Car in the spotlight: McLaren 765LT Spider (MSO 1)

Welcome to our regular ‘Car in the Spotlight’ feature, and a big thank you to Jas, for providing us at ‘My Car Heaven’ such a fascinating insight into buying and owning this exceptional car, his McLaren 765LT Spider (MSO 1).

Owning or driving a McLaren is many petrolheads dream to do at some point in their life, I know I pine over one day owning a F1 (ok it’s a very remote possibility), P1, 720S or 765LT. Supercar or hypercar ownership is a pipe dream for many due to the cost of purchase and cost of running and maintaining. So it is always wonderful to get an insight from a car connoisseur that owns one of these great cars. What do they love about their car and why did they choose that particular brand or car model? Is it as costly to run the car as one would think? Let’s find out, read on…


A short history on the McLaren 765 LT Spider

The 765 LT is McLaren’s third LT and is its most ferocious yet. LT is to McLaren what RS is to Porsche. Lighten, sharpen, intensify. It’s a formula McLaren has got down licked.. There have been two LT models before, the 675LT in 2015 and the 600LT in 2018 and both were utterly tremendous, not only great on track, but arguably just as rewarding on the road. There’s little variation from the basic template this time round. The 765LT has another 45bhp over the 720S it’s based on and is 80kg lighter, and it also has 15% shorter gearing through all ratios. I can assure you that I have driven the 720S and it is bonkers fast.

On the standard Trofeo R tyres it’ll hit 62mph in 2.8 seconds, 124mph in 7.0s and do the standing quarter mile in 9.9s. To 186mph, its time of 18.0s puts it 3.4s ahead of the 720S. Maximum speed is 205mph.

The 765 LT list price is £280,000, a £70,000 markup over the 720S. 765 are being built, plus another 765 Spider roadsters. The Spiders start at £310,500.


An Owners viewpoint

The McLaren 765LT is the fastest, most focused LT ever produced, creating the ultimate road-going benchmark supercar.  It is sheer aggression, pared to the bone, providing a new definition of driver engagement.  Savage acceleration, outstanding performance with sublime dynamic poise.  The Spider version is unfiltered and unconstrained, and offers its driver an unparalleled driving experience.

Only 765 Spiders will be built, and only 55 of those are for the UK. 

MSO 1 is a custom bespoke car built on chassis number 1, by McLaren Special Operations (MSO).  This car took 8 months to design its highly unique specification, then 6 months to build.  The car was originally requested by its owner in March 2018. 

MSO 1 offers extreme light-weighting, being almost entirely carbon fibre.  Obsessive attention to the smallest details is evident in every aspect of its design and build.  The full Senna brakes for example, not only stop the car harder, but tolerate heat significantly better and also save unsprung mass.  As an example, even deleting something as simple as passenger seat fore/aft adjustment has saved 4.1kg. 


What do you love the most about your car?

“How it feels to drive.  Its level of driver engagement is off the charts.

The 765LT is astonishing in its driver feedback through the wheel and seat.  The connection to the car feels telepathic, with incredible steering feel and precision, and infinitesimally adjustable brake force.

Everything about the 765LT is centred around what the driver senses.  Whether that’s steering feel, chassis and engine vibration, the movement of the car through the rigid carbon seat, the many mechanical sounds, the excellent all-round vision out, or indeed the G-forces acting on the driver.  It’s quite an assault on the senses.

The 765LT is sheer sensory overload, and is a thrill to drive at any speed. 

Everything about the car is focused on engaging the driver’s senses, with no compromise in achieving that singular objective.  It is easily my favourite road car I’ve ever driven.”


When and where did you buy the car?

“Ordered it in March 2018 and started specification in December 2020 at McLaren Technology Centre with McLaren Special Operations.   My nominated dealer was Hatfield, although I dealt only with MSO until final delivery.”


Why did you buy this particular car, as opposed to another model or manufacturer?

