Rowan Atkinson, the star of Mr Bean and Blackadder has his McLaren F1 back on the road again after its crash in 2011. But his insurers won’t be quite so pleased after they forked out a record £910,000 ($1.36M) to fix the wrecked supercar.
The figure is believed to be the biggest car insurance payout ever in England. Although the car was almost a write-off, Rowan suffered only a minor shoulder injury, testament to the design qualities and strengths of the F1 inspired supercars chassis and body work.
It took experts at McLaren Special Operations four weeks to work out how much it would cost to rebuild the car before arriving at the near £1 million figure.
The reason why the car wasn’t written off as most would have expected it to be is that during the time it was being repaired the value of all McLaren F1 cars had risen dramatically. One example sold in 2012 for £3.5 million ($5.25M), making the £910,000 ($1.36M) repair bill for Rowan’s car feasible.
The previous largest payout by insurance company for a wrecked car was £300,000 ($450K) which Aviva paid out to fix a Pagani Zonda sports car in 2010.
He bought the McLaren F1 for £640,000 ($960K) in 1997 to celebrate the success of the Mr Bean movie. So even after the crash he could still turn a profit should he decide to sell at some point in the future
Rowan, 58, who has an estimated net worth of £71 million ($107M), lost control of the car after it hit a slippy patch of road near Peterborough in August 2011. The car span off road and hit a tree ripping the 6.1 litre V12 BMW engine out of the car and leaving it over 20 yards away. It is the second time he has had an accident in the car. In 1999, the front of the car was wrecked after he collided into the rear of a Rover Metro in Lancashire.
Rowan is a keen driver and has a selection of vintage and classic cars and writes articles for specialist car magazines.
Over 16 months have passed since the crash and Rowan now has the car back on the road again and wants to continue to use it regularly.
Rowan said. “I’m not a collector; I don’t like the toy cupboard mentality that sees so many good cars to disappear off the roads”.
“It depresses me to see them hidden away like investment art or gold in a Swiss vault”
“I love the McLaren, it is so usable, and it’s a crime not to use it. No need for gritted teeth you just get in and drive it”.
Although 106 McLaren F1′s were produced, only 64 road going versions were available, the rest were prototypes and for racing only.
At the time of its release in 1992 it was regarded by many as the pinnacle of sports car design and even today it is still one of the fastest cars ever built with a top speed of 243 mph (391 kph).
Not only does it have an extremely high top speed but the acceleration is also extremely quick with it capable of 0-60 in 3.2 seconds.
Because of the car’s pedigree, performance and limited numbers, values of the remaining cars have risen dramatically in the last few years with prices climbing into the millions of pounds.
The most expensive one so far sold was a 1998 model which went for in excess of £3.5 million ($5.25M) and was sold by the British car dealer Tom Hartley Jr.
Although the McLaren F1 is regarded as the ultimate modern sports car by many collectors it still has some way to go to beat the price set for a Ferrari 250 GTO of £22 million ($33M).