Rowan Atkinson sells prized McLaren F1
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It may be 18 years old having covered 41,000 miles and been involved in two almighty crashes.
But that has not deterred a petrol head from splashing out £8million on a prized McLaren F1 supercar belonging to Rowan Atkinson.
The Mr Bean actor bought his beloved McLaren in 1997 for around £640,000 - making a tidy £7.3m profit on the motor.
This makes it one of the highest prices ever forked out for a car in the UK, with only 1960s Ferraris tending to fetch more.
It commanded the lucrative fee despite Atkinson, a car fanatic, crashing it twice.
The rare and valuable McLaren F1
The 60-year-old, first pranged the three-seater by ploughing into the back of a Rover Metro on the A6 at Forton, Lancashire, in October 1999.
Then in 2011 he lost control on a slippery bend of the A605 near Peterborough and smashed into a tree.
He escaped from the wreckage with a broken shoulder, but most of the car was destroyed, while the 6.1litre engine ended up 60 feet away.
That second crash ended in what is thought to be Britain's highest ever single car insurance payout, with the vehicle costing £900,000 to be rebuilt by McLaren. It also put up his annual insurance to an estimated £60,000.
But it it seems the accidents may have actually added to the value of the F1, which was one of only 64 ever built.
Atkinson put it on the market for £8million with specialist car dealer Taylor & Crawley, owned by David Clark, formerly a director at McLaren.
Mr Clark confirmed the car with the 'interesting history' had now been sold.
He said: 'Everyone is very pleased with the sale. There was interest from around the world and it has gone to a British buyer who will drive it like Rowan did.
'It is one of the biggest ever deals in the UK. Rowan is pleased, but also maybe a bit sad as he did 40,000 miles in it.
Atkinson, who last year split from his wife of 23 years, Sunetra, said he had never seen the car as an investment.
When he put it up for sale, he said: 'I bought it for the quality of the thinking that went into its design, and now it has become a thing of value it is time for it to be enjoyed by someone else.
'It's so quiet, so comfortable that you can use it, and enjoy it, on any journey. Most of the miles I have done in it are journeys you might do in any other car – going to Sainsbury's or doing the school run.
'What I enjoyed most about it when I first drove it was how lovely it was to drive slowly. To pootle is a pleasure.'
The F1 is the world's fastest non-turbocharged production car, doing 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds.
It does an average 15 miles to the gallon – just six in the worst case – and the engine bay is lined with 25g of gold foil.
Atkinson, said to be worth £71million, owns an impressive collection that includes a Honda NSX, a Jaguar Mk7, an Aston Martin DB2, a vintage Ford Falcon, a 1939 BMW 328 and a Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe.
He boasts the second quickest time ever recorded on the 'Top Gear: Star in a reasonably priced car' with 1: 42, 2, with only Matt LeBlanc faster than him.
His time was quicker than all the Formula 1 drivers who appeared on the show, including Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.
Rowan Atkinson, aka Mr Bean.
Feel of A Formula 1 car: What makes the McLaren F1 so special
Most cars start to depreciate the moment they leave the showroom, but luxury vehicles tend to increase in value.
This is partly because manufacturers tightly control production, meaning there is a limited supply even for the super-rich. McLaren only ever built 64 F1s, all of them in the 1990s.
A lot of cars are indicative of the people who own them, and a lot of serious car collectors own an F1 and that gives it great credibility.
It is also owned by celebrities such as Eric Clapton, Michael Schumacher, Ralph Lauren and Jay Leno, given it a sense of exclusivity.
Atkinson's car is pretty much a brand-new car too after the work carried out by McLaren following his crash in 2011. It's got full tax and MoT and is ready to go.
It's the fastest non-turbocharged production car in the world at 240mph, doing 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds. The fastest of all is the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport (267 mph).
In the McLaren F1, the driver sits in the middle with the passengers on either side, which is a rare feature. This duplicates the racing heritage of the car and gives the feeling of being in a Formula 1 car centre seat
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