Let’s say you had a serious chunk of change to invest: where would you put it? The stock market is a little better than going to Vegas and betting everything on “red”, but not much. Bonds don’t yield much return, precious metals are all over the place and there’s no guarantee that art will appreciate, either. You could blow all of your money on hookers and beer, which would give you some righteous stories to tell, or you could sink your money into an automotive investment.
Consider, perhaps, the very first production McLaren, which Autoeveolution tells us is for sale on Jameslist. I’m not giving it a “buy” rating, since I think the price is more than a little ambitious, but others will certainly disagree on this point. There’s no denying the car’s pedigree: it was one of only 65 McLaren’s ever built for street use, and was purchased new by Uwe Gemablla. Gemballa, whose name was once synonymous with “obscenely fast tuned Porsches”, has been on the run from Interpol since February. Apparently, scamming investors out of millions of dollars is time consuming work, and the next owner of this F1 will be happy to learn that Gemballa put less than 300 miles on the car since buying it in 1995.
If you want to own the very first one, it will cost you $3.175 million, or roughly three times the purchase price of the car when new. The all time record price for a McLaren F1 was $4.5 million, paid at the peak of the collector car feeding frenzy in 2008. Back then, that kind of money bought you the last “new” F1, a showroom model used by McLaren to draw customers into their Park Lane dealership. Ordinary used F1s have been trading hands in the $1.5 million to $2 million range, so maybe the price Gemablla North America wants for the first example isn’t too far out of line.