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05-07-2010, 01:14 AM #171
Mr Beal's F1 was chassis #042 and was sold to a collector in Northern California who I've spoken with and who has requested to keep his anonymity.
He brought the car to a track day at Infineon once, keeping it in the paddock while driving some more purpose built cars on the track.
I've seen it in some other photos online including this pair below, still on its Texas plate when it arrived in CA. Actually it hasn't been spotted in quite a while - perhaps owing to its owner's private nature - but I'm pretty sure it's still with him.
05-07-2010, 02:43 AM #172
Thanks for the info, I'm glad it stayed in the states. I still want to know what Carty was smoking when he painted it red.
05-07-2010, 11:46 PM #173Junior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2010
Peleton thanks for sharing your wealth of information about this amazing vehicle!!
I was hoping you could enlighten me regarding the silver F1 that has round fog lights in the lower bumper and amber reflectors on the high door mirrors? It seems to have a totally different bumper than normal. You had a couple pics of it in your opening gallery.
Sorry for the "silver" question but I believe this one is unique... or are there other F1s like this?
05-08-2010, 01:18 AM #174
No need to apologize - that is actually one of the best silver F1s to ask about. I had been meaning to do a small feature on it here as your question does come up from time to time.
The car you are referring to is commonly known as the 'Clinic Model'. In some places it was also referred to as the 'Studio Model'. Essentially it was a non-running prototype that McLaren had built for the car's unveiling party in Monaco in 1992.
From 'Driving Ambition': It was "with the exception of the engine bay, asthetically complete in every respect both inside and out" also "the car was built to fool all but the most persistent viewer into thinking that it was a complete running package."
I have this serigraph of one of Curwood's shots hanging above my desk here at home. In addition to the photographer, it is also signed by Gordon Murray and Peter Stevens who worked with Gordon on the visual design of the F1. Framed up it measures 36"x32", it's numbered 342/500, and it's one of my favorite pieces of F1 memorabilia that I have in my collection.
The Clinic Model is uniquely identifiable with it's high mirrors that house integrated turn signals (later high-mirrored cars lacked the built-in indicator lights) and the foglights in the lower front bumber facia. Neither of those items would carry over into production, although the foglights did appear on road car prototypes XP1 and XP3. Another unique feature of the Clinic Model are the two "eyebrow vents" just over the headlights. Originally Gordon's design for the F1 called for those to allow hot air to escape from behind the radiators and lower the pressure under the car to enhance downforce. Again XP1 had them, but for some reason they were also deemed unnecessary prior to production.
The Clinic Model was originally painted silver in color, then prior to the British Motorshow at the end of 1992 it was resprayed in burgundy. At some point while it was burgundy, the high mirrors were removed and replaced with ones fitted in the normal position on the doors. There are also pictures of it in silver with the lower mirrors, but in all cases the fog lamps and eyebrows were retained. They eventually painted it yellow which was the last color I have seen it wearing. It may have also been blue at some point according to one report, but no real photos exist of that which I have seen.
Here's some additional images of it in the other colors and stages of its life, starting with one slightly humorous shot done for a Shell gasoline ad that depicts Gordon Murray attempting to pump gas in a car that has no engine.
The Clinic Model unfortunately hasn't been spotted in many years. That final set of photos in yellow show it on display in the Beaulieu Motor Museum in England back in April of 1995 which was the last recorded sighting of it. Ultimately I hope someone has kept it since it is a true piece of F1 history, however the prevailing theory is that McLaren may have chosen to have it crushed.
Last edited by Peloton25; 05-08-2010 at 01:35 AM.
05-08-2010, 01:59 AM #175Junior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2010
Well that definitely clears that up!
The only F1 I have been fortunate enough to see in person was #045 when it was in Newport Beach many years ago. You alluded to the fact that this was one of the "Ameritech F1s." Did you ever discuss that further?
BTW: Love the framed serigraph, very cool. If there was one peice I would choose to represent the F1 on my walls that would be it!
Last edited by bettingsumo; 05-08-2010 at 02:02 AM.
05-08-2010, 02:36 AM #176
05-08-2010, 03:36 AM #177
Doesn't look like we've really touched on the Ameritech F1s here in this thread yet. Get ready for another wall-of-text.
