The racing pedigree of this incredible machine you see before you is one that will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time. It’s none other than the McLaren F1 GTR Longtail, which is one of the most sought after versions of the iconic F1. According to McLaren, the Longtail is also the “purest competition version of the McLaren F1 ever built.” Only ten examples were built during the 1997 season, one of which has now been converted to street legal, thanks to the wizardry of the Lanzante engineering team.
Lanzante has made quite a name for themselves by taking the highest performing track only cars and somehow working their magic to make them legal on regular roads. Often times they manage to do this without sacrificing performance. And because of the high level of secrecy behind the process, nobody is exactly sure what it is that they do to make this happen, but there’s definitely no arguing with the end results. For example, they are also the ones responsible for the absolutely bonkers P1 LM which is essentially a P1 GTR. It set the record time for a road legal car at Goodwood just last year.
As amazing as the P1 LM is, it’s nothing compared to this legendary F1 GTR Longtail. To give you an example of just how dominant the Longtail really was, it won 5 of the 11 championship races in the 1997 season. And even more impressive is the fact that it finished first and second in the GT1 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the third place finisher more than 30 laps behind.
One of the best parts about the Longtail is the incredible amount of downforce that it creates. Nearly every inch of the bodywork was meticulously modified from the F1 GTR used in the 95′ and 96′ season in order to gain as much aerodynamic downforce as physically possible. It obviously worked too because according to reports, the Longtail created enough downforce at 100mph that it could literally drive on the ceiling. PS- We’re still anxiously waiting to see actual proof of any car with this claim doing that.
Providing the power to this magnificent machine is arguably one of the best motors ever built, at least when talking about V12 motors. It’s the BMW S70/2 V12, the very same engine used in the F1 that helped it set the record for the fastest production car in the world with a top speed of 240mph. In the F1, the potent naturally aspirated V12 produced between 618-627hp, depending on who you ask or what spec sheet you’re looking at. But unfortunately, due to the FIA GT rules at the time, the 6.1L V12 in the Longtail was air restrictor controlled to an even 600hp.
Another one of the many attributes about the Longtail that made it so successful was the weight of the car, or better yet the lack of it. With a curb weight just over 2,000lbs, the F1 GTR Longtail is a featherweight with the knockout power of a heavyweight, thanks to that BMW sourced V12. It was even 135kg (297lbs) lighter than the original F1 GTR that won the 24hr of Le Mans in its debut year of 1995.
The value of one of these cars could be considered priceless and it’s pretty much impossible to get your hands on one. There was one example that sold for $13 million back in 2012. In 2014 some lucky individual managed to basically steal another one when they paid “just” $5.28 million for it at an auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
If you happen to be one of the lucky owners of a Longtail, what better way to experience that than having the engineers at Lanzante make it street legal. You’ll find yourself volunteering for what would be the ultimate milk run.
No information was released on what the conversion will cost. It’s one those “if you have to ask you can’t afford it.” We think it’s safe to assume it would be at least a million or more, and that’s on top of the price of the car. We’ve included a video of one of the GTR Longtails making a run at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. It’s not one of the Lanzante models, but it will still give you an idea of just how magnificent these cars sound when at full throttle.