Travelling at the Speed of Bean

14 April 2023

Rowan Atkinson is one serious petrolhead.

He has an impressive list of motorcars. Aston Martin V8 Zagato, Audi R8, Bentley Mulsanne Birkin, BMW 328 Roadster (the late 1930s), Jaguar Mk7, Land Rover Defender Heritage, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Rolls-Royce Ghost and Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead (with a 9-litre engine).

But he is best known for his McLaren F1, which he owned for 17 years and drove over 40,000 miles. He originally paid just under a million pounds for it.

He crashed the F1 twice, the first time in 1999, driving into a car in front.

In 2011, he smashed into a tree and road sign, and the F1 then caught on fire. The wreck was salvaged, and the repair cost exceeded the original purchase price.

In 2015, he decided to sell this exclusive piece of machinery, despite the accident history, for £8 million.

In 2021 the McLaren F1 became the most expensive car sold at auction for US$20.5 million at Pebble Beach. It also became the most expensive McLaren F1 ever sold.

Apparently, Mr Bean sold his F1 because it seemed to attract too much attention for the otherwise low-key actor driving it around.

Once the McLaren had gone ‘from a millionaires’ car to a billionaires’ car’, it was time to say arrivederci.