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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Towards the end of the weekend a good friend of mine said this to me:

"You've had a truly EPIC weekend, and I don't think there has been a time in my life when I've used the word "EPIC" where it was ever more appropriate." :)

Here's my story...

I didn't find out I was going to Monterey this year until the week before hand thus I didn't go into it with any particular knowledge of what I might find. I told a few friends I knew would be there and I posted a thread on the F1 forum I moderate with an open-ended question - "Will P25 find a McLaren F1?". In past years there has usually been some advanced knowledge of an F1 in attendance either at a particular event or up for auction, but this year I was flying blind. As far as plans, I knew I would arrive in Monterey on Thursday morning and hoped to catch a portion of the Pebble Tour. Then I had a ticket to Concorso Italiano on Friday, was going to hit the Historics on Saturday and had a ticket for Pebble Beach on Sunday. Just a basic plan. What ended up happening over those four days far exceeded anything I could have ever expected or even dreamed of.

For starters, shortly after I created that thread in the F1 forum I received a note from an employee of McLaren Automotive in the UK who had helped me out with info once in the past. He had never identified himself even now, but I could tell from what he knew that he was part of the team there. In this latest note to me he mentioned that there would be a discussion in the McLaren tent at Pebble Beach on Friday about the McLaren F1 that I needed to attend. He said I should try to see if I could talk my way in. I thanked him for this info and told him I had met one of the PR/Marketing reps from McLaren USA in Irvine earlier in the year and that I had a pretty good feeling she'd remember me and possibly be able to make some concession to get me in. About 12 hours went by and I received another note from this mysterious benefactor from McLaren that included a link to register for the discussion. There was a $40 charge with the money going to charity and it was without a doubt the best money I have ever spent. More on this later...

Then I received some good news from a photographer friend from Canada named Stephan who informed me that through the website Teamspeed.com arrangements had been made for him to get an advanced-access photo shoot inside the McLaren tent at Pebble Beach of a new exclusive MP4-12C on Thursday afternoon. He asked if I was interested in tagging along to help and of course I said yes. Suddenly this weekend was shaping up to be pretty cool. :thumbup:

I was actually headed to San Jose on business the Wednesday before Pebble Beach and it was this last minute trip that allowed me to go. I planned to spend the night in San Jose and then get to the airport to grab a rental car on Thursday morning so I could drive down to the peninsula. In the middle of my meeting at about 4:30pm I get a text from Stephan letting me know he'd just arrived in Monterey and the 3rd noteworthy car he'd come across was a Pale Blue McLaren F1. Trying to contain my excitement I responded to let him know that I had that owner's email address, cell phone number and a Rain Check to see his car dating back to 2007. I told him there was a very good chance I could make some arrangements for us to see the car. :thumbup:

Wednesday night I drove a coworker who'd joined me on the trip to his family's house in Sunnyvale and on the way up there we spotted the tail end of a Veyron drive that had started with 10 of them in San Francisco earlier that morning. I'm not a huge Veyron fan but seeing 3 running down the highway together was still a great way to kick things off. In my hotel that night I sent the F1 owner an email letting him know we'd finally ended up in the same zip code at the same time and while I didn't want him to alter his plans at all, that it would be wonderful to get to see the F1 sometime over the next four days.

Stephan messaged me again to tell me that I was missing the grey carbon Zonda R and Ferrari F50 GT1 at the Jet Center party in Monterey that night. I was disappointed about the Zonda R as I'd also missed it when it was at the local Supercar Sunday show near my house a few weeks prior, but I was even more upset about again missing the F50 GT1 as it is my second favorite car after the McLarens and is something I have been hoping to see now for 14 years since it arrived in the USA. I called my rental car company to see if I could arrange to pick the car up about 11 hours early and try to race over there. It would have added $200 to my rate - OUCH! - so I quickly forgot about that.