“I loved my McLaren 720S more than any other car I’d owned.  When I test drove the 765LT coupe at the factory in December 2020 I instantly fell in love with the car.  It was a moment of extreme clarity, just like when I first drove a Lotus Elise S1 and knew within a couple of minutes that I just had to buy one.”


What was the purchase price of the car, and what is its current value?

“Many zeroes.  I could have got a delivery miles pre-owned Senna for much less when I confirmed my decision in December 2020.”

Now with the McLaren Senna listed as £750,000 when new, and the McLaren 765 LT spider listed as £310,500, then this gives you some idea of the additional work Jas had done by McLaren Special Operations (MSO).


How much does it cost to service and tax?

“The first service is £825, which is due next month.

According to a Top Gear article I read the first-year road tax bill of £2,175.


How does it feel like to drive?

“You feel, sense and hear everything.  The performance is astonishing and you have to treat it with respect, but the telepathic nature of the steering, and chassis and brake feedback gives you every bit of information you need on how much grip you have, or the texture of the road, steering load etc.  The incredible level of driver engagement that the 765LT offers means paradoxically that you can drive it much slower than a 720S, whist getting a far greater thrill from it.  The Spider then adds a lot more drama by placing you closer to the outside environment and also bringing a lot more exhaust note into the cabin, including the extremely loud gunshots it makes when you push it hard.  I’ve often likened it to a jet fighter.”


How often do you drive it?

“Nearly 400 miles on Day 1, and 3000 miles in its first 6 weeks.  But in winter and bad weather I only take it out for 5 miles every 3 weeks, to get everything hot and properly lubricated.”


Has it been on any eventful journeys? Please share.

“Day 1 West to Cheddar Gorge when I collected it.  I spent 14 hours in it, and covered nearly 400 miles that day, mostly non-motorway.  It endured biblical sheet rain and thunder & lightning on my return home to Kent and aquaplaned everywhere.

It’s also been on numerous events and drives, including North to Scotland and South East to Dungeoness Nuclear Power Plant.

It won the Car of the Year award 2022 at Steeleford Supercar event and was on prime display in the entrance throughout the British Motor Show 2022.

See its Instagram page (@mclaren_mso_1) for more details.”


How do you look after the car?

“It has full PPF and ceramic.  I wash and dry it personally, but use no products on it other than a neutral pH car shampoo from GTechniq and micro-fibre cloths.  Simply care and a lot of attention to detail.”


Is there another classic or supercar that you’d like to buy, and why?

“McLaren P18…”

We will have to wait and see what this car is in the future, but Jas seems to be in the know.


What advice do you have for anyone looking to buy this model of car?

“Buy one whilst you still can.  The last and best of the pure combustion LT cars.  I’d suggest the spider variant, for the added noise and driver engagement.”


How does it compare to newer models, or other cars you’ve driven?

“Frankly nothing compares, and by quite some margin.  The only car that was faster was a track only Brabham BT62, but the 765LT is more engaging and usable.  The only car that was more thrilling was the F40 with Michelotto race engine, but that’s primarily because it was simply trying to kill me!”


How is the current market for this car, and how do you see this evolving?

The market doesn’t matter in the least to me, as I am never, ever, selling this car.  It’s simply too good.”


Is the car a keeper or can you see a time that you’d sell the car to another custodian?

“Never selling MSO 1.”


Oh and by the way Jas has all the accessories to go with the car, such as carbon fibre racing helmet, watch and travel bags. Nice.

So there you have an owners view on his car, ownership and more. A big thanks to Jas for telling us all about his McLaren 765 LT Spider (MSO 1).

If you’d like to see more information on this car here are some links:

McLaren 765LT Spider MSO 1 at Beaulieu Supercar event


The story of 765LT MSO 001 – We start at McLaren Technology Centre and take it on its first drive.


McLaren 765LT Spider roof mechanism in operation


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