June 4, 2015 / 1:40 AM / 2 years ago

Car lover's dream, McLaren F1 supercar to be sold at auction

A man looks at a McLaren F-1 LM-Specification car is displayed at Sotheby's in New York June 3, 2015.Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Deep-pocketed car lovers will have a chance to buy a rare McLaren F1 when it goes on the auction block this summer, as part of a sale of a private collection of some of the world's finest sports and supercars.

The 1998 orange, three-seater F1 "LM-Specification" car is one of the highlights of The Pinnacle Portfolio, a collection of more than 20 post-World War Two cars that is expected to fetch a total of more than $65 million in a standalone sale on Aug. 13 by RM Sotheby's at California's Monterey 2015 Classic Car Auctions.

"It is the single largest private collection that has ever been brought to auction," Ian Kelleher, managing director of RM Auctions, said in an interview.

He expects the McLaren F1 to fetch more than $12 million.

The collection, which spans 57 years of automotive history and design, boasts some of the finest sports and racing automobiles of the 1950s and 60s and includes Porsches, Ferraris, a 1993 Jaguar XJ220, bookend Bugatti Veyrons and the final Enzo gifted to the late Pope John Paul II.

The collector remains anonymous.

"Last year we sold approximately $144 million of cars at Monterey, which is the single largest total for any collector car auction to date. This year we expect to eclipse that," Kelleher said.

A man looks at a McLaren F-1 LM-Specification car is displayed at Sotheby's in New York June 3, 2015.Brendan McDermid

The McLaren, which is on display at Sotheby's New York headquarters in Manhattan, is one of two that were brought back to the factory and upgraded to the Le Mans race specifications.

"It was effectively almost rebuilt from scratch, making it far superior to the road car, basically a road-going racecar," he explained. "It includes all of the LM special upgrades."

Slideshow (3 Images)

Only five such McLarens were produced. All are in private hands.

"For most other modern cars there are virtually no other examples that are even remotely in this price range in terms of the collectability and desirability," Kelleher said.

"What makes it unique is that you can actually drive it," he said, adding the performance of the car is second to none.

The 2005 Ferrari Enzo that was given to the late Pope John Paul II by former Ferrari Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has an inscription under the hood and was auctioned on the Pope's behalf with the proceeds going to tsunami victims.

The bookend Bugatti Veyrons, chassis No. 001 and No. 300, are the first and last of the production run.

Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Leslie Adler

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