When it comes to particularly expensive and exclusive cars and their follow-up costs, Bugatti is not alone (What it really costs to drive a Bugatti Chiron). Even those who get behind the wheel of a Ferrari, Lamborghini or McLaren need deep pockets for vehicle maintenance - not just when it comes to filling up. As the YouTube channel "Donut Media" shows, changing a tire can, under certain circumstances, be responsible for a total loss of the purse.
In their "Cool Cars That Suck To Own" video, the experts look at the cost of the McLaren F1. This car is an extremely rare vehicle, with just 75 street versions and 32 track versions being built. Special models like the "F1 LM" shown in the picture above only rolled off the assembly line six times. This is also reflected in its price: A "conventional" McLaren F1, if you can buy it at all, is already in the tens of millions at auction, the special editions cost well over 20 million euros.
It is therefore not a matter of course that you can call such a vehicle your own and then also drive it - an accident like the one Mr. Bean had at the time is now damn expensive (Mr. Bean crashes his McLaren F1). But assuming you're one of the lucky ones who owns the vehicle - what do you have to invest in maintaining it?
On the one hand, there would be changing parts that you never actually change in a normal car. According to Donut Media, running a McLaren F1 requires a gearbox change every few thousand kilometers or every three years. The tank also has to be replaced every five years - regardless of whether you drove the F1 or not. That alone costs 90,000 euros. An oil change costs 8,000 euros, and together with the annual inspection, the total costs should be over 30,000 euros.
An interesting list of the work steps for the tank exchange, which "Autocar" describes, shows what this is related to, among other things. Accordingly, only this service takes 83.5 hours and requires the removal of the entire engine. By the way: You don't do this in an independent workshop, but only at selected locations that are thousands of kilometers away, depending on where the owner lives. For example, in the US there are only two addresses.
Changing tires is also dishonestly expensive – at least if you follow McLaren's specifications. Because the manufacturer not only requires a trip to the workshop and half an hour's work for new tires, but also sets very special requirements. Accordingly, McLaren should require F1 owners to rent a race track as part of the tire change, where a certified driver from the company together with trained staff will ensure that the car drives as it should with the new tires.
Once the special tires have been fitted for around 6,000 euros per set, the entire chassis has to be recalibrated. This is to compensate for slight imbalances in the air distribution of the tires and the age of the material, so that the vehicle can develop its full performance. This also includes an extensive check and adjustment of the brakes, which have to be adapted to the new tires. McLaren apparently also prescribes this work if only one tire has to be replaced, for example due to a puncture.
"Donut Media" summarizes the maintenance of a McLaren F1 as follows: "Almost every important part on the car has an expiration date." For the Youtubers it is clear: This makes the car a "beautiful nightmare". Years ago, a former owner named Bruce Weiner, who made too much money with sweets, also spoke about the enormous costs.
He confirms the incredible upkeep McLaren plans for the vehicle. When he unsuspectingly bought the car, a bill fell into his lap. The previous owner had the car repainted by McLaren. According to the invoice, what costs a few thousand euros for a conventional car costs 280,000 euros for the F1. "I've never heard of anything like this, but when I saw what McLaren had to do for it, I understood. The painting took six months, they had to disassemble the entire car for it."
For Weiner, the alimony soon became far too high. After only a year he sold the car again. Today he regrets it very much - because despite the enormous operating costs for the mere maintenance, his original investment of around one million euros would have increased twentyfold.
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