Pictures: Tom Hartly Jnr.
Pictures: Tom Hartly Jnr.

Shortheath, Derbyshire - Opinions are divided as to whether this is the ultimate collector’s item, or a shameful waste of one of the world’s finest supercars.*

But, as the saying goes, it is what it is - the world’s only brand-new second-hand McLaren F1. The odometer reads 239 kilometres which, according to McLaren, represents its pre-delivery test drive at the factory in Woking, Surrey.

Chassis no. 060 (of 106) was built in 1997 for a Japanese businessman who not only never registered the car or drove it, he never even sat in it. The original factory protective wrapping is all still there, including the seat covers, which would need to be removed before you could sit in the centre driver’s seat.

Even by McLaren F1 standards, this one is something special - and we’re not talking about the Dandelion Yellow paint and grey leather trim. It has a special-order removable steering wheel trimmed in suede, a carbon-fibre driver’s seat with F1 logo, and the hand-painted signature of F1 designer Gordon Murray on the rear right-hand side of the body.

And it comes with another steering wheel - a GTR race style one with the F1 logo in the middle in body-colour yellow - as well as a spare Le Mans-spec racing exhaust system, passenger floor-mats and a windscreen strip, none of which have ever been unwrapped.

It’s all there - the original leather-cased owners handbooks, the Facom tool chest, the tool roll with its original gold-plated titanium tools, the full luggage set still in factory protective wrapping, the spare keys and even the commemorative TAG Heuer watch with the chassis number engraved on the face - which has never been out of its box.

Now it’s up for grabs; this time warp on wheels is for sale by Derbyshire specialist exotic car car dealer Tom Hartley Jr. Price on application, he says; if ever there was a car that justified the insult “If you need to ask, you can’t afford it”, this is it.

*We've had this debate before on IOL Motoring, when a collector in Europe bought a 1974 Laverda 3CL superbike in its factory crate and decided to assemble the bike and get it running, reducing its value by more than half in the process.

Let us know what you think about preserving collector's cars such as this McLaren unused, versus keeping them in running condition and enjoying them on special occasions, on Twitter or Facebook.

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