The story of the Ameritech F1s is rather messy and I'll freely admit I don't have all the details, and probably never will. Basically as I have been told (and this is depending on who you believe) Dick Fritz of Amerispec Corp used some connections at DOT and the EPA, along with exploiting some loop-holes in the laws governing vehicle importation to somehow become a manufacturer, and in the process imported 7 F1s through a 'Free Trade' zone. Each one was given a new 'Ameritech' VIN number and supposedly all the cars were converted with some funky looking exterior parts, and the two passenger seats were also "removed" (by fitting them with crude covers) in order to satisfy the regulators. There were possibly other changes required too under the skin, but the ones I mentioned are the ones that were most visible.
These are the only images I have of a converted "Ameritech F1" which appeared in Road&Track magazine, December 1997,
Now the funny thing is that present day there isn't a single one of those 7 "Ameritech F1s" that still wears those parts or lacks it's passenger seats. All the modifications were done without drilling a single new hole anywhere on the car, so that the changes could all be reversed once the government was satisfied. The value of the cars in their original condition was simply too great to do it any other way. Also, people like Ralph Lauren would not be seen driving a car like the one in those pictures, of course.
Some have even claimed that not all the cars were ever even converted with those parts to begin with. Six of the seven Ameritech F1s were basically silver, and so it would have been easy to present photos of the same car multiple times since most of the cars would not have needed to be inspected first hand, or at least that is my understanding.
= = = = =
To expand on the story above, all of this Amerispec activity with the F1s went down a few years before the US government enacted it's 'Show or Display' legislation. For those who might not be familiar with that, it's a provision that exempts certain rare or historically significant cars from having to conform to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards controlled by the DOT. S/D was enacted in December 1999 - added into a transportation bill that was sure to pass through Congress and be signed by then President, Bill Clinton. For a time, it was referred to as "Bill Gates' Law" because it was a lot of his own lobbying to allow entry of a Porsche 959 he owned for about a decade that finally got the job done.
Keep in mind that 'Show or Display' is only a waiver for the DOT's FMVSS's, and does not allow you to bypass any of the EPA restrictions. I think this is the fatal flaw of the legislation, and still needs to be fixed, but it won't ever happen. So all cars that come in this way must still meet the EPA guidelines for their year of manufacture, and in the case of cars built in 1996 or later, they must conform to the more stringent OBD-II standards.
You can read more about the S/D import process in this old AutoWeek article reprinted on the web:
Display of Speed: Under the "Show or Display exemption, Americans can now import previously forbidden exotics
One thing about the 7 Ameritech F1s and their 'new VINs' is they were all VIN'd with the letter 'S' in the 8th to last position. That identifies their 'Year of Manufacture' as being 1995. This isn't true in all seven cases though, as while three were 1995s (#042, #044, #045); one chassis was built in 1996 (#055); and the remaining three were all built in 1997 (#062, #067, #074). Their EPA certificates also identify the four later cars as 1995's as well, which allowed them to get around what should have been necessary changes to comply with OBD-II as mentioned.
There is an outspoken critic of the Amerispec importation process (mentioned above with that 'graymarketcars' website) who has shared a lot of these details on the F1 forum over the years with his own slant to the story. He's kind of quieted down lately, but I will share a memo below that he obtained and posted which was written in regards to the Ameritech F1s after 'Show or Display' was enacted. At that point, the folks at the DOT or EPA or both seemed interested in cleaning up the records on these cars, as it was apparently no real secret what had occurred with them.
The idea from one organization was to have their owners submit applications for 'Show or Display' approval, and bring them in line with the new law. One would assume this would have meant using the McLaren VINs instead of the Ameritech ones, and of course that would have posed a huge challenge for the four cars built after 1995 in the eyes of the EPA. He stated when he shared this that it was 'legally obtained'.
Date: 01/18/2000 04:16 pm (Tuesday)
From: George Entwistle
To: Ken Weinstein; Taylor Vinson
CC: Luke Loy
Subject: Re: Telephone call from Dick Fritz
On March 5, 1999, Pacific Automobile Appraisers requested the importation status of a 1998 McLaren F1 - VIN SA9AB5AC0V1048067. This is a vehicle owned by Gerd Petrik which also bears an AMERITECH VIN 1A9MC99L8SA398067. The inquiry was on the McLaren VIN.
