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This ‘McLaren F1’ can be yours for just P3.54 million

At least it still has the three-seat cockpit

This thing looks like a proper McLaren F1 until you dig a little deeper. PHOTO FROM EBAY

The McLaren F1 is one of the most famous, most admired and most desirable cars in the world. A total of just 106 units were ever made, and seeing one come up for sale always causes a stir. Prices for these automotive works of art can easily reach £15.4 million (P1 billion) or more, placing them firmly outside the world of us normal petrolheads.

Imagine our surprise then when we found this car for sale on eBay UK the other day: a bright-orange F1, ready to rock the road for just £51,000 (P3.54 million). Pretty incredible, right? Well, yes and no. While this car might look like one of Gordon Murray’s famous creations, not all is as it seems.

Underneath this bright-orange body are various bits from a Porsche Boxster. PHOTOS FROM EBAY

Underneath the very authentic-looking plastic shell of this machine isn’t the complex carbon-fiber chassis or the amazing BMW V12 engine of the original, but the running gear and powerplant from a Porsche Boxster. That’s because you are looking at a replica kit car of the McLaren F1 (and quite a decent one at that). Next to getting the general shape pretty spot-on, the car also features the famous three-seat layout where the driver sits in the middle, and all the proportions seem to be right as well.

We have to admit that the McLaren-style driving position is impressive. PHOTOS FROM EBAY

For a moment, we thought this might be the famous replica a Polish man created many years ago. But as the listing says it’s Porsche-based and was made in the Czech Republic, we think this must be a different one. It seems that there have been a few attempts by various companies and individuals to recreate the famous car, and this particular vehicle turned out quite well.

Not too much is known about it from the advert apart from it being based on the Boxster, which means instead of 12, there will only be six cylinders under the hood, and the number of horses at the driver’s disposal might be a rather tame 217hp and not over 600hp as in the real deal.

This car seems like a good deal for the price, no? SCREENSHOT FROM EBAY

Whoever created the car did put a good amount of effort into it, though, as the general design shows more than a passing resemblance to the proper F1. Now, the price tag is a different matter. While Volkswagen money for a rare sports-car replica might sound reasonably cheap, you’re still only buying an old Boxster with some plastic bits glued on. Away from the crazy taxes and the skewed secondhand prices for Euro cars in the Philippines, a 2000 Boxster is worth as little as £5000 (P350,000) in the UK, so to ask almost 10 times the market rate for this presumed DIY creation is a bit hefty. Will it sell? Keep an eye on it here and find out.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring.