These McLaren F1s and Bugatti EB110s were the stars of Car Week

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  • Now there‘s a sight you don‘t see very often. Jonathan Gitlin
  • With only 106 ever built, a McLaren F1 is a rare thing. But this bright orange one is rarer than most. Jonathan Gitlin
  • McLaren built five F1 LMs (plus a prototype) during the winter of 1995-1996 to celebrate winning the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans (McLarens also came home 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 13th). Jonathan Gitlin
  • The interior is stripped out compared to one of the “normal” F1 road cars, but still a bit more comfortable than one of the F1 GTR race cars. Like the GTR, the LM‘s gearbox uses straight-cut gears so you have to wear ear defenders when you drive or ride in it. Jonathan Gitlin
  • The LM weighs just 2,341lbs (1,062kg) thanks to a lighter rear wing, no sound deadening, no audio system, and the removal of the ground effect fan. That makes it 132lbs (60kg) lighter than the normal F1 road car. Jonathan Gitlin
  • The F1 LM‘s 6.1L V12 engine. Unlike the GTR race cars that it celebrates, it does not have to breathe through regulation air restrictors, which makes this the most powerful F1 variant at 680hp (507kW) and 520lb-ft (705Nm). Jonathan Gitlin
  • Three of the five F1 LMs were painted Papaya Orange. Two of them live in the US, and I think this is the one that isn‘t owned by Ralph Lauren. Maybe it was a surprise addition to the show because it‘s not mentioned in the program. Jonathan Gitlin
  • With less weight and so much more power than the normal F1 road car, the LM is the fastest-accelerating F1 variant, but the high-downforce bodywork creates much more drag so it actually has a lower top speed (225mph/362km/h). Jonathan Gitlin
  • It‘s meant to be a track day variant, and that means it could end up in a gravel trap, so there‘s a tow strap. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Center-lock 18-inch wheels were actually a size up on those used by the normal F1 road car or the F1 GTR race cars. Yes, back in the 1990s we thought 18-inch wheels were massive. Jonathan Gitlin
  • The McLaren F1 was the work of many people, but none more so than this man, designer Gordon Murray. Yes, of course I embarrassed myself talking to him. Jonathan Gitlin
  • McLaren actually had a couple of spare LM engines floating around toward the end of the ‘90s and offered F1 owners the chance to have their cars upgraded. This is chassis #73, one of those two upgraded cars. Jonathan Gitlin
  • It also features an extra-high downforce kit for the nose and rear wing. Jonathan Gitlin
  • F1 road cars other than the LM got a much more comfortable interior. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Yes, the F1 really does use gold foil to line the engine bay. Jonathan Gitlin
  • This white McLaren F1 is chassis #14. It has the high downforce kit but the regular 618hp (461kW) 6.1L V12. Jonathan Gitlin
  • I saw this car driving around Carmel Valley the day before the Quail, which was a treat in and of itself, considering how rare these cars are. Jonathan Gitlin
  • This is an F1 GTR race car from 1997. By this time, the competition had reacted to the all-conquering F1s by creating cars that were meant to race from day one. To stay competitive, McLaren designed the longtail GTR; the longer bodywork on the nose and tail created more downforce. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Murray first sketched the idea of a three-seat sports car with the driver in the middle back when he was a schoolboy in Durban, South Africa. Jonathan Gitlin
  • The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is an actual Gordon Murray design, and so I have included it in this gallery. Jonathan Gitlin

Volkswagen provided air travel from Washington, DC, to Monterey, California, and five nights in a hotel for this story.

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CARMEL, Calif.—Quick question: what‘s the greatest car of all time? If, like me, you got into cars in the 1990s, that‘s an easy one to answer—it‘s the McLaren F1, of course. By the late 1980s, the McLaren Formula 1 team had won almost everything there was to win, and its head designer Gordon Murray was getting bored. To keep him on the payroll and entertained, McLaren approved his plan to build a road car without compromise. It would have three seats, with the driver in the middle. There would be a naturally aspirated V12, a six-speed manual transmission, and no driver aids at all. Along the way, Murray and co. created a car that managed to be leagues faster than anything that came before it, and almost everything that has come since. It even proved to be a pretty good racing car, winning Le Mans on its debut in 1995.

So you can imagine the size of my grin when I discovered not one but four McLaren F1s were basking in the sun at this year‘s Quail Motorsports Gathering, which took place last Friday as part of Monterey Car Week. As you‘ll see from the photos above, I even ran into Murray himself.

Further Reading

And as you‘ll note from the photos immediately below this text, the F1s weren‘t the only megastars of the mid-90s in attendance. , a car that were it not for the McLaren would have worn the supercar crown throughout the decade. The EB110 also featured a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, a V12 engine, and a six-speed gearbox, but the V12 was a 3.5L affair with four turbochargers, and the transmission sent power to all four wheels. that modern Bugatti has shied away from in the past, but as you‘ll see that‘s beginning to change. Did I mention there were a ton of photos in this post? You should definitely scroll through all of them because that‘s where I‘ve hidden the story.

