Business F1 Top 20 Petrolheads: Bruce McCaw, A Brother With A Passion

  • 30 March 2024
  • 4 min read
  • 4 images
Business F1 Top 20 Petrolheads: Bruce McCaw, A Brother With A Passion image

Photo credit: Business F1

In the 1960s, John McCaw Senior had the vision of entering the cable TV business and hiring all four of his sons, Bruce, Craig, John and Keith, as salesmen. The business went well and the company expanded massively. After their father's death in 1969, the four talented brothers, had an even better vision under Craig's leadership: Entering the up and coming mobile phone market. They built a mobile phone network called McCaw Cellular. It was a big success and in 1994 AT&T bought it, paying around $12.6 billion to the family. It was time to have a little fun and the story of the McCaw Collection began. Or rather of the three McCaw collections because Bruce, Craig and John Jr. made their very own collection of which they are still jealous to this day. If they would combine them, they would rank by far first among the world's greatest collectors.

Business F1 Top 20 Petrolheads: Bruce McCaw, A Brother With A Passion - 1 Bruce McCaw's Bentley Speed Six won the St. James's Concours of Elegance.

In The Key's rankings, Bruce McCaw is ranked first among the three and also founded his own IndyCar team, called PacWest Racing, which competed in the C.A.R.T. during the series' peak years. 1997 was a very successful year with four victories. The team eventually collapsed during the 2002 season and Bruce returned to the business of collecting cars. It is impossible to adequately describe McCaw's collection, as he owns an incredible number of iconic and significant cars. The pride of his collection is one of the world's 36 Ferrari 250 GTOs. It has repeatedly been the most expensive car in the world when it was auctioned, selling for up to $60-70 million. McCaw's light green model was previously owned by Sir Stirling Moss, who must have regretted selling it many times. Moss had a strong connection with the car, had tested the original prototype and even raced it.

Business F1 Top 20 Petrolheads: Bruce McCaw, A Brother With A Passion - 2 The McCaw brothers famous Ferrari 250-GTO.

Among McCaw's treasures is a stunning Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Sport Ponton Fender. The 250 Testa Rossa was designed with different body styles and was built by Ferrari between 1957 and 1961. It was a very popular car and its variants won the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1958 to 1961. There is also a Ferrari 250LM that succeeded the 250TR. There are only 32 of them in existence, which automatically makes them very valuable. Let's stop here. It would take a whole book to cover them all. In line with his philosophy of owning only the best, he bought one of the 99 McLaren F1s designed by Gordon Murray in 1998. This three-seater became highly valuable and sought after because fewer than a hundred were produced and, at the time, it was not commercially successful except for the lucky people who bought them. Today they sell for over $25 million, an astonishing figure for a car that is only 25 years old. It could potentially become sort of a new GTO.

Business F1 Top 20 Petrolheads: Bruce McCaw, A Brother With A Passion - 3 Bruce McCaw's 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Vignale at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

No car collection is complete without a Jaguar E-Type. The E-Type was first introduced in 1961 and was a game-changer because of its desirability and very low retail price, which was the biggest bargain in automotive history; 72,515 were produced between 1961 and 1974. A standard E-Type is hardly special enough to be in Bruce McCaw's collection. The valuable ones are the Series I Lightweight. The Lightweight series, based on the roadster, is made from aluminium and weighs less than 1,000 kg. Eighteen were built and 12 were delivered to customers and Bruce McCaw owns one of them. And it doesn't stop there: He also owns a C-Type, the sportscar that won at Le Mans. Plus an Aston Martin DB4, the James Bond car that everyone dreams of. The oldest car in McCaw's collection is a 1908 Benz Prinz Heinrich with 105 hp, a genuine racing car.

Bruce McCaw summed up his collecting mentality as follows: "I like cars but most of all I like the people in the world of collecting. Many don't just race, they race frequently. And it's fun to race with people who are your heroes, as it happened to me around fifteen years ago, with Stirling Moss."

Business F1 Top 20 Petrolheads: Bruce McCaw, A Brother With A Passion - 4 Bruce McCaw is a committed Bentley enthusiast.