Choice chassis

McLaren, a name familiar to racing and auto enthusiasts, makes a broader splash with two sleek “steeds.”

The name “McLaren” is no stranger to racing and auto enthusiasts. The British-based McLaren Group is well known as a triple threat. McLaren Racing — which introduced the strong but lightweight carbon fiber chassis to Formula 1 competition in 1981 — holds 20 world championships and 182 Grand Prix victories. McLaren Applied Technologies seeks innovative solutions to challenges in health, public transportation and automotive design. (The company has not built a car without a carbon fiber chassis since it created the McLaren F1 road car in 1993.)

But it is McLaren Automotive that is undoubtedly the best known. The 8-year-old company, the largest part of the McLaren Group, has three product lines — the Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series — which are distributed to more than 80 retailers in 30 markets worldwide.

Two of its cars have been in the news of late. In June, McLaren donated a bespoke 570S Spider, part of the Sports Series, to the Elton John AIDS Foundation for its Argento Ball. As it was the fundraiser’s silver anniversary, the special Spider was hand sprayed in metallic “Blade Silver.” The anonymous winner bid 725,000 British pounds (or about $951,112 U.S. on the day of the auction), gaining not only the sleek, sporty ride but an opportunity to tour the McLaren Technology Centre — the company’s headquarters in Woking, Surrey, England — with Amanda McLaren. She’s the only child of New Zealand-born Bruce McLaren, a competitive racer whose legacy lay in the McLaren Racing Team and aerodynamic design. (He died at age 32 in 1970 when the experimental car he was testing crashed at Goodwood Circuit in England.)

As brand ambassador, Amanda McLaren was scheduled to drive the winning bidder around the company’s lake in the silver Spider.

Just as much fanfare greeted “Mattress King” Michael Fux when he became the first to receive one of only 500 sold-out Sennas, part of the Ultimate Series. CNBC’s “Nightly Business Report” was on hand when he was presented with his custom emerald beauty — painted to match a pair of shoes — at a cost of $1.3 million. Fux — a top collector with more than 140 cars — is also the possessor of a classic American Dream story. At age 15, he emigrated from Cuba to the United States, where he began appropriately enough by selling tires in Newark, New Jersey. Ultimately, he would launch and sell more than a half-dozen companies. (He was nicknamed the “Mattress King” for creating Sleep Innovation and Comfort Revolution.)

Fux is a lover of color. “I love to create my own combination,” he told “Nightly Business Report,” “and I get great satisfaction when I see the end result.”

The super-car market remains strong even while manufacturers play a waiting game regarding Trumpian tariffs. Consumers like Fux will no doubt keep McLaren in comfort while the company keeps auto collectors in style.

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