  • Bugatti was reborn in the late 1980s by Italian industrialist Romano Artoli, and it gave rise to my second favorite supercar of all time, the EB110. It came in two flavors—the EB110 GT (left) and the EB110 SuperSport (right). Jonathan Gitlin
  • The EB110 GT was one of the first production cars to use a carbon fiber monocoque. It could also boast a 3.5L quad-turbo (!!) V12 that produced 553hp (412kW) and 451lb-ft (611Nm) and all-wheel drive. But it was heavy at 3,567lbs (1,618kg). So Bugatti made the EB110 SS, which you can tell by the cheese grater holes behind the B pillar. The SS was 440lbs (200kg) lighter and 47hp (35kW) more powerful. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Micheal Schumacher bought a yellow EB110 SS in 1994, but his car had silver wheels, and he crashed it then sold it. Jonathan Gitlin
  • The reason why I usually write that a modern car has good ergonomics is because I grew up reading about and looking at pictures of cars like this one, where it was clearly not much of a priority. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Still, if you handed me the keys you‘d need a crowbar to get me out again. Jonathan Gitlin
  • The SS interior looks better in light colors, I think. The GT got less quilted leather and more wood paneling; I did not get a photo of that one‘s cockpit I‘m afraid. Jonathan Gitlin
  • The EB110‘s V12 has five valves per cylinder, and each cylinder gets its own individual throttle body. This is an SS engine, so it provides 603hp (450kW) and 479lb-ft (650Nm). Zero-60mph is a McLaren F1-rivaling 3.2 seconds. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Bugatti made 84 production EB110 GTs and another 31 EB110 SSes before it went broke in 1995. The German race car maker Dauer bought up much of the remaining parts inventory and completed another four cars (one more is still being made). On top of that, Dauer made five upgraded EB110 Supersport Dauers. This is one of those, and it features a naked carbon fiber body. Sadly there isn‘t quite the same attention to detail on the carbon work that you‘d expect from a current hypercar. Jonathan Gitlin
  • The EB110‘s brake discs seem tiny by today‘s standards at 332mm front and rear. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Bugatti was reborn yet again in 1998, this time being revived by Volkswagen Group. Since then it has steadfastly ignored the Artoli years, but that has changed with this, the Bugatti Centodieci. It‘s going to build just 10 of these, and they each cost €8 million, and they‘re all sold. Jonathan Gitlin

I could have just capped this article with everything seen above, but there was a lot more on display at Car Week‘s most exclusive event—hefty ticket prices keep attendance numbers in check. Below is what caught our eye as the best of the rest. The first gallery includes the Porsches and Ferraris, if for no other reason than I had to break the remaining photos up somehow and there were enough of these two marques to stick together.

  • This 1967 911S was the best-looking Porsche of the Quail—maybe for all of Car Week—thanks to this spectacular paint job. Jonathan Gitlin
  • The car is called PorShe and was painted by in 1984. It took 600 hours to do, and I wish I had a few more photos of it. Jonathan Gitlin
  • A Ferrari 290MM (later converted to a 250TR). In 1956 Phil Hill and Maurice Trintignant won the Swedish Grand Prix driving this car. It was converted at the factory into a 250TR in 1959 before being sold. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Apparently in 1986 this particular car (chassis #0606) was mistakenly restored as a different Ferrari 250TR (#0726), to great expense. Much more recently, another great expense has returned it to its 1959 spec. Jonathan Gitlin
  • This Ferrari also started life as a 290MM, then ended up as a 353S in 1957. Jonathan Gitlin
  • A jolly shiny Ferrari Dino 246 GTS. Jonathan Gitlin
  • I wasn‘t able to get a decent shot of the bright green Ferrari 512BBi but I did get one of its magnificent V12. These days all this stuff is hidden by plastic paneling. Jonathan Gitlin
  • The Quail organizers get my respect for inviting this car to be part of the “Great Ferraris” class, because it shows they have a sense of humor. The program lists it as a 2003 Ferrari Enzo and describes it as “a true embodiment of juxtaposition, beauty and horror, humor and tragedy, love and hate. A one of a kind automobile that demands attention and contemplation.” Can‘t argue with that! Jonathan Gitlin
  • This is Corruptt. Corruptt was built for SEMA and features some spectacular carbon fiber work on the body and the interior. But why is a car that‘s obviously a custom Ford Mustang in the Ferrari and Porsche gallery? Jonathan Gitlin
  • It‘s here because Corruptt was built around a Ferrari V8 from an F430. But not just any Ferrari V8 from an F430—this one has a pair of turbochargers. I imagine it‘s a little scary to drive. Jonathan Gitlin
  • When I see a Porsche 550 at Cars and Coffee I am never quite sure if it‘s a real one or a replica. You don‘t have similar concerns at the Quail. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Race car cockpits aren‘t this pretty now. Jonathan Gitlin
  • It‘s I‘ve seen a Porsche 918 Spyder in this color and I still love it.
  • Porsche uses this shade of acid green as a highlight on its hybrids, and since the 918 Spyder is a hybrid, why not highlight the whole thing?
  • The 918 Spyder‘s V8 exhausts exit just behind the driver‘s and passenger‘s head.
  • In general air-cooled 911s are unaffordable now, but none are more unaffordable than a 1973 Carrera RS.
  • The safari look is a big thing in Porsche circles these days. I don‘t really get it.
  • Technically this is a Ruf, not a Porsche, a fact that allowed it to appear in .
  • Singer has been restomodding air cooled 911s to look like even older air-cooled 911s for a decade now. I rather enjoyed the color of this Targa.
  • This car looks like just the thing for a drive to the beach.

