Remember when British comedy megastar Rowan Atkinson skirted death by crashing his McLaren F1 and lived to tell the tale? Well, he just got it fixed. He's probably very happy to get the supercar back, but I'm sure his insurance company is crying into their beers tonight.
That's because they just paid a whopping £910,000 to fix the McLaren — the largest automobile insurance payout in British history, according to this story in The Sun. In American dollars, that figures out to about $1.4 million. I don't even want to know what Atkinson's monthly premium is on that thing.
The repair bill even dwarfs what Atkinson paid for the car new in 1997, £640,000, according to the newspaper. Since then, the value of McLaren F1s have soared.
Why was it so expensive to fix? According to this AP story, it has a lot to do with the materials used in the repair. The F1 uses a tremendous amount of carbon fiber, and part of its engine bay is covered in gold for heat reflecting (not conducting) purposes. Neither of those things are cheap.
One bit of good news: Atkinson, a noted petrolhead, said he plans to get the F1 back on the road soon, not stick it in a museum.
He said: "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."
Amen. A McLaren F1 deserves to be driven as hard as possible. Just not crashed.
Hat tip to GLA2YYZ!