Few things hit a car lover harder than the sight of an auto accident, particularly when the vehicle involved is one of the world’s fastest, rarest, or most expensive. Assuming that everyone involved is okay, of course, surveying the damage to the vehicle is the most painful part of the process, and if like many car owners, you consider your ride to be “your baby,” the tears can fly.
So, just imagine how soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo felt when he smashed his Ferrari 599 into a wall in England in 2009, a photo of which can be seen above. Having spent more than 200,00 pounds on the car just a year before, Ronaldo never had it repaired — and instead sold it for 40,000 pounds. Surprisingly, accidents like Ronaldo’s — involving supercars, or insanely expensive luxury sports cars — are actually quite common. When people with money have the need for speed, sometimes things go awry.
Whether it was an act of brazen stupidity, or simple bad luck, there’s no getting around it: accidents happen. But some are far more expensive than others. Here’s a quick rundown of five of the most expensive accidents in recent memory. Although this list is by no means exhaustive, these auto accidents will forever remain cratered in many people’s memories — or wallets.
1. A Ford GTX1 meets a tree
In the most recent example of automotive heartbreak, someone driving an incredibly rare Ford GTX1 smashed into a tree, and then ran the car off the side of the road. The incident took place in the Seattle suburb of Auburn, according to Autoevolution. The GTX1 is a rare, roofless variant of the Ford GT, and to get an idea of how much these cars cost, Jalopnik says that one sold five years ago for more than $500,000. Judging by the photos of the wreck (seen at Autoevolution), this particular GTX1 looks like a total loss. There weren’t many GTX1 units to begin with, and now there’s one less.
2. A Bugatti Veyron takes a dive
(Video above contains NSFW language!)
In the case of this Bugatti Veyron accident, we actually have the whole thing on video. While cruising down a road in Texas in 2009, the owner of this particular Veyron flew off of the road and into a lagoon. The owner, a man named Andy House, claimed that a low-flying bird caused him to veer off the street. Wanting an insurance check for $2 million, House was sued by his insurance company for fraud, according to Jalopnik. House did reportedly buy another Veyron, although the allegations against him have stacked up. Take a look at the video for yourself (careful, there is some bad language), and see if you can spot the mysterious bird House claims ran him off the road.
3. Rowan Atkinson destroys a McLaren F1, twice
If there are two things that go together like peanut butter and jelly, it’s Mr. Bean and incredibly advanced supercars. That’s the real-world case, somehow, as actor Rowan Atkinson has been the proud owner of a McLaren F1, which he has managed to crash not once, but twice. The first accident — and most headline-grabbing — happened in 2011, when Atkinson ran the F1 into a tree. The result was the costliest insurance payout in British history. As of January this year, Atkinson has apparently had enough of his McLaren, and has decided to sell it for a huge sum.
4. A Pagani Zonda F bites it in Dubai
A very rare Pagani model, the Zonda F, was recently seen in pieces all over a busy street in Dubai. There are little details surrounding the wreck, but we do know that a mere 25 of these cars were produced, and it’s unclear if this one is salvageable. There are photos of the incident available from Car Throttle, which show the car’s front end almost completely missing, while the back end is severely damaged as well. These cars sold for $1.4 million, and due to their scarcity, are worth even more now.
Except for this one.
5. Death of a Ferrari 250 GTO
In the king of all auto accidents, the wreck of a Ferrari 250 GTO a few years ago has been dubbed the most expensive crash in automotive history. A fantastic and comprehensive look at the Ferrari 250 GTO can be seen above, just to give some perspective as to how incredible this car actually is. Only 39 of these cars were built, all between 1962 and 1964 according to Yahoo!, and this particular GTO that was destroyed was worth upward of $30 million. The accident happened at a gathering in France, when the car’s owner Ann Cox and another driver collided.