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Mon., Feb. 25, 2013, 12:48 p.m.

Mr. Bean sets record with supercar crash

Comedian Rowan Atkinson sits at the wheel of his McLaren F1 sports car in November 1998. (Associated Press)
Comedian Rowan Atkinson sits at the wheel of his McLaren F1 sports car in November 1998. (Associated Press)

Rowan Atkinson, better known as Mr. Bean, is a car guy.  The thought of him spinning hopelessly out of control in a McLaren F1 while making strange guttural noises sounds like a gag from his show.  Unfortunately the accident occurred in real life in 2011.  Having emerged from the bumble without serious injury, Atkinson found he held a record of notoriety.  

Atkinson lost control of the ultra-rare multi-million-dollar super car on a wet road in Haddon, England.  He spun comically several times before careening backwards into a sign post and tree. .

Cars UK reported that two years after the accident, repairs to the car totaling $1,432,340 are now complete.  The bill marks the most expensive insurance payout ever recorded in Britain and the second Atkinson experienced in the McLaren after rear-ending another car in 1999.

The Internet is rife with stories of wealthy men wrecking exotic sports cars they don’t know how to drive, but accidents involving Mr. Bean are somehow harder to pass judgment on.  It could be Atkinson’s reputation as a lovable scamp arouses an inordinate amount of sympathy.  It could be he seems endearingly out of place driving anything besides the Mr. Bean Mini-Cooper.

In fact Atkinson has the respect of the car aficionados at Top Gear for holding the title as the second fastest celebrity to make it around their test track.    

Notorious wrecks aside it’s good to know ‘ol Bean has a healthy need for speed.   

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