Saturday, 3 December 2016

McLaren Epic Tour of NZ


Look what I came across in Omarama while looking for lupins!

$45 million worth of McLaren sports cars on their 2016 Epic Tour of NZ, a salute to the New Zealand designer of the McLaren, the late Bruce McLaren.

There are thirty two McLarens on the tour and along with several New Zealand owners and dealer vehicles, 18 owners and their vehicles have also come from around the world to drive the 9 day tour, from Auckland to Queenstown.

The cars were split into several convoys and each group had a professional celebrity driver with them to give them tips on handling their powerful & expensive cars. They stopped at the Wrinkly Ram restaurant/cafe in Omarama for lunch and I just happened to be driving past as the first group pulled in, so I pulled over and took a tour myself.

The McLaren 650S Spider on the left (below) is just three months old - it has 650 horsepower and is worth over $500,000-  it's being driven on the tour by it's Auckland owners (remember to click on the photos to enlarge)

But it's the McLaren on the right (below) that is getting all the attention. This unassuming (amongst the others) little beauty is worth half of that $45million price tag.

McLaren's first car from the 1990s, this 1994 McLaren F1 is capable of doing just under 400kmh and is said to be worth a cool $22million. This is one of only 64 standard road-going versions ever built.

Amanda McLaren, daughter of the late Bruce McLaren, was on the trip, as well as Formula 1 racing star Ayrton Senna's nephew Bruno Senna and five time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hour Race, Derek Bell- they didn't wear name badges so I can't tell you whether I saw them or not! 

And I'm no expert but I did pick out a couple of McLaren models- their number plates gave them away. There were several rare (just 500 made) 675LTs- LT stands for Long Tail.

And two examples of the P1 hypercar- McLaren's flagship model- but I could only find this one in my photos!

The P1 was also very popular, and the more people that gathered around it, the more selfies were taken! Several busloads of tourists arrived at the restaurant for lunch although many of them made a beeline for the cars in the opposite direction.

I have no idea of the models in the next photos, although a few number plates allude to them. I'm sure if you're a McLaren enthusiast you'll be able to name them easily and if not, you can just drool over them like me. 

It was hard to choose a favourite although the bright colours had me hooked; I loved this one...

...the beautiful blue, the orange, the bronze and I think, if I had to choose just one, then the lime green 675LT convertible would be the one for me.

I was lucky to spot the cars as they arrived because in the end there were too many people swarming through the carpark and taking photos, to get any more clear shots of the cars so I headed off down the road to check out the Ahuriri River Valley for lupins.

It wasn't long after I parked the ute that I heard a throaty roar coming along the straight behind me and saw the first group of McLarens approaching. I ran across the road...

...and climbed a mound before the next group arrived.

I also managed a good shot of that $22 million dollar F1 McLaren sportscar....which I found out as I was writing this blog, has had an accident on the road just outside of Queenstown!

I wonder if one of those professional drivers was riding shotgun...

If it's of any consolation Mr F1 owner, Mr Bean crashed his F1 a couple of times (in real life) and cost his insurance company millions so you're in good(?) company.


  1. Fantastic pictorial automotive nirvana !! I am dribbling with desire. We did see them pass through Hawke's Bay last week. My poor old 2003 BMW Z4 doesn't really cut the mustard in this company.

    1. Glad you enjoyed your virtual tour Chris, we passed some of them again yesterday....on the back of a truck heading home.

  2. Good to see you got to see the F1 before it ended up in a ditch the next day ! Great stuff

    1. Yes, that was a lucky shot. Who would have thought it would have ended up like that.

  3. The variety in your blogs is astounding...from the Back blocks to the Big Blocks....both astounding...especially your eye for the main chance.
    Cor blimey...whatever next!

    1. Lupins? :) Glad you enjoyed this one Jimu.

  4. Best armchair travelling is here at your blog. I can always count on you to find the fun and never been disappointed. Amazing!

    1. Thanks Offstone, glad you're still enjoying them.


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