The actor best known for his role as Mr. Bean bought his McLaren back in 1997 when it was still new for what was then a princely sum of £540,000 (about $830k). He drove it regularly over the nearly two decades since, putting some 41,000 miles on the odometer and crashing it twice – the most recent collision in 2011 cost his insurers a reported $1.4 million to fix.
With values for the McLaren F1 skyrocketing, Atkinson put it on the market earlier this year. The consignment was handled by London classic and supercar broker Taylor & Crawley, headed by the same David Clark who sold Atkinson the car when he served as McLaren's sales director. Although the final transaction price has not been disclosed, the original asking price was £8 million – equivalent to over $12 million at current exchange rates. The supercar was reportedly purchased by another British enthusiast who intends to drive it as frequently as Atkinson did.
Private treaty sales like this (where prices are not generally disclosed) notwithstanding, the Atkinson sale would eclipse the highest price paid to date for the iconic supercar at auction. According to Sports Car Market, the top price paid was at Pebble Beach in 2013, where Gooding & Co sold one for just under $8.5 million. The same event the following year saw one go unsold, despite a high bid of over $10 million.