The McLaren F1 Owner's Manual Is A Work Of Art

In the early 1990s, British supercar and Formula One powerhouse McLaren created a masterpiece. The McLaren F1, just over 100 of which were produced between 1992 and 1998, held the record as the world's fastest car for over a decade until 2005 (toppled by the Bugatti Veyron). With a three-seater layout, a 6.1L V12 sourced from BMW and the world's first carbon fibre monocoque chassis, the F1 was an engineering marvel and a beautiful sight to behold. Equally gorgeous, but much less publicised, was McLaren's owner's manual for the F1.

The manual, an art book given to each McLaren F1 owner, was entirely hand drawn by Mark Roberts, now the company's manager of design operations. The owner's manual was only one of several things that Roberts was assigned to for the pre-production of the F1, but with its pencilled illustrations and very selective use of colour, it is absolutely beautiful. As well as references to the car's then-maximum 231mph top speed, and a Bob Dylan Street Legal CD in the 10-disc changer, the manual just has some of the most attractive automotive art we've seen.

It's one of those things that reinforces an already brilliant car as an object of myth and lust for car geeks the world over. As well as an amazing piece of technology and engineering, you also get actual art. (Plus, Tesla Motors' Elon Musk owned one.)

If you don't have the time to watch the video, here are a selection of pieces of beautiful art from the handbook:



    That damn car is a work of art. Much more timeless in design than its successor IMO.

    Last edited 20/10/14 4:09 pm

    If there is a vehicle that exemplifies the very meaning of car-porn, the F1 is pretty close to perfection.

    Is the car wider at the front than the back? Is that normal?

      Probably because they're measuring from the centres of the tyres, as opposed to the outside. Because the fronts are narrower, the distance is greater, despite it adding nothing to the total body width.

      Track width of the car, very normal for them to be different. The effects are many and varied of how your track width is set - but very basically, Front track wider than rear in a RWD car will generally move the handling characteristics more towards oversteer than understeer. It all depends on the suspension geometry and there's a lot of maths to come up the numbers they do.

        This makes sense. Although, I thought F1 cars were the other way around (front narrower than rear), but that could just be the tyres tricking me.

    Two words, Driving Ambition. Seriously, google that book.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now