How should we respond to such questions? After discussions with Mr. Fritz, on March 26, 1999, he stated that he would submit a petition for the McLaren F1 and the Bugattis once he became a Registered Importer. This was to be done to correct importation of these vehicles. Fritz became an RI on March 23, 1999. To date no petitions have been received.
If we take the position that they are US certified vehicles then no one may import a McLaren or Bugattis under Show or Display.
A 1994 Bugatti EB110 SS, ZA9BB02E0RCD39018 was imported on paper as a Box 3 and as a Box 7 electronically on December 23, 1997. For some reason the vehicle ended up in the trade. Customs called on a Bugatti in the trade zone on February 4, 1999. Based on the previous interp to Lipardt Customs was advised that the vehicle could not be conformed by Ameritech as the manufacturer. This vehicle was later exported to Canada and attempted reentry as a box 2A in March 1999. After being denied entry as a complying vehicle it entered as a box 3 with Fritz as the RI. To date no petition has been received.
If any of these vehicles are sold and inquiries are made how do we respond. How will the interp address this?
>>> Taylor Vinson 0 1/18/00 02:05PM>>>
Dick Fritz phoned me this (Tues.) afternoon about the matter we discussed this morning.
Apparently the initiative to reenter vehicles under show or display comes from OVSC and he does not understand the reason why. He does not want to upset his customers by telling them they have to reenter their vehicles at this late date. He does not want to send the letter whose draft he sent Luke last week, but was trying in the draft to accommodate his understanding of what OVSC wants.
There are 9 vehicles that he certified as the manufacturer, 7 of which were imported in 1997 and 2 in 1998. Seven are McLarens and two are Bugattis. All have VINs assigned him, and not to McLaren or Bugatti, Customs has liquidated the entries on all 9 vehicles.
When these vehicles left the trade zone, he informed me that 6 were entered under Box 2A and the remaining 3 under Box 3 or Box 7 of the HS declaration form. Although the proper way to enter these vehicles would have been pursuant to a part 593 determination and through a registered importer who would then conform them, I surmise that OVSC does not regard them as validly entered because conformance was performed in a trade zone, and that the way to cure this error is to change their status to “Show or Display.”
This appears to be a paper exercise with no safety benefit. The vehicles were admitted as certified and conforming in accordance with 49 Usc 30112, and customs liquidated the entries without demanding redelivery. That seems sufficiently legal to me that Fritz ought not to be advising owners at this late date that their vehicles were entered illegally. Any difficulties that an owner may have with insurance companies and state registrations are matters between Fritz and his customers.
He’d be happier letting the matter rest, and I should think we would be too.
Ultimately, only Ralph Lauren's two McLaren F1s (#055 & #074) ever had applications for 'Show or Display' approval submitted, and both were subsequently withdrawn without being completed. The 7 cars have all remained here legally and it is safe to assume that their paperwork issues have been resolved to everyone's satisfaction now.
Lauren, along with Herb Chambers who owns #044, still have possession of their cars, but the other four have changed hands, some more than once, without issue. The great thing about these cars, unlike the McLarens imported under S/D is that they shouldn't have to conform to the 2,500 mile per year limitation that is imposed with the S/D approval. Of course there aren't too many F1 owners who are putting that many miles on their cars anyway.
An interesting story though with these cars - no doubt about that.
Last edited by Peloton25; 05-08-2010 at 01:32 PM.
05-08-2010, 03:47 AM #178
The Clinic Model was finished April 5th, 1992, a couple of months ahead of the Monaco unveiling which was held May 28th, 1992. The first F1 road car prototype (XP1) rolled out of the factory under its own power on December 23rd, 1992 and the first completed production F1 came along exactly one year to the day after that.
Last edited by Peloton25; 05-08-2010 at 04:00 AM.
05-08-2010, 04:12 AM #179
05-08-2010, 04:26 AM #180
He put some ungodly amount of miles on the Veyron in the ~4 years he had it (like 30,000 IIRC) so maybe he just wanted to try something new. Also, have you seen some of the costs for servicing a Veyron? A new set of tires alone is more than $15,000 based on all the estimates I have seen.