Joys of the Open Road

Joys of the Open Road

What could be better than exploring the countryside and culture of Japan in a McLaren?

As McLaren owners gathered at the Aman Tokyo hotel on March 22, their passion for the British supercar was palpable.

They were in Japan for the McLaren Rally, a globetrotting project designed exclusively for owners. Part of McLaren Experiences, the bespoke road trips offer participants a rare chance to explore countries and cultures from behind the wheel of their favorite machine.

Paris Mullins of McLaren Beverly Hills, managed by O’Gara Coach Company, was especially animated when discussing the 12 McLaren lovers who flew in to join the tour.

“They are McLaren customers but, really, they are people with a sense of adventure who want to go drive on every road,” he said.

Besides rallies in spectacular destinations around the world, McLaren Experiences organizes a range of unique opportunities for owners, from VIP access to international motorsports events to invitations to glittering black-tie galas.

Two years in the making, the multiday Japan rally started in the former imperial capital of Kyoto and took drivers on an 800-kilometer journey. After taking in such scenic spots as Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest lake, and the stunning Ise Peninsula in Mie Prefecture, the convoy of sleek GT and 720S models finished the tour in Tokyo.

Organized by McLaren Beverly Hills, with support from McLaren Automotive Asia, the rally’s pit stops at off-the-beaten-track restaurants and scenic locations allowed owners to commune with one another and locals. They also experienced the hospitality and cuisine of Aman hotels in Tokyo and Kyoto and at a luxury Aman ryokan inn tucked away in the forested hills of Iseshima.

“For me, the attraction of the rally is meeting local people when we stop for gasoline or go into restaurants,” commented one McLaren owner. “It’s always fascinating, and it’s the best learning opportunity you can get when you visit another country.”

But there’s another draw to the rallies, according to Mullins.

“Part of the excitement is the thrill of not knowing what’s around each corner,” he said. “You find these amazing, breathtaking spots that you can only get to by car.”


Image: Alfie Goodrich

May 2023