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McLaren F1 – the California Burn-Up!

Tue, 02 Jun 2009

Brings a tear to the eye - a burnt-out McLaren F1

The McLaren F1 is certainly a car designed to burn up the road. But for one poor owner that became a literal nightmare as his £1.75 million McLaren F1 burnt out on a drive to the airport in Rincon Valley, California.

McLaren owner Irv Kessler hadn’t used the F1 for 6 months, but he probably wishes he hadn’t yesterday either. Smoke began billowing from the back of the F1, and by the time Irv get himself out of the McLaren (not always easy as the drivers seat is in the middle) flames were starting to engulf the car. The Rincon Valley Fire Brigade came to the rescue, but not before the back end of the car was wrecked.

Actually, this scenario is not unknown with McLaren F1, although this is an extreme case. We know of one McLaren F1, owned at the time by a UK Ferrari dealer, which was taken for a test drive by the prospective new owner. Exactly the same thing happened to him, and that car hadn’t been driven in anger for six months either. It seems that after a period of being idle the manifolds on the F1 are prone to overheating, and a dose of enthusiastic driving is enough to cause extreme overheating of the manifolds. Best case scenario is a lot of smoke and an expensive fix. Worst case scenario is Irv’s!

Irv told the fire crew that the car was worth $2 million, but was insured for $3 million. Something tells me his insurance company might take the lower figure in any settlement!

Never mind, Irv. You can always put your name down for the new McLaren F1.

(28 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

By Cars UK