Would you shell out $235,000 for a McLaren 720S with a 2 inch gash in the carbon fiber tub?

A member of the “Exotic Cars For Sale By Owner” posted up an interesting for sale post earlier yesterday of a 2021 McLaren 720S (SBM14FCA8MW006266) with just 5,000 miles for the low price of $235,000.

The reason why it’s priced so low is, according to his insurance, it’s essentially totaled all thanks to a two-inch gash at the bottom of the car (presumably located on part of the carbon fiber tub.)

A look at all the photos and any passerby or internet shopper would never know they’re looking at a totaled McLaren.

So, why DID insurance end up totaling what, to the naked eye, looks like a perfectly fine McLaren?

Let’s get into that.

First, here’s a screenshot of the ad, a photo of the car and a side-by-side shot of the damage.

$235K for a totaled 720S?
gash on the bottom of this McLaren 720S
This is technically totaled.

Simply put, your insurance will total your car if they determine your car is worth less than the repair.

In South Carolina where this guy’s McLaren is, a total loss is 75% of the book value.

Here’s the trade-in value for a 720S in rough shape, a damaged one with low-mileage still demands at least $230,000.

720S trade-in value

So, did this guy’s insurance say that the cost to repair a two-inch gap in the carbon fiber monocell is over $172,500?

It sounds hard to believe but it might be true.

Regular cars like Civics and Corollas have a steel chassis. If a regular Honda suffered a two inch gash on the underbody, repairs can still be pricey but are way less expensive compared to exotic materials like carbon fiber.

Plus, with the nature of commercial steel, a repaired gash properly patched and welded is often as good as new.

On the other hand, the chassis of supercars like this McLaren prioritize weight and performance over affordability and use bespoke, carbon fiber monocoques.

The one on the 720S is called a Moncell.

If you watch how McLaren makes their Monocells you soon realize how complicated and expensive the process is over traditional stamped steel.

Does a gash of the carbon fiber MonoCell mean trained repair technicians have to scrape the whole tub because it’s now compromised?

Well, no, according to an article from Composites World, repair technicians often evaluate and repair damaged MonoCells, often using “infusion techniques done at room temperature.”

The gash on this McLaren looks fairly simple, the gash on a mostly flat plane.

It’s worth noting qualified technicians only approve a MonoCell repair, “after a careful visual and, if necessary, ultrasound inspection.”

For a six-figure car that’s technically totaled, a 60 word ad is not enough.

It reads and feels like there’s more to this story than this seller’s leading on.

I’d want to know how did this 720S get such a large gap and the circumstances surrounding the damage.

In other words, what’s the story behind the damage?

Sure, around town and perhaps at highway speeds this 720S is probably fine.

But, actually wring it around a track or do some serious performance driving in it, can he claim the same that there’s, “no issues?”

Whoever totaled this car probably had good reason to do so, realizing that a simple CFRP repair would not do either necessitating a complex repair or simply a Monocell swap.

It’s worth noting you can find 720Ss with similar mileage for around the same price that are not totaled.

720Ss for sale at the time of this blog post.

It sounds like the seller is testing the waters with a $235K asking price and we’ll likely see that price drop even further as more information about the damage becomes available.


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