations

Miles Branman
Miles Branman developed a passion for cars early on thanks to a neighbor’s collection of rare and exotic vehicles. What…
2025 Toyota Crown Signia hybrid crossover SUV arrives this summer
2025 Toyota Crown Signia models, features, specs, and prices
2025 Toyota Crown Signia Limited Finish Line Red in the rain parked on a driveway in front of a house.

2025 Toyota Crown Signia Limited with Storm Cloud exterior Toyota / Toyota

Later this summer, Toyota will begin to ship the 2025 Toyota Crown Signia, the inevitable SUV version of the nontraditional Crown sedan. Introduced to replace the larger-than-a-Camry-and-slightly-more-lux Toyota Avalon, the 2023 Crown restored the use of a Toyota model name sold in the U.S. from 1958 to 1973. The 1958 Toyota Crown was the first Japanese car sold in the U.S.

Read more
Rivian reveals second-generation EVs with 1,025-hp quad-motor
New Rivian EVs have up to 1,025 horsepower
Red second-generation Rivian R1T right rear three-quarter view parked on beach edge facing water bike on back of the truck.

Second-generation Rivian R1T Rivian / Rivian

Rivian recently presented second-generation models of its original R1T EV pickup truck and R1S EV SUV. The EVs have significant performance upgrades, new drive systems, a new user interface and experience software platform, and many other improvements, according to Rivian, which describes the new generation as completely reengineered.

Read more
Ford drops all-new Mustang GTD capable of sub-7-minute laps at the Nürburgring
Ford goes all in for the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the 2025 Mustang GTD
2025 Ford Mustang GTD exterior right profile ready for the Nurburgring.

When Ford CEO Jim Farley introduced the company's plans for the 2025 Ford Mustang GTD last year, he famously said, "We didn’t engineer a road car for the track; we created a race car for the road." Today, ahead of this weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ford introduced the GTD's new Performance Pack and driver-focused interior.
Why the Mustang GTD matters

Ford races. Always have and likely always will. Starting in 2025, Ford returns to F1 racing with its new partnership with Red Bull. Ford and Red Bull will work together to develop the hybrid powertrain that will propel the next-generation F1 race cars beginning in 2026. GM wants to be part of F1 racing, too, but so far hasn't made a match with or outright purchased one of the ten teams that comprise the F1 race schedule's 20-car lineup for the full 24-event season.

Read more