This Rare One of Ten Mclaren Mustang Could Fetch $100k in Auction

This Rare One of Ten Mclaren Mustang Could Fetch $100k in Auction

Pony car collectors should listen up because there’s a rare 1980 M81 McLaren Mustang prototype up for grabs.

The prototype would go under the hammer at Mecum’s Indy auction in May, graced the cover of Motor Trend in December 1980, and toured the country promoting the project. Although 250 examples were said to be built, according to the listing only 10 examples were made.

That makes the prototype a rare bird, and it’s sure to turn heads thanks to its bittersweet orange and gray exterior and “McLaren Mustang” graphics on the doors. This is joined by a fiberglass hood, wide fenders and BBS wheels.

The improvements continue in the cabin with black Recaro seats and a Racemark steering wheel. There is also a roll cage, Stewart Warner gauges and a dashboard plaque with a P indicating the vehicle’s prototype status.

The 1980 Mustang wasn’t known for its great engine range and the prototype features a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder. It’s not EcoBoost, but thanks to McLaren’s upgrades it makes 175 PS (130 kW / 177 hp). That’s not much these days, but it’s a significant improvement over the standard 132 hp (98 kW / 134 hp).

The engine is linked to a four-speed manual gearbox and the odometer shows that the car has only been driven 556 miles (895 km) in the last 43 years. That sounds pretty believable since the car looks brand new.

Given its rarity, the car is expected to fetch between $75,000 (£60,313 / €67,582) and $100,000 (£80,418 / €90,110). However, six years ago another McLaren Mustang failed to sell as the top bid was $24,250 (£19,500 / €21,851). However, this model has been clocked 4,887 miles (7,865 km), which is almost nine times as much as this prototype.

It’s also worth noting that this special car comes with a handful of extras including a ‘motorsport postcard’, a double-sided display plaque and an original McLaren dealer poster. The seller even has the original Firestone HPR radial tires and these are supplied separately as the car runs on new Cooper rubber.

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