On my usual Wednesday night YouTube crawl of listening to the ‘NFS: Porsche Unleashed‘ official soundtrack and looking up E46 M3 redline pull videos, the McLaren F1 naturally pops up. This time though, a new ISSIMI video popped up as a new face in a familiar search result. I clicked and found what I’ve been looking for, for years. If you’re really like me, you’ll also know that almost no good sound clips of the induction sound exist, save for a Best Motoring video and an old Top Gear Tiff Needell review, both from the ’90s. Now, thanks to ISSIMI, there is a crisp, audiophile-grade recording of an F1 for free on YouTube. Bliss.
ISSIMI, short-term home of Jason Cammisa and long-term home of Derek Tam-Scott (affectionately called “hyphen” by Cammisa), is home to Petrolicious grade filmmaking without the suffocating air of elitism and generational wealth, and some actual love and reverence for the unbelievable machines of today and yesterday. I became familiar with the channel thanks to the excellent Carmudgeon Show podcast, and have been treated to excellent content for some time now.
This video is actually a two-parter: a full-length love letter to the F1 hosted by Derek Tam-Scott, and a separate video, that I found first, that is just the raw footage of the car being caned around what looks like Marin County. Truth is, both are worth your time. The video hosted by Tam-Scott features the most unbelievable photography of an F1 I’ve ever seen and an understanding of the machine that isn’t seen very often. The F1, much vaunted as the sports car for all time, is also a triumph of engineering, proof that the concept of one person and zero compromise results in something better, something transcendent, rather than some rolling identity crisis designed by committee.
Lunatics, rather like myself, spend hours scouring YouTube for car content about unattainable childhood legend cars. We sit in our ivory tower, looking down upon the modern dual-clutch supercars with their stability control and their technology and we fiddle with manual gearboxes and The Fear of Death. One of those cars, in fact, the car is the McLaren F1. The purity of purpose and intent that the F1 possesses is intoxicating from any distance, and I could sit here and listen to the sound all day.
I highly recommend these videos. Maybe find a lonely mountaintop, and belch the sound of the greatest engine that ever was, and ever will be. Watch them!