When does a car become a classic?

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Senna portrait made from old jeans

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Mr Bean crashes F1 car

2011-08-05 07:25

“NOT AGAIN”: Rowan Atkinson’s crashed McLaren F1, the same car he smashed 11 years ago...

One of the world’s keenest petrolheads, British comedic genius Rowan Atkinson, escaped death after crashing his McLaren supercar on Thursday, 4 August.

The accident happened on the A605 in Haddon, Cambridgeshire, when the 56-year old British actor appears to have overcorrected his McLaren F1 road car, spinning it before impacting a lamppost.

Atkinson managed to escape from the BMW V12-powered supercar before it burst into flames, requiring firefighters to rush to the scene. The Mr Bean star was taken to Peterborough city hospital and treated for a shoulder injury.

Known for his unique brand of comedic interpretation via characters such as Blackadder and Mr Bean, Atkinson – away from stage and television – is a notable automotive and racing enthusiast.

F1 A BAD OMEN?

An avid car collector, this most recent supercar crash is reminiscent of another incident in October 1999 when the very same maroon F1 crashed into the back of a Rover Metro, in Lancashire, and required extensive (and tremendously expensive) repairs. McLaren only built 100 examples of the F1, making it perhaps the most collectible of all supercars, considering its pedigree and largely unrivalled performance – even today.

Considering he currently tops Top Gear’s "star in a reasonably priced car" lap time leader board, there’s little doubt that Atkinson can drive a bit. It appears, though, that the unforgiving mid-engined configuration (and lack of stability interventions systems) on McLaren’s legendary F1 road car seems to be his undoing – each time...

Back 2001 Atkinson’s Aston Martin V8 Zagato collided with a barrier at a car enthusiasts meeting in Yorkshire and in 2009 his 1952 Jaguar self-immolated. Perhaps he should just stick with driving his signature character's favourite car - the Mini.


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