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1974 McLaren M16C Indianapolis

• The 1974 McLaren M16C Indianapolis is the most vintage, high-valued McLaren included in this ranking, and it’s not challenging to understand why. Retired Formula One cars and racecars are somewhat common sights at car auctions, but few of these sports vehicles are McLarens.

• The 1974 McLaren M16C Indianapolis benefits from the McLaren brand name, but its value primarily comes down to its vintage status, multiple competition wins, and recent restoration. These qualities make it a one-of-a-kind vehicle that can’t be replaced, naturally making it a treasure for car collectors. But, as we’re about to reveal, the 1974 McLaren M16C Indianapolis isn’t the most expensive McLaren sportscar ever sold.

Design

• The bright orange, rocket-like racing car won the 1974 Indianapolis 500 event and is one of the few antique McLaren racecars ever presented at a public auction. Despite its age, it runs like a dream, in no small part due to a detailed restoration service in 1991.

• 800 hp, 159 cu. in. Offenhauser DOHC turbo-charged four-cylinder engine with Hillborn fuel injection, Hewland LG500 transmission, lower front wishbone suspension with top rockers and coil springs, reversed rear lower wishbones with single top links, twin radius arms and coil springs over dampers, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 104 in.

Performance

• The fastest recorded speed in an IndyCar competition stands at 236 mph. It lags a little bit in acceleration, needing up to three seconds to reach speeds of 90 kph (56.25 mph) on a straight track.

Production

• In 2013, the 1974 McLaren M16C Indianapolis sold at auction for $3.5 million, making it one of the costliest McLaren motorsports cars ever sold. Instead, Brown will be overseeing his three-driver Arrow McLaren SP effort that will compete in the 106th Indy 500. There is no other starting grid in the world that Brown would rather be standing than at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the start of an Indianapolis 500. “Absolutely,” Brown told NBCSports.com.