It must be a blast to be rich and have a stable of classic cars at your disposal.
Most successful actors and musicians seem to accumulate more than one car and they’re tend to be Ferraris and Rolls-Royces.
I mean if you’re rolling in it, you’re hardly about to run out and buy the first, cheap, Chinese runabout that you see — are you?
And so it goes with comedian Rowan Atkinson, or as he is known to most people — the hapless, bumbling Mr Bean.
The 66-year-old British entertainer, known for on-screen antics in a rather shabby Mini, is a self-confessed car nut, owns a stable of expensive and not so expensive cars and enjoys a spot of motor racing.
In fact, he’s about to part with one of his race cars, a left-hand drive 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint.
The car is being auctioned by Silverstone Auctions starting on March 27, with a guiding price of £55,000 – £65,000.
Atkinson has owned the car since 2006 and it has made sporadic appearances at various events over the last 15 years including Snetterton, Chimay in Belgium, the Silverstone Classic and of course the Goodwood Revival Meeting.
Always professionally prepared and run for him by the very best teams, the car comes to the auction complete with a comprehensive history file detailing all the work, upgrades and maintenance that the Falcon has received during that time.
Finished in the classic period colour of Turquoise this distinctive car also benefits from being road registered, which means the possibility of Tours and Historic rally events also exists.
What the auction listing fails to mention is that at one point the Falcon was involved in a major accident, when he had a head-on prang in the Goodwood Revival’s Shelby Cup race in 2014.
He has also been involved in a number of on-road mishaps, including a collision in his F1 McLaren in 1999.
In 2001, he crashed an Aston Martin V8 Zagato at an track meeting, but walked away unhurt.
Then he had another crash in the McLaren again in August, 2011 which reportedly led to the largest insurance payout in Britain, at £910,000.
Not surprisingly he no longer owns that car.
As well as motor racing accreditation, Atkinson also holds a truck driving licence which he has had since 1981.
The story goes that he has always had a fascination with “lorries” and got the licence as a fallback position when he was a struggling young entertainer.
In 1991, Atkinson starred in the self-penned The Driven Man, a series of sketches featuring him driving around London trying to solve his obsession with cars, discussing it with taxi drivers, policemen, used-car salesmen and psychotherapists.
He also appeared as racing driver Henry Birkin in the television play Full Throttle in 1995.
Interestingly, one car that Atkinson has never owned and has no desire to own is a Porsche, not because he doesn’t like the brand — he doesn’t like the kind of people that Porsche attracts.
“I have a problem with Porsches. They’re wonderful cars, but I know I could never live with one. Somehow, the typical Porsche people – and I wish them no ill – are not, I feel, my kind of people,” he said.
If you’re interested in following the auction you can catch it here.
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