Click above for a high resolution image of the record setting McLaren F1

Despite the slow economy there are still people out there with money to burn, as evidenced by the recent auction in London put on by RM and Sotheby's. In addition to a pair of classic Ferraris going for over £2.2 million, the highlight of the auction was the record sale of a 1997 McLaren F1. One of only 64 road cars built, not including the LM and GT versions, this particular F1 was displayed in McLaren's Park Lane showroom in London until sold new. This was the first time the car has been sold since, and the record bid of £2,530,000 translates to about $4.1 million, twice the original estimate for the car. RM had previously sold a 1994 McLaren F1 at its 2006 Monterey auction for $1,705,000. More information on the auction can be found in the press release after the jump, and the full list of sales can be seen RM's brand new web site.

[Source: RM Auctions]

PRESS RELEASE:

RM Auctions, in association with Sotheby's, entered the history books again tonight selling a superb McLaren F1 supercar for £2,530,000 at the highly anticipated Automobiles of London event.

Marking the first time the car has been offered since sold new by McLaren, tonight's sale of one of the world's fastest road cars and McLaren's former Park Lane showroom model attracted spirited bidding. The final sales price more than doubled the pre-sale estimate.

"The world record breaking price for the McLaren F1 is a huge achievement for our London auction and confirms RM's position as the world's leading auction house for vintage automobiles," said Max Girardo, Managing Director of RM Auctions European Division.

"The £2.5 million sale price redefined the market for these superb vehicles. The McLaren F1 is quite simply one of the most contemporary cars ever produced and tops a sale that has again shown that great cars attract great prices. We are now looking forward to building on tonight's results at our next European event in Maranello, Italy on May 17, 2009," he added.

It was standing room only at the seven-hour sale as 100 of the world's finest vintage motor cars went under the hammer before an international audience. A series of intense bidding contests developed throughout the evening, which in addition to the record-breaking McLaren sale, saw a 1965 Ferrari 250 LM Berlinetta and the 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France each fetch £2,255,000 indicating the continued strength of the sports and racing segment of the market. Other notable highlights included an ultra-rare 1938 Horch 853 Special Roadster which sold for £1,127,500 and a stunning 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante which brought £660,000.

In addition to the vintage motor cars, the event presented eleven creative customs by UK artist, Andy Saunders, who has been billed as the Damien Hirst of the car world. Described as 'drivable art' in its truest sense, highlights of this unique offering included: the remarkable 1958 Ford X-2000 Recreation for £41,250 and the incredible 1983 Bentley 'Mentley Insanne' for £18,700.

RM Auctions' will return to Europe in May for the highly anticipated Ferrari Leggenda e Passione event at the legendary Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy.

Full sales results will be posted on www.rmauctions.com.