Thursday, 7 February 2013

Speedy Blackadder

The Daily Telegraph's Victoria Ward apprises us that the actor and comedian, Rowan Atkinson, presented his insurance company with a £910,000 repair bill after crashing his beloved McLaren F1 supercar, it has emerged.

He span off the road and crashed the high-powered vehicle into a tree in August, 2011, suffering a fractured shoulder blade in the process.

Technicians spent four weeks analysing the damage in a bid to determine how much it would cost to repair.

Atkinson’s insurance provider was then left to decide whether to repair the car or to replace it, eventually realising that it would be cheaper to repair.

The car then spent more than a year in the hands of McLaren's expert technicians in Woking, Surrey.

The avid car enthusiast bought the 240mph vehicle for £640,000 in 1997 with the proceeds from his first Mr Bean film. But its value has significantly increased over the last 15 years - with one sold last year for £3.5 million.

After getting back behind the wheel 16 months after the crash, Atkinson said it was “like putting on a familiar sweater”.

He told this month's Classic and Sports Car magazine that he was not a fan of hiding cars away like toys and insisted they should be used:

"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."
Atkinson crashed the car on the A605 near Haddon, Cambridgeshire, not far from his Northamptonshire home. No other vehicles were involved.

Its 6.1-litre BMW engine can take the car from 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds.

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