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The Joy’s of Perfection: McLaren of Houston Visit

Patrick Hoffstetter December 28, 2016 Hooniverse Goes To... 5 Comments

It’s no secret here that McLaren is my favorite brand, so when I got the opportunity to visit McLaren of Houston over the holiday’s I hopped in the Miata and got there as fast as I could. McLaren has a reputation for being perfectionists in every way, and seeing what one of their newest dealerships was like was something I knew I had to check out.

Being greeted at the giant rocket red front desk was surprisingly welcoming for someone that had just pulled up in a car that cost less than most options on a 650S. I was invited in and given the walk around, with Christmas decorations in full swing the place looked warm and inviting, not the cold detached nature some have claimed McLaren breeds. It was during this walk around that I heard the first testament that became the theme of the day. McLaren has started making new enthusiasts in a way that I haven’t heard from any of the other supercar brands.

It’s something I’ve heard before, the rumblings that the attention to detail and technological prowess of McLaren has driven more and more people into the arms of the British Marque. Personally I know that the original 12C was the supercar that got me to care about the field as a whole. And since that 12C McLaren has gone from strength to strength with beasts like the P1 and 675LT. But enough about that, let’s talk about the store itself.

If you’ve ever seen a video of the McLaren Technology Centre you can pretty much picture how this dealer is going to look, with slab tile, lots of open space, and windows for days. The only splashes of color were the cars on the floor, and the red from the speed mark desk. It’s an open dealership as well, and while I was there, plenty of people came in just to gawk at the cars they will probably never drive. For such a seemingly dry environment, it ended up being anything but dry.

I was told by the executive salesmen that the store is open to everyone, not just so people can see what the relatively new brand is doing, but also to foster as much goodwill as possible. Since McLaren returned to the automotive scene it’s expansion has been quick, but you still don’t have the name recognition that Ferrari does. And it’s because of that the store has been open to hosting all sorts of events, from toy drives to lower income finance classes. When you add in the apparel and ride along P1 you start to see the warmness that so often the supercar brands lack.

And that’s what makes McLaren so fascinating. You have the drive to make every car as close to perfect as it can be, but then you have a ride along P1 for kids that is made with the same drive. I swear to god the little electric kid’s P1 has a fucking USB port and AC. Fucking bonkers right? It’s that work ethic that makes McLaren the brand that it is, and I can only hope McLaren of Houston continues to show that ethic with the warmness and humor that it deserves.

  • Rover 1

    Oddly enough, there is still no McLaren New Zealand. And there are more than a few of the cars here-including F1s

    • Odd, considering the heritage of the brand

      • Rover 1

        Oops. see above. I was wrong.

  • outback_ute

    “The only splashes of color were the _red ribbons on top of the_ cars on the floor”
    FTFY… unless there were other cars with actual colours? Not sure about those, yes I suppose it is festive but also very played-out.

    Haven’t been to the Melbourne dealership but looked it up on google maps, looks pretty similar, and had orange and yellow cars on display in addition to silver etc. Located between Audi & Lamborghini dealers!

    ps, the apostrophe in the headline needs to go, plus at least one in the article.

  • Van_Sarockin

    Maybe you saw something that didn’t make it into the story, but that showroom is pretty unremarkable.

    I toured the flagship Infiniti dealer in Phoenix, just after it opened, and it showed some sweet design moves. And neither of them is remotely like what Frank Lloyd Wright designed for Max Hoffman.