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Is the McLaren F1 Really the Greatest Supercar Ever?

Poll picks Gordon Murray’s a British-based competition.

Considering how contentious a discussion over the definition of the term “supercar” can be, trying to figure out which supercar is the greatest of all time seems like it would be more or less impossible. Nevertheless, according to a poll conducted for this year’s Classic & Sports Car Show in Great Britain, it’s not even a contest: the McLaren F1 was voted the Greatest Supercar Ever.

To which we say: Whoa, now.

Now, we have no quarrel with the methods behind the poll here. According to Autocar, a whopping 30 percent of the roughly 17,000 votes went for Gordon Murray’s groundbreaking 1990s-era supercar, beating 21 other contenders from a list that included vintage icons like the Ferrari F40 and Ford GT40 alongside modern marvels such as the Bugatti Veyron and the Pagani Zonda.

Nor do we have any complaints with the McLaren F1 itself. The supercar’s incredible engineering, wild design, and still-remarkable top speed of 243 miles per hour have clearly earned the F1 its place in the highest echelon of the automotive kingdom. It’s absolutely deserving of high praise, and it’s clearly a worthy contender for the king of the supercars.

But still…when we hear that a poll conducted for a British car show—one created named after a well-known British magazine, might we add—picked a British car as the greatest supercar of all time, we can’t help but wonder just how unbiased the respondents were.

And let’s face it, the list of supercars that the pollsters offered up (which we’ve included below) is woefully inadequate. Where’s the Porsche 959, or the 918 Spyder? Where are Koenigsegg’s modern-day monsters, like the Agera One:1? And do the Metallurgique Maybach and Bentley 4 ½ liter really deserve a place on this list over the likes of a Duesenberg SJ?

But enough from us. What do you think—does the McLaren F1 really deserve the title of “Greatest Supercar Ever?”


Classic & Sports Car’s Contenders:

Mercedes 1908 GP

Metallurgique Maybach

Bugatti Type 43

Bentley 4 1/2-litre Blower

Bugatti Type 57SC

Alfa Romeo 8C 2900

Ferrari 166 Barchetta 

Jaguar XK120

Mercedes 300SL “Gullwing”

Ferrari 250GT SWB 

Lamborghini Miura

Ford GT40 road car

Lamborghini Countach

Porsche 911 Turbo (original)

Ferrari F40

Ferrari 288 GTO

McLaren F1

Jaguar XJ220

Pagani Zonda C12  

Bugatti Veyron

McLaren P1

Ferrari LaFerrari