The World’s Only Street-Legal F1 Car Is For Sale

According to the current owner, it’s “good in traffic.”

Pascal Rondeau/Getty

What’s the worst F1 team of all-time? Lola makes a pretty convincing case for itself. The company’s founder, Eric Broadley, the prolific endurance racing chassis designer, whose Mk6 car served as bones for the original Ford GT40, wanted to race in the series for years. In 1997, he got his wish. Using an elaborate credit card rewards scheme as a business model, Broadley secured MasterCard as a title sponsor. Disaster ensued.

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Vincenzo Sospiri drives the No. 24 MasterCard Lola T97/30 during practice for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

The Lola T97/30 F1 car failed to qualify for its debut Grand Prix in Australia, lagging an incredible 13 seconds off the pace. When the team arrived in Brazil for the next race, the cars and equipment weren’t there; MasterCard had cut ties, and Broadley couldn’t afford to ship anything to Interlagos. Lola promptly withdrew from F1, incurring eight-figure debts, necessitating an immediate bankruptcy filing and buyout to keep the storied firm alive.

Seriously. Disaster.

Bonhams

This prototype, dubbed F1R, is probably best thing to come from the entire ordeal. It’s the result of a bet with Lola engineers: Could you make a road-legal F1 car? The answer, with a few caveats, is yes.

Bonhams

The biggest issue, as you’d imagine, was ride height. That’s been increased to offer 1.9 inches of ground clearance, and is adjustable up to 2.9 inches. In lieu of the 1997-spec V8 and semi-automatic gearbox, the F1R uses a 2.0-liter Cosworth four-cylinder and five-speed manual Porsche G50 transaxle. The turbocharged engine, from a Ford RS Sierra, is tuned to deliver about 370 hp. But, according to the seller, “adjusting the turbo can substantially increase this,” which sounds like fun. Headlights, turn signals, and a handbrake had to be installed to pass safety inspection.

Bonhams

Besides those bits, though, this is the real deal. Composite tub, adjustable aero, inboard pushrod suspension, carbon brakes, FIA-spec nosecone, plus the ducting, body panels, and cooling kit you’d expect. They’re all surplus F1 parts from the T70/30.

Bonhams claims this is the world’s only street-legal F1 car. It’s been registered in England, and comes with a U.K. license plate. The current owner claims the F1R is “good in traffic,” which is probably bullshit, but makes him no less of a hero. Check out the listing here.