Thursday morning I followed my plans, getting the car as scheduled and arriving in Monterey around 9 am. I quickly ran into the owner of Supercars.net who was with another friend of mine from Australia. They were both perched on a hill waiting for the Pebble Tour cars to come down 17 Mile Drive and I actually recognized them mostly from a photo I had seen of their KIA rental car on Facebook a couple days earlier. How random! We stood up there and watched the final group of the Tour come by and then they said they were headed down Highway 1 to catch up with the rest of the cars coming back through in a more picturesque location. I had no other plans at that point and decided to follow. About 20 minutes into our 40 min drive I got a call from the blue F1 owner letting me know that he was home, had no real plans for the next couple of hours and that I was welcome to come by to see the car. :thumbup:

I didn't want to just disappear from behind the two guys I was following. I hadn't gotten either of their numbers yet to let them know what was up and we were on a one-lane stretch of road so I just stayed behind them until they reached the end of their trip. Following them all the way ended up working in my favor as on my trip back two other groups from the Pebble Tour passed me by. You haven't lived until you've been passed by a couple of 250 GTOs at full song, not to mention all the other beauties that were in the group. All the while I was giddy about seeing the F1.

My directions back led me through a portion of downtown Carmel where the 'Concours on the Avenue' was taking place - the streets were lined with people and amazing cars. The one that had me most excited was the 1955 Mercedes Benz Transporter, complete with a 300SL racer strapped to the back of it. I have always had a soft spot for this thing since it was resurrected and seeing it for the first time had me wanting to stop dead in my tracks. There was literally no place to park and traffic was bad enough, so I took a couple of crappy snaps of it with my iPhone and kept on going, hoping to see it again later in the weekend.

I was using the iPhone as my GPS and while I had tried to change my destination to direct me to the F1 owner's address, somehow it was stuck on leading me to the exact center of Pebble Beach. Since the owner had told me his home faced the second fairway at Pebble Beach, this didn't cause any alarm for me as I was being directed in. Let me add here that it is amazing just how far you can get through security (and landscapers trying to set up for Pebble Beach) when you have a convincing story and an iPhone showing a line on a map that insists you should turn left. :D

I got a call from Stephan again letting me know that the McLaren photo shoot was scheduled for 2pm and he asked me if I knew where their tent was at Pebble Beach. At this point I was in my Focus rental car on one of the golf cart paths that runs alongside the main fairway where the Pebble Beach Concours is held (yeah - I soooo did not belong there :eek:) and I was able to tell him that "Yeah - it is directly to my left". :laugh: I was hoping to find a way out of this mess but eventually got to a point where I would have had to drive on the sidewalk and knew that retracing my steps was the only solution. It was pretty comical though and I eventually found some parking and walked the rest of the way to the owner's house. As I was walking along 17 Mile Drive I was passed by one of my favorite cars - an Aston DB4 GT Zagato - WOW!

I finally made it to the owner's house - after originally telling him I was 20 minutes away let's just say 'I was late'. I mentioned to him that I'd invited my friend Stephan along to see the car too and he said that was fine. As we were talking in those first few minutes, three kids rounded the edge of the driveway with cameras in hand, somewhat surprised to find two men standing with the car. The owner asked if one of them was Stephan and they all said no, but he invited them down to see the car anyway. A fourth guy appeared at the edge of the driveway and it was a photographer I know who lives local to me. He's well acquainted with my knowledge of the F1s so imagine his surprise when he arrives to see one and finds me standing next to it. :D Two of the other three guys ended up being photographers I follow on Flickr and while they didn't know me yet, they also knew who 'Peloton25' was. ;)

Stephan showed up to and the whole group of us spent a little over an hour there looking over the car and talking with the owner. He let us open the car up and even went inside for awhile as all of us took photos of the car. His McLaren is a stunning and original example of the F1, first owned by one of the four principles of McLaren who were directly responsible for the creation of the car. The current owner is the car's second, and has put a respectful 8,000 miles on the car in the four years he has owned it. Here's a link to the gallery of photos I took of his beautiful car - click the photo to access the rest.

 

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great read and awesome pics, I'm in for the rest of the story
 

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I'm going to stick a break in the story here because there's quite a bit left to tell and it's already a little overwhelming. I have a busy day at work tomorrow but will add what I can in replies to any specific questions throughout the day and include more of the story tomorrow night.
>8^)
ER
Bastard.

Call in sick. :p
 

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Wow.

I don't have anything to contribute in the way of Pebble Beach or all the amazing cars you came
across...but thanks for posting this fantastic adventure!!!!

I :heart: your thread!
 

