Somewhere in the southern part of England, there is a warehouse where its location is closely guarded.
This facility is known as Unit 2 which houses the biggest collection of McLaren cars, including the company’s production models and also their F1 race cars. Only a few people, other than McLaren staff themselves, have been allowed inside.
In the near future, around half of these McLaren cars will go on display at all McLaren dealerships worldwide. Usually, race teams would offer their race cars to fans or the public in auctions, for example. But McLaren has held on to every single one of their race cars since 1981.
The cars at the Unit 2 facility are well maintained and they are in full working condition. The names of the drivers who raced in these cars are still displayed on the car’s air intakes. Other than these race cars that have been preserved perfectly, other items that are required for the McLaren engineers to get them working are also kept here in pristine condition.
You can find items such as special jacks that are made to fit each successive design of car, rows of period wheels and tyres and also obsolete computer laptops which are used to run software on these racing machines.
With the successful launch of the MP4-12C and also the anticipation for the upcoming P12 F1 successor, the plastic sheets on the Unit 2 cars are being pulled off. McLaren intends to open 35 dealerships around the world by the end of 2012 and every single dealership will have a Unit 2 car on display.
It is said that the first Unit 2 car to be sent to a dealership is Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 F1 championship winning MP4-23 which will be displayed at the London showroom in One Hyde Park.
Some of the dealerships will get specific cars according to their location. The one in Brussels, Belgium will get the 2004 MP4-19 race car that Kimi Raikkonen won in the 2004 Belgian GP.
The Monaco dealership will get Ayrton Senna’s MP4-8 race car that he used and won in the 1993 Monaco GP and the Philadelphia dealership will get James Hunt’s McLaren M26 race car which he used and won in the 1976 United States GP.
Not every single dealership would get a F1 car. The Dallas showroom will get a McLaren M16 which was one of the greatest Indy race cars with three race victories.
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