back to article Mr Bean prangs £650k McLaren

Blackadder star Rowan Atkinson narrowly "cheated death" last night after pranging his £650k McLaren F1, and crawling from the supercar's burning wreckage. That's more or less the Daily Mail's version of what happened on the A605 at Haddon, near Peterborough, when Mr Bean wrapped his expensive motor round a tree and a signpost …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are you sure?

    Didn't he trash a Mini while bumping a Reliant Robin?

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD


      A tank crushed it, remember?

  2. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    Mail Fail

    Usual Daily Mail sensationalist rubbish. According to the local fire brigade there was a minor fire after the accident from which Mr Atkinson walked away. How do you get from that to the Mail's report? As usual, lazy journalism coupled with a desire to believe the worst in every story.

    When they heard the story they *could* have picked up the phone and checked a few facts with the authorities, or they could have fleshed out their few bare facts with some sensationalist nonsense. Which would the Fail normally choose?

    1. MarkieMark1

      good news is

      that it cures cancer though :-D

      1. Anonymous Coward

        @ good news

        ...bad news. Burning carbon fibre is nasty stuff. Causes cancer (probably), doesn't prevent it.

        Sorry - forgot we were talking in 'Daily Fail'...

        "Burning Carbon Fibre threat to humanity...Mr Bean causes lifespans shorten over the globe, and 'NHS over-stretched' outcry! Government unprepared for toxic carbon fibre death cloud!"

    2. Paul RND*1000

      "We're sorry but reader comments are currently unavailable"

      So how many of those comments do you think were taking the Faily Fail to task for being sensationalist idiots and writing a headline which is almost completely unlike what actually happened?

    3. Naughtyhorse

      or even

      hacked beans phone to get the real deal!


    4. Nuke


      You don't need to rely on the Mail's description, just look at the photos - assuming they are not faked, and I doubt even the Mail would do that.

      The fact is, from the pictures and that he was hospitalised, this was a serious crash. Any one who goes off the road and hits lamposts has "cheated death" in that there has been a significant chance of death. Whether or not there was any fire afterwards does not alter this fact.

      Anyone whose car leaves the road with no other vehicle involved is at fault, unless the cause is a mechanical failure or oil on the road.

      Sounds to me that this idiot was going too fast, or maybe using his mobile, and thereby endangering others that might have been you or me. I hope that if this established he is done for dangerous driving.

  3. JakeyC

    I like to think he was sat on the roof

    I reckon he was sat on the roof, steering with a rope and using a broom to work the pedals which subsequently got stuck, leaving him to roll down a hill.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Not £650k....

    ... for a long time, worth a lot more then that now.

    1. RichyS

      Re. Not £650k....

      Aye, the last one publicly for sale (AFAIK) went for £2.53m in 2008.

      Why can't my car depreciate like that?

    2. Naughtyhorse


      But on top gear the other day he admitted to having put 37,000 miles on it!

      quite long in the tooth for a thoroughbred

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        37,000 miles?

        Good on 'im I say...why buy one of the best cars on the planet, and never use it?

        Good to see he was properly exploring the performance too - that's not a small "off".

  5. RichyS


    That's not going to polish out.

    <== Icon for Daily Mail visualisation purposes.

  6. <user />


    I am fed up of hearing the media refer to it as Formula 1 car.. just because it has F1 in it's name.

    I have an F1 key in this keyboard, does that mean this notebook is a Lenovo Formula 1 Notebook?

    1. Ru


      We eagerly await tales of battery failure followed by you crawling away from its burning wreckage.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        KERS keyboard

        I like the concept! Little pizo-electric crystals under the keys recovering the energy needed to power the keyboard as you type. Far cooler than drawing current through the USB port. But I bet it affects the (Control-)Break balance, though.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward



      2. Shaun 1


        He said it's a Lenovo laptop, not a Sony...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      After further examination of the pics, I'd wager that's a write off.

      Especially given the whole rear end of the car is missing, and it won't have contained a spare wheel and some golf clubs. Which reminds me...the engine bay is gold insulated innit? ...where did he crash? I might have to go "assist with the recovery".

    3. Naughtyhorse


      that notebook must be pretty fast

    4. Ilgaz

      It is F1

      What makes McLaren special is, it has formula 1 class technology but it is also ordinarily used on road. For example, you don't throw away motor after one day.

      Of course, there are cars in its league now but McLaren was the first.

      (revenge of car analogy)

      It is like having a Cray or a mainframe in your house with ordinary power and cooling.

  7. johnnymotel

    2011 Ford Focus

    now that's supposed to be a nice safe car.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Ford Fungus

      Focus vs Maclaren...Focus vs Maclaren..."nice" vs "f* me, that's f*ing awesome"....hmmm, it's tricky alright. <rolls eyes>

      1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

        No, not tricky at all...

