If you had a wall as a kid, the chances are strong that a section of it was covered with a gorgeous photo of a McLaren. The company that over the years has been responsible for Ayrton Senna's world championships, the all-conquering McLaren F1, the gorgeous Mercedes-McLaren SLR, and more recently, the 650S and insane P1, is actually based at a compound that's just as brilliant as its cars.

This is where McLarens are born.

Located in Woking, southwest of London, the McLaren Technology Centre and the McLaren Production Centre sit right next to each other on a patch of land that looks like it's equal parts golf course and luxury resort.

Of course, if you're into supercars, it is a luxury resort.

Amazingly, the building is as advanced as the cars they're putting out. The Technology Centre might look stylish with the Yin Yang shape, but that lake is actually comprised of rainwater channeled in from the roof, and it serves the purpose of cooling the building.

And heat is absolutely a factor when you've got a world class wind tunnel running flat out to aid in the design of not only the finest road cars, but McLaren's Formula One team as well. It takes a lot of energy to compete toe-to-toe with Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault.

But that's exactly what they've done for decades. Their car museum-slash-entryway is about as nice as you could possibly ask for.

Their trophy case leaves little to be desired. Hopefully, the trophy security is better than that of their rivals at Red Bull...

The building itself is so bespoke that many of the screws holding it up had to be custom made and fitted.

The production line is a beautifully sterile environment.

The tub of the MP4-12C and the 650S is nothing but carbon fiber, which means it weighs just over 150 lbs. Mating it to the windshield frame's nothing more than an exercise in precision.

Carbon fiber body panels are laid out and ready for use after painting, resembling something of an exotic tie rack.

After the carbon fiber body is assembled, the whole thing is sent to the paint booth, where everything that shouldn't be painted is taped off, and primer is applied.

Then everything's sanded down to make the surface as perfect as possible prior to the application of paint.

Remember the first time you used a can of spray paint, and it didn't turn out at all like you'd intended? Think about the pressure this guy's under to get everything perfect, every single time he goes to work.

Out of the paint shop, the workers start installing the car's technical systems.

And down the assembly line it goes.

More pieces go on, like the brakes.

And the McLaren starts to take shape.

The McLaren and builder then embrace each other. 

One last check to make sure the car's fitted to the customer's specs, and it's almost done.

Of course there's an indoor car wash. Gets the dust off, you know?

And that's how McLarens are born. No storks required, but plenty of sexiness.


Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor, and can be found on Twitter. The first time he drove a McLaren he crossed it off his bucket list.

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