Comedian’s car repairs cost more than $1.4 million

Everyone who’s had a fender bender knows the cost of repairs is going up. But few cars can be as costly to fix as “Mr. Bean” actor Rowan Atkinson’s rare McLaren F1.

It took more than a year — and more than $1.4 million — to get his supercar up and running after a 2011 crash that left Atkinson with a badly damaged shoulder.

The high-performance car makes extensive use of carbon fiber and needed specialist care — it took weeks just to get a proper insurance estimate.

Ben Stagg, specialty insurer with RK Harrison, said the quality components used to make an F1 are one reason the repair costs were so high. “All modern supercars are predominantly carbon fiber — most Lamborghinis, most Ferraris — and the smallest ding in carbon fiber is a big repair job,” he said. “And part of the engine bay is gold, that’s the best heat conductor. It’s the materials they used compared to everyday cars that make it so expensive.”

He said many owners baby their expensive cars, driving them only a few times a year in perfect weather conditions, but Atkinson actually drives his McLaren extensively.

The unusual repair job, thought to involve one of the largest car insurance settlements in British history, is extensively documented in Classic &Sports Car magazine, with a picture of the McLaren on the cover.

Atkinson, last seen by many playing piano as Mr. Bean during the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, told the magazine he believes supercars should be used, not sequestered in garages. “It depresses me when great cars are hidden away,” he said. “It’s a crime not to use it.”

Magazine editor Alastair Clements said Atkinson should be applauded.

“He let us do the story because he wanted other enthusiasts to know that he loves it, that he isn’t just some celebrity with an expensive car, that he’s owned it for 15 years and loved it for 15 years,” he said. “He’s put it back exactly as it was. He’s a bit of a hero. It’s much more than the value.”

Of course, the value is there — Stagg said the last used McLaren F1 sold on the open market went for about $5.5 million.

More in Local News

If vehicles crash and tumble, rescuers want to be ready

The Puyallup Extrication Team practiced with other fire departments on cars, SUVs and even buses.

Man arrested after stolen car crashes in Everett

The accident occurred in the 100 block of SE Everett Mall Way.

5-vehicle crash in Arlington kills 62-year-old woman

Medics had transported her to the hospital, where she later died.

2 men hospitalized after rollover collision on U.S. 2

Two men were taken to the hospital with minor injuries… Continue reading

Marysville police serve a warrant — across the street from HQ

A man who fled was taken into custody. Police were serving a warrant for alleged drug-related crimes.

Marysville man charged with stabbing wife who sought divorce

Nathan Bradford, 45, found divorce papers while going through the woman’s car.

Man on ferry accuses child of theft, allegedly pulls knife

The man was arrested, no one was hurt, and the ferry was delayed 30 minutes on its way to Mukilteo.

State is close but still not compliant in school-funding case

Lawmakers must act during the next legislative session to satisfy the state Supreme Court.

Dems say GOP tax plan doesn’t add up for everyone

Rep. Suzan DelBene’s amendments to restore deductions, which the bill does away with, were rejected.

Most Read