        If I got me a mclaren, I'd sell it and buy a ford focus (or something like it anyways).

        1. Oninoshiko

          buy a REALISTIC car (well pay mine off, anyway)

          and pay off my remaining debt. Mine's the one with the slowly dissipating loan account summery in the pocket.

  8. MJI Silver badge

    I hope they can repair it

    Otherwise RIP McClaren

    1. Dexter Berlekey

      It looks fixable to me

      I think there have been 6 write-offs of McLaren F1 chassis in total, and only 4 of those were proper road going versions, and then fairly serious accidents to boot. Even if it cost 100K to fix on a car worth 2.5 mil I think it counts a 'polishing out'

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Carbon Fibre

      It's carbon, so unless the subframes are removeable (allowing a partial repair, if the main tub is undamaged) it's cream-crackered. Carbon tends to splinter, rather than deform. The laminated version (which this is) also doesn't respond well to heat.

    3. MarkieMark1
      Thumb Up

      at that price

      they'll repair it; it would be virtually impossible to write one off

  9. spl23

    Cruddy tabloid journalism

    The Times has a photo of the damage, and there is no evidence of fire at all visible. Although I can confirm the sentiment above - it's definitely not going to buff out. Most of the front left wing is ripped off.

    Actually, I'm trying to work out how hitting a lamppost with the front left wing of a car whose engine and fuel tank are both mounted behind the driver's seat could ever have resulted in a fire?

    And as for it being a "miracle" that RA got out - the F1 was the first car ever to pass MIRA's frontal impact into a concrete block test and still be driveable afterwards. Gordon Murray was so confident in the structural integrity of the carbonfibre tub that he wanted to sit in it while the test was being carried out...

    Interestingly, both the Times and the Torygraph mention RA's Ford Falcon racing car, and both misspell it the same way...

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      This will only mean anything to WoT players.

      "Actually, I'm trying to work out how hitting a lamppost with the front left wing of a car whose engine and fuel tank are both mounted behind the driver's seat could ever have resulted in a fire?"

      His car was a special 'World of Tanks' version.

      Or, he was smoking a pipe and had a lap full of vintage cellulose ping pong balls at the time of the crash. If anyone wants to lend me an F1, I'll happily attempt to reproduce this accident and fire though.

      1. Grease Monkey Silver badge


        "Actually, I'm trying to work out how hitting a lamppost with the front left wing of a car whose engine and fuel tank are both mounted behind the driver's seat could ever have resulted in a fire?"

        Nobody seems to be saying the impact caused the fire. Maybe the fire caused the accident or maybe a failure caused both the fire and the accident.

        Even so you'd be surprised what can cause fires in cars like that. An oil spillage on the exhaust manifold might be enough to ignite the oil. If there's enough flamable material close to such a minor fire this can start a larger fire. Murray always claimed that he used a normally aspirated engine because it was more controllable than a turbo charged engine, but there are those who suggest he couldn't contain the heat successfully with the big engine in such a small engine compartment. And with a carbon fibre body and tub he really needed to contain all that heat, turbos would have made it impossible.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re; hot laps

    After Atkinson beating Tom cruise round the top gear track, it's possible to say

    Johnny English is faster than Nathan Hunt...

    but not as bizarre as thinking... Mr Bean is faster than Days of Thunder's Cole Trickle.

    Was Rowan brushing his teeth or changing his trousers when the recent prang occurred?

    1. Tom 260


      He was steering from his new sofa on the roof!

    2. Rich 30


      ETHAN hunt....

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The stickiest situation since Sticky the Stick insect got caught on a sticky bun?

    Luckily, he escaped! Added a good couple of hours to my journey home yesterday though...

  12. Steven Jones

    A reasonably priced prang...

    Topping the Top Gear celebrity lap time table must have gone to his head. Stick to the Kia Cee'd Rowan. At least the crashes will be cheaper.

  13. Marc 1

    Worse than it looks...

    In the second link above -- there is no back half of the car. It's more than just a spin off the road and a tap into a sign and some thick brush..

  14. Eden


    Clearly this is all part of one of Bladwicks cunning plans...

  15. Nash


    ...there done that

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Nathan Hunt?

    Perhaps you mean his brother Ethan?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Nathan Hunt?

      Nah, this is Tom Cruise we're talking about and as he's a Scientologist, he must be a Gareth.....

      1. Havin_it

        RE: bunch of Hunts

        I cannot resist, under the circumstances, mentioning James while we're at it. McLaren man at one time...

