Someone Bought Mr. Bean’s McLaren F1 for $12M

How would you like to buy a car, wreck it twice, put 41,000 miles on it, and still have a return on investment of about sixteen times what you paid? Even Warren Buffet would be astonished at those kinds of returns. Well, if anyone could pull it off, it’s be Mr. Bean.

If you aren’t familiar with Bean, it’s a hapless character played by British actor Rowan Atkinson. Go ahead and Google it and put all of those shows on your Netflix list. You’ll be glad you did.

Anyway, Atkinson is a real car nut. Not the “buy it and put in a garage and pull it out occasionally for photo ops and to drive your friends around a little” kind, but the “I buy the bitchinest car I can get and then drive the hell out of it” type. Hence this McLaren F1 with 41,000 miles on it. Atkinson literally drove the car almost daily.

The actor purchased the car new in the 1990s and loved it. So much so that he wrecked it twice, once in a minor “scuff up” and once in a major “holy crap, you actually survived that?!” kind of way. The first was a basic fender-bender. The second involved the car smashing a tree, spinning into a road sign, and then ending up in the wrong lane and bursting into flames. Atkinson gladly paid over a million dollars to have his F1 restored. That’s how much he loved the car.

Well, all good things must eventually come to an end and Atkinson says that the McLaren F1 needs to find a new home with an owner that will enjoy it. So back in January, he gave it over to an auction house. It’s now been sold to an unnamed buyer for $12.2 million. Let that sink in.

Mr. Bean bought the car new for about $750,000 as one of only 64 made. He wrecked it twice, once to the tune of $1.3M in damages. He drove it out to 41,000 miles. Then he sold it for sixteen times what he paid for it.

I wish I could do that with my minivan.

Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at