McLaren dealers are using Special Operations to create one-offs galore

McLaren dealers are using Special Operations to create one-offs galore


McLaren Special Operations

As if McLarens weren’t already exclusive enough, select dealers are now offering their own custom takes on the cars, sort of like the modern supercar version of a Yenko Camaro, except that these are made out of lightweight carbon fiber instead of (relatively) heavy stamped steel. Dealers are taking advantage of services offered by McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the in-house customizer back in Woking.

“Every McLaren is shaped by pioneering technology and our obsession with perfection,” the company states. “McLaren Special Operations goes further.”

The work of McLaren Special Operations as done for McLaren Beverly Hills.

Perhaps the coolest of the current crop of specials is being offered by McLaren Beverly Hills, which is listing for sale no fewer than three Sennas that have been done up in colors specific to three great drives in the career of McLaren pilote Ayrton Senna. The three are called Senna XP Exclusive Editions and they carry MSRPs of $1,435,328 each.

The dealer says that each Senna features a fully exposed gloss carbon fiber body with unique paintwork details matching the hosting countries’ colors of the corresponding Grand Prix. The flags of the countries are painted on the rear wings and airbrushed onto the door sills. Along with “fully bespoke interiors,” the total work required to customize each Senna was 780 hours. That’s on top of the time it took to build the cars.

The three are:

Master of Monaco

Master of Monaco, which celebrates Senna’s six wins at that claustrophobic street circuit between 1989 and 1993.

Donnington Park

Lap of the Gods pays tribute to Senna’s win in the downpour at Donnington Park in 1993, when he charged from fifth on the grid to lead the race by the end of the first lap, and went on to win the race by over a minute, “…widely regarded as the best opening-lap charge in F1 history,” the dealer says, and rightly so.

Home Victory

Home Victory recalls Senna’s Brazilian GP win of 1991, when he won the race at Interlagos with only sixth gear remaining through the final laps.

The three Sennas will be on display at the dealership’s Sunset GT car show on Sunset Blvd. the morning of Dec. 8. The show is free and is pretty amazing. McLaren Beverly Hills’ parent company is O’Gara Coach, which also represents: Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Pininfarina, Bentley, Bugatti, Karma, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini, McLaren, Maserati, Rimac and Rolls-Royce. Cars from each of those brands are usually at the Sunset GT, so it’s a rare chance to see many of the world’s greatest supercars all in one place.

Pikes Peak Collection

McLaren Denver, meanwhile, launched a six-car “Pikes Peak Collection” of 600LT Spiders last summer that were done up by MSO with special paint jobs, a gold and matte black vinyl stripe over the hood and roof as well as satin gold wheels. The interiors get accents in the same satin gold as well as the Pikes Peak logo in gold embroidery on the headrest and the MSO Club Sport Pack, which includes carbon fiber cantrails, fender louvers and the same carbon fiber seats found in the Senna.

Comet Fade

McLaren Toronto delivered a one-off “Comet Fade” 600LT last month, with McLaren Special Operations (MSO) “enhancements,” including three exterior colors that carry over into the interior, a carbon fiber roof scoop a la the original McLaren F1, and MSO’s Clubsport Pack with lightweight carbon fiber seats and interior trim. The colors are “inspired by the brightness and speed of a comet – an icy, small solar system body that produces a visually distinct signature, fading from bright to dark.”

You can get any of the above – or whatever else you can think up – done to your McLaren by contacting McLaren Special Operations. After all, McLaren Automotive just cranked out its 20,000th street car earlier this year, so while you’re not going to see them in every neighbor’s driveway, it might be time to consider taking steps to keep your car unique.

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