        Also, if you've ever heard a Mission Impossible movie dubbed in Spanish, you'll know that there's no need for rhyming slang where Mr Cruise's character is concerned ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Actually, I heard that...

      Their brother Mike was faster.


  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blackadder Goes Second

    I'm sure I read years ago that Atkinson had crashed a sports car, possibly even written it off. It may even have been another McLaren. Does anyone else remember this?

    How curious that a person should buy an expensive sports car capable of giving F1 racers a run for their money and then exceed the speed limit...

    1. Fake Ninja

      Deja vu...

      I also remember reading that he'd written of a McLaren F1 a few years back. By a few, I mean at least 8 or 9. I vaguely remember still being in school....

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        He did

        Search Mr Bean Crash and it was the first newspost

      2. Andrew Garrard

        I too remember, oh, wait...

        Would that be the crash of the same car that is referred to in the Reg's article? Despite what the tabloids have to say, Reg journalists 1, readers 0.

        The Sun is blocked by work's firewall, but in the other images it doesn't look that bad. It was wet yesterday - it may just have been an accident, or for all we know it crashed while avoiding someone in a white van coming the other way on the wrong side of the road. I'll be interested to know if Rowan explains for those of us who can only dream of owning one of these (and kudos if he admits it was just his fault).

        I hope it's not a write-off, though - some vehicles are classics. I work not far from where some cretin managed to write off a (hired) Veyron a few years ago.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blackadder goes many-fold

      It seems he crashes a high performance sports car every few years, whilst the rest of us would get banned after the first:

  18. Peter 63

    Quick fetch Nursey

    On a related note I adopted a cat yesterday called Bob. She's a girl :-)

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      @Peter 63

      Might be a ladyboy.

      Simple test, drop it upside-down. If it lands on its feet it's a real pussy.....

      1. MedicalFlyer

        near enough?

        Warm, furry and occasionally dribbles a bit.......

  19. Frank Drebin

    Minor incident?

    I bet the Reliant Robin that almost certainly caused this is still at large.

  20. Trollslayer
    Thumb Down

    As long as the Metro was ok last time

    I mean, that Metro was someone's only car where as he has a collection.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    "It's a miracle he walked away."

    I don't think that comment had anything to do with the car, or his accident.

    Just relief that he walked away.

    1. George Nacht

      Or maybe...

      ...its a miracle he walked away, being completely stoned?

      No, it´s not what I really think, I just wanted to complete the list of possible meanings.

      Could not resist.


  22. Nash
    IT Angle

    Eye Witness..

    ...reports suggest that there was a loud "Boooom Boooom Boooom Booooom..........BOOOOM BOOOOM BOOOM BOOOOOOOOOOM" sound. </for the blackadder fans>

  23. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Fly instead

    Not the first time he's smashed it up.

    But you have to ask why? given the state of our roads and the traffic on them you're better off learning to fly a helicopter and fly yourself around rather than spend money on a car you can't do more than 70MPH (legally) in.

    I'm sure Rowan can afford to.

    1. Ilgaz

      Better rent or build own track

      I don't understand why he doesn't build or rent his own track. It isn't like he wants to show off... I know an idiot (not in UK) who got stuck on traffic with Bugatti Veyron but he is a show-off "I am rich" type. Whole bus stop was laughing at him.

    2. Cpt Blue Bear

      Nick Mason...

      ...does both.

      (But he can afford it)

  24. Anonymous Coward

    The back fell off!

    That's not very typical.

  25. Steve Knox


    Based on the dates, I'd hazard that sunspots are getting in his eyes.

  26. Just Thinking

    How many times has this happened?

    Get rich and famous. Buy a fast car, helicopter, plane, yacht, quad-bike, jet ski etc. Come to grief.

    Fortunately he didn't come to too much grief.

    When I get rich I think I will give any "exciting" modes of transport a miss.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Amazing prang, considering that there are no notable bends on the A605 from Warmington until you meet the A1 roundabout near Peterborough.

    (Submitted by someone who once crossed the A10 at about 100 mph having failed to notice the Stop sign at Buntingford)

  28. 289347

    For the Record...

    ...a pic of the previous prang is here: -

    (Note: it does seem to be a composite of two pics, but, I do believe it is his!)

  29. jake Silver badge

    My only question is ...

    Why do rich folks believe that plonking vast amounts of coin down on transportation automagically means that they know how to drive?

    Rowan, dude, spend a thousand quid learning to drive!

    It ain't exactly rocket science ...

    1. James Hughes 1

      Moron. Try looking him up.

