Picture credit: RM Sotheby's.
Picture credit: RM Sotheby's.
Picture credit: RM Sotheby's.
Picture credit: RM Sotheby's.
Picture credit: RM Sotheby's.
Picture credit: RM Sotheby's.
Picture credit: RM Sotheby's.
Picture credit: RM Sotheby's.
Picture credit: RM Sotheby's.
Picture credit: RM Sotheby's.
Picture credit: RM Sotheby's.
Picture credit: RM Sotheby's.
Picture credit: RM Sotheby's.
Picture credit: RM Sotheby's.
Picture credit: RM Sotheby's.
Picture credit: RM Sotheby's.

Monterey, California - It may be a quarter of a century old, but this lean, mean 386km/h driving machine can still put many modern supercars to shame.

The good news for petrol-heads is that the super-rare McLaren F1 LM is for sale.

The bad news is that you’ll need exceptionally deep pockets, with this cossetted example expected to fetch around $23 million (or R342 million in our money), which would make it the most expensive British car ever sold at auction.

One of only two McLaren F1 road cars that were ever upgraded to racing ‘LM’ specification by McLaren, in tribute to the firm’s Le Mans victory in 1995, the car has just 13 352 miles (21 483km) on the clock.

In keeping with the car’s exclusivity, the engine bay is lined with gold – not for bragging rights, but because the precious metal makes an excellent heat shield for the enormous BMW-sourced 6.1-litre V12 engine, which is rated at 507kW.

The McLaren spent its first six years as a standard F1. It was upgraded by the Surrey-based car maker to LM specifications in 2000, with a more powerful engine, a racing exhaust system, revised bodywork, bigger wheels and beefier brakes. 

The 1994 model is being sold by auctioneer RM Sotheby’s in Monterey, California, next Thursday. RM Sotheby’s expert Alexander Weaver said: "The McLaren F1 is the ultimate supercar and has long been regarded as the benchmark by which all others are compared.

"No other car stirs more emotions and evokes more excitement. The 'holy grail' admiration associated with the F1 is second only to the Ferrari 250 GTO."

In fact, the most expensive car ever sold was a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO that changed hands privately for £57 million (R1.03bn) last year.

Daily Mail