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Def great story. I Love how the keepers of these moving works of art are so wiling to share with the mortals. The vintage races at Watkins Glen are similar.
 

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Absolutely amazing story Peloton! I'm now in complete love with the F1. :heart::heart::heart::heart: Do you think you could message me details about it? I know you're the expert on this car. Thanks for sharing your incredible story. :thumbup::thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Absolutely amazing story Peloton! I'm now in complete love with the F1. :heart::heart::heart::heart: Do you think you could message me details about it? I know you're the expert on this car. Thanks for sharing your incredible story. :thumbup::thumbup:
Chassis #036 was built in 1995 for Mansour Ojjeh who is President of the TAG Group and the other primary shareholder in McLaren alongside Ron Dennis. The car is original as you see it there, save for a few updates the owner had the factory complete after receiving my suggestions in 2006. Those were to upgrade the headlights to HIDs, upgrade the radiators for better engine cooling and upgrade the A/C as well for better occupant cooling. He also told me that prior to coming up to Monterey this year he'd had the service center here on the west coast replace all the gold foiling you can see with engine covers open. I didn't ask what that had cost, but it sure looked nice. ;)



I don't normally like blue interiors, but everything just works so perfectly on this car - it's a great spec. I'm so glad it has ended up in the hands of someone whose goal is simply to preserve it and enjoy it. The driving gloves were an especially nice touch.



There's no other road car quite like this one - as I told the owner without being some outlandish color the car ends up as a stand-out if you were to line it up with several others. The plate on the front is actually the car's original Swiss registration tag, but printed on a UK placard. Not sure the exact explanation on why that occurred as there was a point where it wore a smaller plate on the nose, but the owner has chosen to keep it on the car as a reference to its history.



The car has not had the odometer changed to record miles and is showing around 16,000 kms on it. That's almost 10,000 miles and as I recall when he purchased it Mr Ojjeh had only managed to rack up about 1,900 miles in his 11 years of ownership. At the time of the sale of an F1 its always important that you get all the stuff - fitted luggage, the rolling FACOM tool chest, and especially the TAG Heuer watch with the car's chassis number on the face. The new owner got all of that plus a letter from Mr Ojjeh telling him to enjoy the car. Given that F1 values are presently hovering in the $3M to $4M range, and the special history of this particular car, it is safe to say that based on an asking price for it in 2006 of $1.9M that the present owner also received a very good bargain.

It was such a treat to finally see this car and to meet its wonderful owner. :cool:



More on the story this evening as promised. :)

>8^)
ER
 

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This is incredible! Cannot wait for the rest of the story!!:eek:
 

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I wouldn't have wished for anything less for a gentleman such as yourself. I expect the memory of your experiences will stick with you for a good long while. :) :beer:
 

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Obviously the car resides in Texas. Any chance I'll ever see it driving around in Houston?
 

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I've become a Pebble addict. Full blown addiction. There is so much to do, so much to see, and so many random scenarios that just happen in front of you (like last year where I was driving an Evora, and an LFA comes around a corner ahead of me, gets all sorts of sideways, goes WOT, and we give chase following it into the paddock).

Great to meet you too Peloton! I'm glad your weekend there was as excellent as mine was. :beer::thumbup:
 

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I will smash F5 in anticipation of more of this wonderful story. Hurry up! :mad::laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Obviously the car resides in Texas. Any chance I'll ever see it driving around in Houston?
It does spend quite a bit of time in that area. One Houton TCL'er spotted it there at least a year ago and posted pics. The owner isn't shy about driving it and has even had it out to the local road course on at least one occasion.

Great to meet you too Peloton! I'm glad your weekend there was as excellent as mine was. :beer::thumbup:
Yes - you were one of the people on my list that I hoped to meet up there. I stopped at the Lotus booth and for some reason thought your name was Brian :)o) but one of the ladies there corrected me and pointed you out. I'm with you - Pebble Beach is the place to be in the middle of August. I've had an incredible time every trip I've made so far. :thumbup:

I will smash F5 in anticipation of more of this wonderful story. Hurry up! :mad::laugh:
Give your keyboard a rest - I won't get back to the 'story' until 7pm Pacific or thereabouts, and I don't type 100 words a minute.

>8^)
ER
 
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