As Floridians continue their recovery from Hurricane Ian, one of the worst storms to have ever hit the US, the fate of the McLaren P1 that got flooded and dragged out of its garage remains under the spotlights. And the car collector/YouTuber who probably got the most tags related to potentially buying and fixing the hybrid hypercar, Ed Bolian of VIN Wiki, learned from the owner that the latter’s insurance company didn’t give him the option to keep the vehicle.
Vehicles can be insured for either an agreed value—owners often do this when willing to pay and have the vehicles insured for less—or their retail value. Normally when a car is damaged, if the estimated value of the repair goes past a certain threshold (say, 70% or the retail value), this is totaled by the insurance company. And the owner may get the chance to hold on to the damaged vehicle, whose estimated value is substracted from the sum that the insurance company pays.
However, as Ed explains in a video released earlier today, the P1 owner (Ernie, aka @lambo9286 on Instagram) wasn’t offered this possibility—we even get to see new pictures of the vehicle being taken away on a platform, which come from a Mclaren owner app the two enthusiasts used.
In fact, the YouTuber, who has rebuilt multiple flooded exotics in the past, adds that none of the Florida owners whose cars were ruined by Hurricane Ian were given the said option (to the best of his knowledge).
Instead, Ed states that the chaos caused by the storm has determined the insurance companies—at least the ones he’s aware of—to total any Ian-ruined vehicle that gets a claim from the owner, with the companies set to auction off the written off vehicles further down the road.
What would it take to fix the flooded P1?
Now, the collector states that he is in the market for a P1, albeit also considering an example that belonged to a “prince”, was totaled, got fixed over in Europe and has now returned, showing up for grabs with the full repair history. We’re assuming he’s refering to the McLaren P1 of Sultan Bin Rashed Al Nahyan, which got stolen and crashed in Washington back in 2017.
Regardless, it’s only natural for somebody who’s so deep in the high-end vehicle business to wait and see what happens to the P1, especially since this is one of the just 375 examples built (the 2015 unit is #348 and Ed’s clip stays true to the name of his channel, confirming the VIN we listed in the initial story: SBM12ABA6FW000348.
Now, with the extensive damage and inevitable saltwater corrosion, Ed estimates that reviving this P1 would require at least $700,000, with a less optimistic figure sitting north of $1M.
The standard way would involve asking McLaren and its MSO arm or Lanzante Motorsport, the carmaker’s long-time Le Mans and road car partner, which has even introduced a limited run of P1 Convertibles, among others, to rebuild the complex electronics.
And perhaps the new battery MSO introduced this year, which improves the performance, could be installed. For the record, the said battery (and its installation) alone costs $156,700 and come with a six-year warranty.
However, Ed has also come up with an alternate scenario, one that would involve a lighter budget. The trick would be to lose the hybrid bits and swap the powertrain and electronics from a less expensive Mclaren like a 650S or a 675LT, since these share many of their bits with the range-topping P1. Still, as he admits, this would be a monstrously complex and expensive operation in practice.
Exotic car rental company owner Houston Crosta: Florida’s flooded cars may not be revivable at all
Now, in the clip, the aficionado mentions a few other enthusiasts who could possibly handle the operation, such as Tavarish or Houston Crosta. The name of the latter brings us to yesterday’s article about his video on the entrepreneur’s rebuilt (previously also salt water-flooded) Bugatti Veyron.
In that video, Houston says that a McLaren P1 battery costs $200,000-$300,000 to replace. More importantly, he estimates that the Florida cars that were flooded by Hurricane Ian may not be revivable at all.
The man talks about a fire-consumed Bugatti Chiron that traded hands on the Copart online auction platform for over $1M. The Bugatti was sold with a Florida title of destruction, and Houston says that the state doesn’t allow destroyed vehicles to be re-registered under rebuilt titles.
And while he does expect people to challenge that idea, the Chiron might’ve been deemed a parts car due to the fire compromising its very frame, which probably isn’t the case with the McLaren P1, the Koenigsegg Regera or the Plymouth Superbird and Dodge Charger Daytona that got ruined by the storm. For the record, the classic muscle cars are probably in a less severe situation, as there are no electronics involved.
In fact, the DMV website mentions the procedure owners of Florida-registered vehicles have to follow to apply for a rebuilt salvage title.
“When applying for a rebuilt salvage title in FL, a thorough vehicle inspection will be necessary. In such cases, car owners will be required to contact an approved inspecting station before visiting the department to apply for a title certificate. The purpose of this examination is to verify the identity of the component parts used to rebuild the motor vehicle,” the website states.
A Bugatti might’ve also been flooded by Hurricane Ian
Returning to Ed and his A-grade storytelling skills, the collector also shares a rumor about a Bugatti “that may have been flooded”. Unfortunately, with Florida being the home of countless high-end machines, that might be more than just some chat.