      Atkinson is a spectacularly good driver - much better than you. He has been racing cars for many years and racing them well (he has raced Aston's and now races historics). He has a collection of fast cars (the F1 has done over 37k miles - all his own), and has had the occasional prang. So what? I've owned cars for almost as many years as he has, and probably crashed more than he has. Some my fault, some the other cars fault. Accidents happen, whether you are in a slow or fast car, or whether you are a good or bad driver.

      He doesn't need lessons. You do. In getting your facts straight.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @James Hughes 1

        "He doesn't need lessons."

        Assumes facts not in evidence. Quite the contrary, in fact.

        "You do."

        Of course. I'm always learning. That's why I teach. Home tracks are Sears Point (four wheels in various configurations, mostly) and Thunderhill (two wheels, mostly). Care for a lesson?

        1. James Hughes 1

          I could do with race lessons

          I'm a bit rusty, certainly not as fast as Atkinson, but then my race car isn't as fast as his. And I keep crashing it. Although the last one wasn't my fault.

          Still, its a long way from Snetterton to Sears Point..

          Atkinson races, he's good at it. Look him up. That should be the facts you need. You have made an assumption from a Daily Mail article and some pictures. Not a good starting point for assumptions.

          1. jake Silver badge

            @James Hughes 1

            He might be good at it, but he needs to keep it on the track. I haven't had a prang in a car or on a bike on the street in three decades. ::knocks wood::

            When I was 20 years old, being the only gear-head nephew, I inherited my childless Uncle's DeTomaso Mangusta. It had already been entered in the Monterey Historic Automobile Races, so being young, brash & annoying I drove her down to Laguna Seca to participate.

            As I entered the paddock in a cloud of tire smoke, a certain small Scottish race car driver noticed the child in the classic car ... and grabbed my ear (literally!) as I got out. He very carefully explained that that kind of stuff should be kept on the track, and then volunteered to drive me around the track in my car. Five hot laps of lecture (vocal and demonstration) later, I finally realized that being quiet, slow, smooth and steady was actually the fastest way around the track ... I will never be able to thank Jackie Stewart enough for that simple eye opening lesson.

            Later, I took both street and track classes from Skip Barber, which cemented my personal philosophy on driving ... When you're on the track, go fast without breaking anything. When you're on the street, concentrate on getting to the destination ... it'll be there when you get there.

            1. TeeCee Gold badge


              "...I inherited my childless Uncle's DeTomaso Mangusta."

              Actually I think that's rather worse than having more money than sense and plonking a load of coin down. But then that's most likely just this sudden attack of insane jealousy I am experiencing doing its stuff.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Frankly, TeeCee ...

                I'd rather my Uncle was still around. He died all too soon in a rock fall in Yosemite, aged 45. Thirty years on, and I still miss the heck out of him. He helped my with my first rebuild (Bultaco dirt bike engine/trans when I was nine years old), and my first restoration (a 1950s hotrod Model-T with flathead Ford when I was 14).

                The Grey Goose is still with me, though ... I plan to be buried in her.

                OK, not really. She's going to my daughter :-)

  30. Dave Bell

    Looks pretty bad for the car

    The photographs used by The Sun make the car look a write-off. OK, I don't know the economics of this, but no engine or rear wheels visible when the front end is lefted onto the recovery truck: that's a really major job.

    As I recall the rules, it's likely to be such a major job that DVLA might not consider it the same vehicle afterwards.

    Still, if it came apart on that scale, and the driver was still walking, the engineers did a damn good job.

  31. Vorny

    From the Sun...

    "...McLaren F1 hit a tree and a signpost then caught fire."

    So the car hits tree and a signpost catches fire... Doesn't mention the car ablaze!

  32. bogwart
    Thumb Down


    He doesn't deserve a car like that. It's the second time he's stuffed it into the scenery or other traffic and he should really consider a Ford Ka or something similar for next time. Only 106 of these amazing cars were built, and you'd be doing very well to buy one for £650k, particularly as a mint version went a couple of years ago for £2.5 mill.

    If you can't drive it, old bean, you shouldn't have bought it. Delusions of adequacy again.

    1. James Hughes 1

      As stated in a post above

      Atkinson is a very good driver. He has had the F1 since new, covered >37k miles in it. Since he has also raced cars for some years he is perfectly capable of driving it - much more so than you. He is also perfectly capable of insuring it. It will go back to Mclaren and be rebuilt.

      Jealous much?

  33. Anonymous Coward

    So the Fire Brigade opened a tin of baked Beans?

    Or at least one baked Bean!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What ? Again ?

    Isn't this the second time he's killed one ? Oh well.

  35. Outcast


    I live in Peterborough.. Local news here..

  36. Miek

    Top Gear

    I guess his stint in the reasonably priced car has left him feeling a little like Nigel Mansell.

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