Actor Rowan Atkinson has put his beloved McLaren F1 sports car on the market for a cool £8million. The Blackadder star, 60, bought the 241mph motor for £540,000 in 1997. It has since soared in value, despite the comedian crashing it twice – including in 2011 when it skidded into a tree. That time it cost an incredible £900,000 to be fixed in what was believed to be the UK’s record single car insurance payout. Giving his reasons for parting with the prized vehicle, Rowan said: “It was never bought as an investment. “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.” He added: “What I enjoyed most about it when I first drove it was how lovely it was to drive slowly. To pootle is a pleasure. Of course I’ve gone to a track and done 200mph in it.” The supercar has 41,000 miles on the clock and Rowan admitted: “Most of the miles are journeys you might do in any other car – going to Sainsbury’s or doing the school run.”
Luxury London dealer Taylor & Crawley is selling the motor on his behalf. Boss David Clark said: “If I had the choice of buying a 1,000-mile McLaren F1 that has been hidden away or Rowan’s with 41,000 miles I would take Rowan’s. “It has the interesting history and this is what people look for. “A lot of cars are indicative of the people who own them and a lot of serious car collectors own an F1 and that gives it great credibility. Jay Leno has one and Ralph Lauren has more than one.” The F1 is considered by many experts to be the greatest sports car of all time. It has a 6.1-litre V12 engine and will do 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds. Yet Rowan pointed out that in contrast to more recent supercars, it will “seat three and store enough for you all to go on holiday”. But owning it has not always been a smooth ride for the Mr Bean creator, who is worth an estimated £71million. In August 2011 he lost control when he hit a slippery patch of road near Peterborough. The car smashed into a tree and he was left with a shoulder injury. But the damage to the vehicle was far worse as the engine was thrown 20 yards from the chassis. Technicians at McLaren spent four weeks calculating the repair cost, with the figure working out at £910,000. Salesman David said the work made it “pretty much a brand new car”. He added: “I am expecting a lot of interest in the F1. “Anyone who wants a wonderful car with a great story, which includes the accidents, then this F1 is a fantastic thing. “Apart from the accidents, I think Rowan has enjoyed every minute with the F1 and I think he will have withdrawal when it is gone.