Further Reading

And as for our second collection of “Best of the Rest,” these photos feature all the modern hypercars from companies like Pagani and Koenigsegg. Of note, you‘ll also see the Shagmobile, , an electric VW bus that isn‘t the one you‘re thinking of, and a bunch of old Bentleys. And if anyone would like images that are bigger than 2048 pixels on the long edge, leave a note in the comments. When you‘re at Quail Motorsports Gathering, after all, you should probably share the wealth.

  • OK, you‘ve made it this far, congratulations! (Or, you missed three preceding galleries you should go check out—it‘s OK, we‘ll wait. Jonathan Gitlin
  • If you don‘t like crowds, the Quail is a great show.
  • I lost my mind when I saw a Jaguar XJR-15 at the event in 2017. This year I was much calmer. Jonathan Gitlin
  • The XJR-15 was really a race car that was converted into a road car, and it shows. Jonathan Gitlin
  • The Honda NSX proved that you could build a great-looking mid-engined sports car that handled well and didn‘t break down all the time. (In the US this was sold as an Acura NSX) Jonathan Gitlin
  • The NSX‘s roof was inspired by the F-16. Jonathan Gitlin
  • This is a Lancia Delta Integrale, and it was a rally-bred AWD monster in an age of front-wheel drive hot hatches. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Again, the reason I say car ergonomics are good these days is because of stuff like this. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Ford‘s Group B RS200. Jonathan Gitlin
  • I was surprised to see a Honda TN Acty at the Quail, but I‘m glad I did. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Everyone else took pictures of the Delorean and the Batmobile, but I figured you might like to check out the Shagmobile. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Our friends at the Petersen Museum brought along the movie cars, including the Mach Five. Jonathan Gitlin
  • And this modern Herbie. Jonathan Gitlin
  • This isn‘t the actual Jaguar XJ13 prototype, but it is a painstaking replica. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Jaguar took too long developing the XJ13, and by the time the car first ran in 1966 it was outdated. Jonathan Gitlin
  • This is a mk 4 Ford GT40, one that never raced in period. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Are the stories about people renting Shelby 350GTs from Hertz to race at the weekend, or to steal the engines for their own race cars really true? Jonathan Gitlin
  • There were quite a few Volkswagen Transporters on display, as it is the 70th anniversary of the VW bus. Jonathan Gitlin
  • If you can wait another couple of years, VW will build you an electric bus. If you can‘t, you could convert an old one like this. Jonathan Gitlin
  • The Lexus LFA is another left-field supercar. Jonathan Gitlin
  • You don‘t have to be a fan of Pagani‘s styling to appreciate the craftwork involved. Jonathan Gitlin
  • This Zonda HH gets an airscoop to feed the engine to replace the roof air intake that was lost when the roof was removed. Jonathan Gitlin
  • There are strands of metal woven alongside the carbon fibers. Jonathan Gitlin
  • A fast Zonda around the Nordschleife. Jonathan Gitlin
  • An even faster Zonda around the Nordschleife. Jonathan Gitlin
  • The Zonda that started it all. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Koenigsegg‘s new hypercar is the Jesko. Jonathan Gitlin
  • This is a Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 003. You may recognize the name as James Glickenhaus is most known for having commissioned P4/5, a one-off based on a Ferrari Enzo. After creating a racing version of that car based on an F430 GT, he went on to start building his own cars. Jonathan Gitlin
  • This is a new De Tomaso P72, and it‘s very swoopy. Jonathan Gitlin
  • It is meant to be a homage to the De Tomaso P70 race car. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Audi‘s new R8 LMS GT2 looks pretty angry. Jonathan Gitlin
  • Bentleys at the Quail 2019. Jonathan Gitlin
  • In case there was any doubt as to where this car came from. Jonathan Gitlin
  • I don‘t think they could even spell ergonomics in the 1920s. Jonathan Gitlin
  • These days, this is what Bentley is up to. I‘m not really a fan of the glass crystal cheese grater but I‘m not the target oligarch. Jonathan Gitlin

Listing image by Jonathan Gitlin

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