Bespoke 675LT gets iconic Gulf Racing livery of legendary F1 GTR
Despite all McLarens being pretty desirable cars to own, buyers increasingly want to commission a bespoke version, something unique to them, and this is where McLaren Special Operations (MSO) come in.
This particular customer commission resulted in over 1,000 hours of customisation to an example of the already impressive 675LT. As well as MSO interior and exterior extras – such as alcantara custom racing seats, louvred front wings, roof scoop and carbon fibre air brake – it also sports a striking orange, blue and black colour scheme to match the Gulf Racing livery worn by the McLaren F1 GTR Longtail of the 1997 Le Mans class winning Gulf-Davidoff GTC team.
Crafted to individual customer specification
Echoing but updating the Gulf Oil International livery first made famous in the 1971 Le Mans film with Steve McQueen, the 675LT underwent 800 hours in MSO’s spray booth to apply the iconic light blue and trademark orange central stripe as well as airbrushing the black and red detailing. The use of dayglo orange is continued on the 20-spoke wheels, the sill badges that carry the owner’s initials and inside where vent bezels, control surrounds and seat belts also follow the theme.
“Creating a car like this unique McLaren 675LT, crafted to individual customer specification, is exactly the type of demanding commission that MSO Bespoke was formed to embrace,” explains Ansar Ali, MD, McLaren Special Operations. “Transforming the existing car from its original single colour paintwork to a tribute to the McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ in Gulf Racing livery was incredibly demanding in its own right, but was only part of the brief; we also replaced numerous standard 675LT components with MSO parts and further personalised the car to clearly identify it with its owner, a service that an increasing number of MSO customers request.”
McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’
Built for the 1997 endurance racing season, the F1 GTR received extended rear bodywork to give it extra downforce and reduced drag compared to the previous season’s car, hence the ‘Longtail’ designation. Nine Longtail chassis were delivered to McLaren customer teams to compete in what were to become the last two seasons of Woking’s involvement in the FIA GT Championship.
Chassis 20R, the inspiration for the MSO 675LT homage, was run by the Gulf-Davidoff GTC Motorsport team. Wearing number 41, the car took the class victory and second place overall in the 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans with racers Pierre-Henri Raphanel, Jean-Marc Gounon and Anders Olofsson sharing the drive.
Praise for the 675LT
Less than two years ago the Super Series 675LT was the McLaren model to have or to aspire to – only eclipsed by the unattainable Ultimate Series P1. With the launch of the 720S last year, the Sports Series 570S, the Senna and the imminent BP23 hypercar, the 675LT (Long Tail) has had its time in the spotlight but it remains a very special, stand out car.
As with all Sports and Super Series McLarens, the 675’s designation numerates the twin turbo V8’s Pferdestärke (PS) rating – German for horsepower – which equates to around 666 bhp. This, combined with 700 Nm torque, propels the 675LT to 62 mph in just 2.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 205 mph.
With the 675LT’s dramatic performance and the extraordinary visual impact of its paint scheme, this one off supercar can’t fail to turn heads. Whether it spends its life cosseted in a collection or – let’s hope – driven regularly, this amazing car must belong to one extremely satisfied and very happy MSO customer.