Mclaren mp4 2 f1 engine block side

McLaren MP4/2 F1 Engine is the Best (and Most Expensive) Coffee Table

Automotive lovers have been building coffee tables out of their exploded SR20s for decades, however, we’d bet no engine is as iconic or beautiful as this 1985-1987 McLaren MP4/2 Porsche-TAG F1 Engine Block. The exact (numbers matching) engine that helped power the McLaren team to three consecutive F1 world championship titles and is the exact engine used in the car driven by Niki Lauda at Monaco, Detroit, and Silverstone in the 1985 season, as well as a number of equally famous F1 legends.

Related: We Spent 1,000KM Daily Driving the Porsche 911 GT3

Mclaren mp4 2 f1 engine block front

Image: Collecting Cars

Just looking at the engine in its long block configuration and you know it’s special. Harking back to the good old days of Formula 1 with a remarkable displacement of only 1.5 litres, the engine was fitted with twin turbochargers to produce up to 1,060hp at 12,600rpm. Of course, a marvellous feat that would cement this motor as one of the most successful of the era, but this engines provenance is where it sets itself apart.

Of course, some Porsche-TAG engines never saw the light of day in a racecar and would thus be but a mere talking point over a glass of the finest whisky, however, this engine is number matched with incredibly rare paperwork on file from Porsche. The likes of which “we might never see again,” according to custodian of the archives, Jens Torner. The provenance reads like this, provided by Collecting Cars;

  • Niki Lauda at Monaco, Detroit, and Silverstone during 1985 season.
  • Keke Rosberg at Spa 1985.
  • Keke Rosberg Monaco Grand Prix 1986 (2nd place), as well as, Belgium and Mexico.
  • Alain Prost at Donington Park, and Brazil in April 1987 (testing).
  • Used in an MP4/3 driven by either Prost or Johansson in 1987 (therefore the 1-2 victory at the Belgian Grand Prix).

Collecting Cars notes that “Given Prost used this engine for testing in Brazil four weeks earlier, it seems most likely it remained with his car, and therefore it is most probable this engine block powered the 1987 Belgian GP winning car. Its final documented race was the 1987 British GP at Silverstone.”

The Porsche-TAG TTE P01 is a gorgeous piece of memorabilia in its own right, but with such provenance, this piece elevates that greatly and would make any Formula 1 heritage collector’s eyes water. Speaking of which, so would the price, and while it currently sits at around £6,600 we’d call even double that a small price to pay for a highly collectible piece of history. Check it out via the link below for more information.

Check it out

Mclaren mp4 2 f1 engine block bore

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Top down details in bore

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Timing details

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Cam details

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Cam details 2

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Bell housing

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Engine code markings

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Matching numbers engine code

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Timing case prts

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Documentation

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JOURNALIST

Ben McKimm

Ben lives in Sydney, Australia. He has a Bachelor's Degree (Media, Technology and the Law) from Macquarie University (2020). Outside of his studies, he has spent the last decade heavily involved in the automotive, technology and fashion world. Turning his passion and expertise into a Journalist position at Man of Many where he continues to write about everything that interests the modern man. Conducting car reviews on both the road and track, hands-on reviews of cutting-edge technology and employing a vast knowledge in the space of fashion and sneakers to his work. One day he hopes to own his own brand.