The McLaren F1 is not only one of the very best driving cars in the history of the automobile, potentially even the very best (unless Gordon Murray can top himself with the GMA T.50), but it also has one of the greatest engines in history. Its BMW M-developed 6.1-liter naturally aspirated V12 was, and still is, a masterpiece. It made more than 100 horsepower per liter, without forced induction, back in the early ’90s, it had individual throttle bodies, and–despite its engine size and displacement–revved at 10,000 rpm per second. Bonkers stuff for its time.
One of the more interesting aspects of the F1’s BMW M engine was its 24k gold foil. The entire engine bay, and some vital components, were wrapped in gold foil for heat protection, as gold is the best material for heat insulation. However, that gold foil is not only very expensive, it’s also very delicate. So how does one clean such a thing?
In this new video from Hagerty, we get to see the cleaning of the entire F1’s engine bay and it’s fascinating. Most humans will never even see a McLaren F1 in person, never mind get up close to its brilliant engine. So watching it up close, and seeing all of its clever little details, is pure pornography to nerds like myself. Though, cleaning the gold foil is one of the most interesting aspects, as it’s such a delicate thing.
Admittedly, the secret to cleaning the gold flake isn’t given away in this video, as that seems to be an incredibly difficult thing to do and who wants to give away their uber-rare secret talents? Still, you can see the rest of the engine bay get cleaned and it’s surprisingly satisfying to watch. I don’t want to know how much such a cleaning costs but that’s only because I can’t afford an F1.