I was speaking with our good friend Jobjoris recently, and the topic of watches inevitably crept up, as it seems to always do with us car guys. We both enjoy the designs and movements of the Tag Heuer group of watches, and I am a massive McLaren F1 nut. So naturally today I will show a car I bought because of one decal.... the 1/18 McLaren F1 GTR “WEST/DPR 1996” car by UT Models. Beware, there are a LOT of links.

We’ve seen many, many post on the McLaren F1 from UT Models, in all it’s various version and liveries, from the road car to the longtail to the EPIC LM road car. The shortfalls and points d’excellence of having a UT Models car in your collection in the year 2015 are also well known; stellar quality for the 1990’s, still holds up somewhat today, but not anywhere near as top-end as the current big-boys in this price-range, Kyosho and AutoArt and such. These things still command a premium over some other UT Models that are available, but they are a reasonable addition to any collection in todays market.

I love the McLaren F1. To me it is the absolute high-point in the mechanically useable range of supercars; not too-nuts, not too-tame, not too-eccentric, not too-boring. My own personal Goldilocks in the car world. If anyone ever offered me a McLaren F1 or a Ferrari F40 (ha!), I’d be in real trouble! I am clearly from a time When Supercars Raced At Le Mans!

This is chassis #03R, which used to be a road car with chassis #027. That’s how in-demand the GTR was after their legendary 1995 season. This car ran WEST livery in 1995, and gained a dnf result by way of an unfortunate accident. For 1996 the car was rebuilt, and by way of corporate business magic the sponsorship holes left by WEST were filled by Kenwood, Tag Heuer and others. result was an impressive 4th place.

This is why I added this model to the Macca section in my collection. Due to the unknown intricacies of the car gods, I also have a slight obsession with watches, primarily Tag Heuer. If someone ever offered me a Veyron (ha ha!), I’d sell it and buy an F40 and some watches (no Veyron is worth what an F1 is.)

In 1983, McLaren race team boss Ron Dennis offered part-ownership to Mansour Ojjeh, the CEO of the TAG Group, which purchased Heuer watches in 1985 to make the TAG Heuer we know today. I’m almost positive that Ojjeh also had one of the first road chassis in his personal possession. I know I would insisted on that...

I want to be in this seat, wearing a Tag Heuer Monaco V4 Titanium.

Some detail differences between the UT series of McLaren F1’s can be seen in the interior. Not different pieces between the LM and all the GTRs, just different colors. This one has a grey main panel, whereas most have black I believe.

Idles at around 960RPM? UT was ahead of the game in the 90’s with their pedals and shifter and such.

This car reflects the lightweight rear lights and grilles that the 1996 cars received, the 1995 cars being relatively little more than road cars with some race paraphernalia stuck on.

Shot of the headlamps designed to replace and improve upon the 1995 versions, which had to be supplemented with hood-mounted ancillary lights that year.

Black wheels looking good on this one, as well as the subtle gold pinstripe!

Some of the cars, one of the watches. They really do belong together, don’t they?

Bonus self-aggrandizing shot of the LM interior, with fiber optics! (I’ve had this LM car since 1998 or 9, it’s traveled to 6 or 7 countries with me, and it’s in terrible shape currently)

Bonus self-aggrandizing shot of the Tag Heuer Carrera 1887 “Bullhead”

Bonus Gif of chassis 03R spinning at Goodwood this year.

Final pic of the #03r GTR at the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1996. Go man go!