“Gulf” McLaren 675LT – A livery to relive the victories
The McLaren F1 is a hypercar designed at a time, when the term did not exist. It is the brainchild of the motorsport “patriarch” Gordon Murray , partly due to his brilliance in conceiving the idea of designing a road-legal production car with F1 credentials and partly due to his ability in convincing Ron Dennis to support this extravagance. This was the early-90’s after all. The involvement of Prof. Peter Stevens in designing the exterior and interior was of monumental importance in delivering a result that still inspires. In the five years between 1993 and 1998 106 units were produced at 640,000 GBP each and the McLaren F1 started breaking records, becoming an instant icon in the automotive world. Gordon Murray had no intention to take the car racing, but in 1994 the BPR Global GT Series (predecessor of the FIA GT Championship) presented a new territory for competition, which could not leave the McLaren uninterested. The McLaren F1 GTR was created.
The F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ was built for the 1997 racing season, and takes its name from the revised bodywork, which provided higher levels of downforce and reduced drag over the previous generation GTR models. It was also lighter by 135kg and a sequential gearbox and fully adjustable suspension were added.
The winner of the 1996 BPR Global Endurance Series and the GT1 Class at the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1997 will always be remembered by the striking Gulf-Davidoff colour scheme.
As the depositary of this racing tradition, McLaren Special Operations has created a McLaren 675LT that combines a famous racing livery with personalised and bespoke features to the customer’s brief. The project undertaken by agreement with Gulf Oil International Ltd, occupied more than 1,000 hours of MSO time. The paintwork – including airbrushing – accounted for 800 hours of that total.
“Creating a car like this unique McLaren 675LT, crafted to individual customer specification, is exactly the type of demanding commission that MSO Bespoke was formed to embrace,” explained Ansar Ali, Managing Director, McLaren Special Operations.
“Transforming the existing car from its original single colour paintwork to a tribute to the McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ in Gulf Racing livery was incredibly demanding in its own right, but was only part of the brief; we also replaced numerous standard 675LT components with MSO parts and further personalised the car to clearly identify it with its owner, a service that an increasing number of MSO customers request.”
The light blue, black and red hues of the exterior paint – and of course the trademark orange centre stripe – are an unmistakeable recreation of the Gulf Racing colours that adorn the 1997 McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ race car.
The 20-spoke wheels, finished in Dayglo Orange, continue the theme. The same orange colour is used for sill badges that bear the customer’s initials. The car is fitted with louvered front wings, roof scoop upgrade and carbon fibre airbrake from the MSO range of options for the McLaren 675LT, all featuring body colour paint.
The interior of the car was designed and executed to complement both the exterior theme and the personalisation.
MSO Bespoke racing seats finished in Carbon Black Alcantara® feature orange and blue contrast stitching, with the initials of the owner again featuring, this time embroidered in blue on the headrest. The seat belts are from the MSO Defined range and are orange in colour.
The handling and powertrain bezels on the Active Dynamics Panel are finished in Gulf Blue, while the vent bezel surrounds and surround to the stop/start button are in Gulf Orange.
Now with extraordinary visual impact courtesy of MSO, this 675LT has the appearance to truly match its dramatic performance; with a twin-turbocharged McLaren V8 engine producing up to 675PS and 700Nm of torque, the 675LT can accelerate to 100km/h (62mph) from standstill in just 2.9 seconds and has a maximum speed of 330km/h (205mph).
Identifying recognisable family characteristics in descendants is always fascinating. This same fascination captivates the beholder of the “Gulf” McLaren 675LT, as the memories stir emotions and the much celebrated performance does justice to the victorious F1 predecessor.