On this day in auto history - October 26th

Tue 26th Oct 2021

It was on this day in 1991 that actor/comedian Rowan Atkinson famously wrecked his high-profile McLaren F1 super car following an innocuous crash on a stretch of the A6 in Lancashire.

The then 44-year-old entertainer was unhurt in the incident which saw him crash his £650,000 purchase into a battered Rover Metro and left the driver of that vehicle - 62-year-old grandmother Margaret Greenhalgh - requiring treatment for whiplash injuries.

Though Atkinson - a self-confessed 'car nut’ - reportedly asked police officers not to name him following the incident, his identity became common knowledge over the days that followed. The actor said he “deeply regretted” the accident but was never charged.

In 2011 Atkinson and his beloved 240mph McLaren were back in the news again when he was taken to hospital with shoulder injuries after wrapping the burgundy super car around a tree on the outskirts of Peterborough.

The 6.1-litre vehicle - which burst into flames - was later to become the centre of the biggest single insurance claim in British motoring history with a repair bill of over £900,000.

Atkinson - whose jaw-dropping car collection includes vintage Aston Martins, classic Rolls Royces and a number of super-rare performance saloons - was believed to have made a staggering £7 million+ profit when eventually selling his sough-after McLaren in 2015 for a rumoured £8 million to a private buyer.