If you play your cards right and buy an automobile as an investment, you can double, or even triple your money in a matter of years. That’s what Rowan Atkinson did when he acquired a McLaren F1, 18 years ago.
From the very beginning, the F1 had the potential to become a sought after, legendary vehicle. It had all the ingredients; it was rare, it was fast, it was exclusive and it was a technological masterpiece. So, whoever had the money to buy and maintain one of only 64 examples ever produced, made a fantastic deal in the end – even though it was an expensive piece of kit.
Petrol-head and actor, Rowan Atkinson, bought his F1 in 1997 for £640,000 ($984,073) and he decided that’s just too much cash to store in a garage, so he drove it regularly.
So regularly, in fact, that in the last 18 years, he put over 40,000 miles (64,373 KM) on the odometer and crashed it two times. You rarely see these kind of cars getting constantly driven, but to Rowan, the McLaren was more than just a Sunday drive. One could argue that 40,000 miles is a high value for a supercar, but we’re sure the V12 S70 BMW engine can take much more. We don’t know how many more crashes it can take, though.
The first accident occurred in 1999, when the actor rear-ended a Rover Metro, damaging the F1’s hood, bumper, and fender. But that’s nothing compared with the crash that occurred in 2011, when Mr. Atkinson lost control of the beast and careered intro a tree… and a road sign, splitting the car in two before the thing burst into flames. That goes to show that having the 2nd fastest lap time on the Top Gear test track doesn’t absolve you from the F1’s racing behavior.
But don’t worry, because the boys from Surrey fixed it – somehow – and now, the car is sort of brand new. In fact, it’s all brand new, since it took a year to be rebuilt and the repair handed a £910,000 ($1,399,893) bill to the insurance company – the highest in Britain.
Anyway, the day came when Rowan decided to sell his beloved McLaren and put it on the market for £8 million ($12,307,200) with specialist car dealer Taylor & Crawley, stating: “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”.
And guess what? Yup, someone just bought it. What? It’s almost brand new.
Now, we don’t know exactly the amount of pounds the buyer paid for the car, but we’re thinking the deal went a little South from the original figure – but not by much.
David Clark, former director at McLaren and owner of specialist car dealer Taylor & Crawley, confirmed that the car was sold, stating: “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.”