Nearly 15 years after the last copy rolled out of McLaren's factory, the 618-hp F1 supercar remains one of the most sought-after vehicles among the world's sporting billionaires. Only 106 were built, and in recent years a regular model McLaren F1 at auction could fetch bids of $5 million, while one with a racing pedigree last year went for $3.8 million. This F1 in Japan supposedly holds another singular distinction: it's never been driven, and its odometer shows zero miles after 17 years of ownership — which suggests the owner has more money than sense.
According to the Japanese site found by DailyAutoFix listing the 1994 McLaren F1 for sale, the car was never even registered, and all of its official documents along with the vehicle itself has been kept in climate-controlled storage since purchase. Given the restraint necessary to keep such a machine untouched, one can likely assume the car itself was started and serviced in those 17 years; the picture above suggests a no-expense-spared level of care.
In an era where classic car prices have soared to as much as $35 million, a surprising number of collectors insist on keeping their valuables not just in running order but occasionally on the road. That's the point, for most: enjoying the aural and visceral delights of a Ferrari 250 GTB or a Duesenberg can deliver at full throttle makes ownership more than just typing numbers on a spreadsheet. Yet there's a subset of collectors and builders who see cars as furniture that needs preservation rather than speed, with the ultimate example provided by Bugatti and its porcelain-encrusted Veyron L'Or Blanc. Oh wait — even its owner has taken it for a drive on public streets.
I'd contend having zero miles on the odometer adds as much value to this F1 as throwing in a new set of wiper blades. Supercars aren't blocks of cheddar that get better with a few years in cold storage; they need driving not just for enjoyment but upkeep, to know which parts need work. If my Powerball numbers float up, I'd buy this, cover it in GoPros and make the most of its first mile.
UPDATE: Turns out those first miles were spent long ago. Someone who's familiar with the 106 F1s around world estimates the one for sale in Japan has about 186 miles (or 300 km) on it, and that even if the owner refused to drive it, McLaren mechanics dispatched to service F1s wherever they're parked would have driven it to ensure the car's pieces were in working order. That said, it's still one of only two painted yellow at the factory — and should still fetch top dollar.