Most BMW fans know of the McLaren F1, thanks to it using a BMW M-built V12 engine–quite possibly the greatest road car engine of all time, until Gordon Murray’s T.50 comes along–but there was also a race car version, the F1 GTR Longtail. The Longtail, named as such for its extended rear end and massive wing, was purely built as a race car and was never made into a road car. However, some brilliant lunatic had a McLaren F1 GTR Longtail fully converted into a street-legal road car and it’s both amazing and terrifying.
Let’s start with why it’s amazing. That much is obvious, it’s a road-legal McLaren F1 GTR Longtail race car, not much else needs to be said. When sitting inside, you can see all the exposed carbon fiber from its chassis and doors, you can hear it almost stall at low speeds because its cammy V12 only wants to scream to redline, and you can see it’s incredible racing-spec aerodynamics. It truly is a race car on the road.
Why is it amazing, though? Well, because the GTR Longtail, in its worst case, is worth $5-million. So driving it on city streets, with other drivers, pedestrians taking pictures, fans asking to sit in it, seems quite scary. To make matters worse, this owner drives his in London, one of the most traffic-dense cities in the world. I’d be having second-by-second panic attacks, thinking someone was going to hit my priceless race car.
For BMW fans, the McLaren F1 is sacred. It uses what is easily BMW’s best engine, the V12 was designed by legendary BMW engine master Paul Rosche, and it connects the Bavarian brand to Gordon Murray, an even more legendary figure in the auto industry. So exposing it to the potential dings and dents that city living provides seems stressful. I guess if you have the money, though…