Armed with enough cash, anyone could walk into a McLaren showroom and drive away with one of Woking’s finest supercars, but it takes a determined individual with deep enough pockets to have one made bespoke just for them. The company’s customisation arm McLaren Special Operations (MSO) was set up for just such a purpose, and it has just revealed its latest (well, sort of) creation, based on the 675LT.
First, a bit of history. McLaren stumbled upon success in sports car racing in 1995 (including winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans) with the F1 GTR, but purpose-built homologated race cars such as the Porsche 911 GT1 began to crowd the supposedly road car-derived GT1 class the following year. As such, the company was forced to make significant modifications to the GTR for the new FIA GT1 Championship in 1997, to make it both faster and lighter than before – just to keep pace with the others.
The resulting car bore several upgrades – including a stretched tail end that earned it the “Longtail” nickname – and while it didn’t end up winning the championship, it still proved competitive. It won five out of the 11 rounds and finished second and third at Le Mans that year, with the distinctive Gulf Oil and Davidoff-sponsored GTC Racing car ending up behind the winning TWR Porsche WSC-95 prototype.
McLaren channeled the spirit of the Longtail with the 675LT – a faster, more serious version of the 650S with a longer active rear spoiler/airbrake. But one buyer wanted to take the idea of a Longtail-aping modern McLaren and run with it, and MSO duly delivered with this striking 1,000-hour build.
Around 800 of those hours came from painting and airbrushing the unique light blue, black and red livery, created with agreement from Gulf Oil International for use on the car. The theme is continued through the Dayglo Orange 20-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, while louvered front wings, roof scoop upgrade and carbon fibre airbrake from the MSO options range have also been fitted.
Inside, the wheels’ orange hue is slathered on the sill badges bearing the customer’s initials, which can also be found embroidered in blue on the MSO Bespoke racing seats – upholstered in Carbon Black Alcantara. Elsewhere, the handling and powertrain knobs on the Active Dynamics Panel are finished in Gulf Blue, and the air vent bezels and starter button surround in Gulf Orange. The MSO Defined seat belts are also orange.
“Transforming the existing car from its original single colour paintwork to a tribute to the McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ in Gulf Racing livery was incredibly demanding in its own right, but was only part of the brief,” said MSO managing director Ansar Ali. “We also replaced numerous standard 675LT components with MSO parts and further personalised the car to clearly identify it with its owner.”
It’s the latter bits that give away the owner of the car. While McLaren did not specifically mention his name, those initials spell out “TTJ” – this stands for Tunku Temenggong Johor, the title of Johor prince Tunku Idris Iskandar Ismail. Those of you who indulge in supercar spotting will be familiar with the car, which has been seen both on his Instagram profile and on public roads in Malaysia since late last year.
The rest of the mechanicals remain unchanged, so TTJ’s 675LT continues to use a 3.8 litre twin-turbocharged V8 that produces 675 PS and 700 Nm of torque, as well as a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. So equipped, it will blitz the zero-to-100 km/h mark in just 2.9 seconds before hitting a top speed of 330 km/h.