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Rowan Atkinson to auction two modern classics

The 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E. — AFP picThe 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E. — AFP picLONDON, Jan 19 — British comedian Rowan Atkinson, who is probably best known for his roles as Mini-driving idiot Mr. Bean and the acidic Blackadder, is also well known for his love of cars.

The most famous and well-reported car to grace his collection was a McLaren F1, but he's not averse to selling any of his cars when he no longer wants them.

Well, two very interesting cars he owns now appear to be surplus to requirements as they're scheduled to go under the hammer in England at the Race Retro Classic Car Sale next month held by Silverstone Auctions.

The first of the two Atkinson cars is a much-vaunted Mercedes-Benz 500E, which boasts a five-liter V-8 under the hood that produces 326 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque.

Despite this considerable lump of German engineering weighing-in at a substantial 1,710 kg, it could still get to 60 mph from a standing start in less than six seconds, and 100 mph arrived in around 14 seconds.

Perhaps a little surprisingly, they were all hand built at Porsche's facilities, which got them the type code 2758 in Porsche's official nomenclature.

This particular one is a 1993 example that Atkinson is putting up for sale that has only been with him since 2015, and it only has around 50,000 miles on the clock.

Apparently, it was far and away the best example of the 500E he could find at the time he bought it.

The second car is probably even more interesting -- and definitely rarer than the Mercedes -- and that's because it's a 1989 Lancia Thema 8.32. Related to the Alfa Romeo 164 and Saab 9000, the Lancia has a Ferrari-derived 3.0-liter V-8 powering the front wheels through a manual gearbox, although the power is a little modest at just 215 horsepower. This car has been owned by Atkinson for considerably longer than the Mercedes; he's been enjoying things like its pioneering, electrically raised rear spoiler for some seven years now.

Both cars will be auctioned at the Race Retro Classic Car Sale to be held on February 24 and 25 at the Race Retro International Historic Motorsport Show 2018 at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, England. — AFP-Relaxnews

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