Fender benders are a regular occurrence in today’s society, but for drivers of exotic cars, they are often massive expensive headaches. Actor Rowan Atkinson found this out the hard way when it came time to fix his super rare McLaren F1.
Atkinson damaged the car in a 2011 crash that left him with an injured shoulder, and it cost more than 900,000 pounds ($1.4 million) to repair it, a task that took over a year to complete. The McLaren F1 took a number of weeks just to get a proper insurance estimate, and required a specialist to be called in because of the extensive use of carbon fiber throughout the car.
Ben Stagg, specialty insurer with RK Harrison, said the quality components used to make an F1 are one reason the repair costs were so high.
“All modern supercars are predominantly carbon fiber — most Lamborghinis, most Ferraris — and the smallest ding in carbon fiber is a big repair job,” he said. “And part of the engine bay is gold, that’s the best heat conductor. It’s the materials they used compared to everyday cars that make it so expensive.”
Atkinson is a big fan of exotics, and believes that they should be used and stored in garages. “It depresses me when great cars are hidden away,” he said. “It’s a crime not to use it.”