Rowan Atkinson runs up Britain’s biggest ever repair bill for his crashed supercar… totalling almost £1MILLION
Mr Bean star Atkinson, 58, suffered a shoulder injury in 2011 when he crashed his beloved McLaren F1 for the second time.
But while the comic recovered quickly his 240mph supercar spent more than a year in the hands of McLaren’s expert technicians in Woking, Surrey.
The result was a £910,000 repair bill for a car which Atkinson paid £640,000 for in 1997 – making it three times as much as the most expensive repair claim previously documented.
Atkinson, worth a reported £71 million, hit a slippery patch of road near Peterborough in August 2011 which caused his lively supercar to get the better of him.
He lost control of the F1 and hit a tree, leaving the car’s 6.1-litre engine 20-yards away from the rest of the vehicle.
Technicians at McLaren Special Operations spent four weeks calculating how much the car would cost to repair, with the figure standing at an eye-watering £910,000.
The job was given the go-ahead by the insurance company because the F1’s value has soared, with one immaculate model selling for £3.5 million last year.
Now, 16-months after the accident, Atkinson is back on the road in the car and wants to continue to use it as regularly as possible and not keep it hidden away.
The star’s full experience is documented in this month’s Classic and Sports Car where he explained getting behind the wheel after more than a year was like “putting a familiar sweater on”.
He told the magazine: “I’m not a collector. I don’t like the toy cupboard syndrome that causes so many good cars to evaporate.
“It depresses me that they are hidden away like investment art, or gold ingots in a Swiss vault.
“The McLaren is just so usable, it is a crime not to use it. No gritted teeth, you just get in and drive.”
McLaren built just 64 road-going F1s and they are now regarded as the most sought-after modern car.
Their desirability has seen collectors and enthusiasts comparing them to the 1960s Ferrari 250 GTO, currently the must-have classic car, which commands a #20 million price-tag.
It was the second time Atkinson had crashed his F1, with the actor – currently appearing on stage in Quartermaine’s Terms at Wyndham’s Theatre in London – front-ending it into a Rover Metro in 1999.
When he crashed the car he had driven it 38,000 miles and he is adamant it will be used regularly as he targets 100,000 miles – a huge distance for a rare supercar like the F1.
And the £910,000 bill for Atkinson’s F1 is believed to be among the highest ever repair bills for a single car.
It is three-times as much as the £300,000 Aviva paid to fix a crashed Pagani Zonda in 2010.
MCLAREN F1 FACT BOX
Cost new: £640,000
Value now: Up to £3.5 million
Engine: 6.1-litre V12 developing 627bhp
Acceleration: 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds; 0-100mph in 6.3 seconds
Top speed 240mph
Seats: Three with driver centrally positioned
* Read the full story in this month’s Classic and Sports Car