Few tears are shed for the uber-rich when their uber-expensive toys break and need repairs. But that doesn't mean we can't have mechanical sympathy when one of the greatest four-wheeled machines of all time suffers in the process. During last weekend's Velocity International at Sonoma Raceway in California, two McLaren F1 owners suffered cracked windshields, as seen in an Instagram video from Colleen Sheehan. That means two people are going to have to foot bills of around $33,000 each, according to Motor1.
The McLaren F1 hasn't been in production for 25 years, but the Brits still do keep a few spare parts lying around in their Woking, England headquarters. If there are a couple of windshields still available for our two F1 owners to buy, they're said run $25,000 a piece, according to Motor1's source who's familiar with F1 replacement parts (is it you, Jay Leno?). Additionally, they cost $8,000 to install each. We don't know if there are any additional shipping costs—those spare windshields could be pricey to ship across the Atlantic—but the total replacement cost is at least $33,000, or more than a brand new Volkswagen GTI. Though, needing to replace a $33,000 windshield on a car that's worth over $20 million seems like a pretty good problem to have. I'll take those first-world problems any day.
What's odd is that both McLarens in the video have similar cracks in their windshields. They're both long cracks toward the lower left side of the glass, near the single wiper blade motor. Maybe some pebbles were flying around in a certain corner and both McLarens went through them at similar times?
McLaren is also said to be increasing its parts catalog for the F1, by reengineering certain parts to extend the lives of the old cars. For instance, Motor1's same source claims that the F1's original magnesium wheels and fuel tanks will be replaced with aluminum ones, should owners ever require them. If Rowan Atkinson can essentially have his entire F1 rebuilt twice, these two owners can snag a couple of pieces of glass.
As little sympathy as anyone will have for a billionaire with a cracked windshield on a car none of us could ever dream of owning, it's encouraging to know that McLaren is still working on parts to keep these legends alive. The F1 is one of the all-time greats—it's arguably the greatest sports car in history—and every single one left in existence needs to remain in existence.
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