Culture / Cars

A $2.1 Million Used Car Draws International Attention to Houston

Who Needs a Mansion When You Can Go This Damn Fast?

BY // 05.17.17

As the speedometer races towards triple digits in about five seconds, you’re thrown back into the passenger seat, just as a sharp turn comes into view. Pure speed has a way of clarifying things. Getting taken on a joy ride through a semi closed-off cul-de-sac in a McLaren P1 drives home the idea of cars being a reward that top almost anything else you could buy with a black card.

“You couldn’t stop grinning,” beams Derek Brown of McLaren Houston, the driver on his wild ride. Brown loves to indoctrinate others into the cult of high-end cars. Make that high-end used cars in this case. This blood orange McLaren P1 (officially, the color is Magma Orange) happens to be a used car that costs more than many mansions.

Remember those lessons from your dad on how a new car craters in value as soon as you drive it off the lot? Those don’t apply to McLarens. Instead, when one zooms away in a new McLaren, it becomes more and more valuable. These have become instant collector cars.

McLaren Houston acquired a 2014 McLaren P1 — one of only 376 PIs ever made — from a private owner and is now selling it for $2.1 million. That’s more than double its brand new price from just two years ago. And it has 7,633 miles on it — great usage for a supercar. Even with McLaren unveiling a new P14 — essentially its 650 S replacement — that will go from zero to 124 mph in 7.8 seconds, the supercars of the very recent past are already becoming legendary.

One press of the McLaren P1 ignition button, unleashing an engine with a roar that can best be described as King Kong clearing his throat, reveals all the why you’ll ever need. “It’s a super hero on wheels,” Brown says.

In many ways, McLaren P1s are celebrities in their own right. But not some D-List David Ross level Dancing with the Stars type celebrity. There are only so many P1s in the world and they need to dodge paparazzi. McLaren Houston’s P1 has already drawn international attention from car devotees — and gotten fawned over by auto publications.

Holiday Gifting

  • Cotton Club
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  • Wayne Smith
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  • Wayne Smith
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  • Cotton Club
  • Cle Du Peau - Lip Gloss
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  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston
  • Loeffler Randall - Shoes
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  • Asher Gallery
  • Elaine Turner - Felicia Stole in Magenta
  • Bond No 9 - Perfume
  • Bond No 9 - Candle
  • Oscar De La Renta - Clutch
  • Elaine Turner - GiGi Flats

You half expect Houston’s McLaren P1 to demand an expresso. And it does have its own PR agents.

This is a used car like Leonardo Dicaprio is a player. There are different levels to these things. And the McLaren P1 resides on a plane of its own. Still, it’s fun to imagine a hypothetical guy whose wife railed at him for buying a $1 million car turning around and selling it for a huge profit.

At McLaren Houston, this rare PI is treated like a masterwork of art. But you’re not going to find any painting that can roll out of the garage and go 218 MPH. And that’s an electronically limited speed. Because you know, McLaren wanted to be reasonable.

“It’s one of those cars that just have a mystique about it,” Brown says.

Professional race car driver Kory Enders is going to take Houston celebrities on a spin in the P1. (Courtesy McLaren Houston.)

To capture that mystique, McLaren Houston is building an entire YouTube series around the car. These won’t just be fawning, lingering car porn shots of a parked vehicle. No, local celebrities (including Houston sports stars and a beauty queen) will be taken on a drive in the McLaren P1. By professional race car driver Kory Enders, a 19-year-old phenom who definitely has a need for speed.

Yes, there will be a lot of seat clutching and stomach drops from some famous names. No wonder why the series is being dubbed “Hot Laps.”

At least the celebs can take comfort in the knowledge that Enders practically teethed in supercars. He’s the son of Ken Enders, who owns both McLaren Houston and Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land, a dealership which doubled in size less than two years ago.

It’s good to be in the special car business. Your Toyota Camry is not doubling in value after you drive it off the lot. Of course, there are special cars and there are special cars.

Just about any rich guy can have a Ferrari. Owning a McLaren P1 puts you in a whole other car guy bracket. Whooshing down a little road, hoping a mail truck doesn’t make a wrong turn confirms that is one legendary used car.

“Good ride?” Brown asks casually.

Just getting in and out of a McLaren P1 with its butterfly doors that put Kitt of Knight Rider fame to shame is interesting. With the P1 low enough to the ground to be on rails, there’s an art to gracefully entering your $2.1 million car (first-timers like me fail at that art and look like Yao Ming trying to squeeze onto a corner bar stool).

This is car that you do have to be a rocket scientist to fix. McLaren Houston has special technicians on site schooled in its complex intricacies. It takes a few non-technicians several minutes to just get the car out of sleep mode to start it up on this sunny Houston day. Let’s just say your ordinary car thief is having no luck with this beast.

Once you start it, you’d better be confident enough to control it. There it goes zooming down that little road again. When’s the last time you ever lost your breath used car shopping?

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