Economic downturn? What economic downturn? You certainly wouldn't know it from looking at the ever-escalating prices classic cars are fetching at auction. Just ask the people at Bonhams. The noted auctioneers recently set the record at $29 million for the most expensive car ever sold at auction with Juan Manuel Fangio's 1944 Mercedes-Benz W196R, and they also lay claim to the most expensive Aston Martin, Austin-Healey, Bentley, Jaguar, Lagonda, Lotus, Maserati, Rolls-Royce and Talbot-Lago models ever auctioned. And now the auction house has added one more feather to its cap with the racecar you see here.

The car in question is a 1935 Alfa Romeo Tipo C 8C-35 that was driven by famed racer Tazio Nuvolari. It was part of Scuderia Ferrari in the pre-war grand prix days before Enzo started making his own cars. It won a handful of races in its day, but was more notable for putting up a fight against the Silver Arrows fielded by Mercedes-Benz and Audi in the lead up to the Second World War.

That in and of itself was apparently enough to propel the supercharged straight-eight grand prix car into the record books as the most expensive Alfa Romeo ever sold at auction. Chassis number 50013, the only one of its kind still in existence, sold this past weekend at the Goodwood Revival for a whopping £5,937,500 – equivalent to more than $9.4 million at today's exchange rates, and more than enough to eclipse the £4,245,118 ($6.75M) paid three years ago for a '33 Monza 2300. Scroll below to read the official announcement and watch the gavel drop on video.
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Bonhams sell ex-Tazio Nuvolari 1935 Alfa Romeo for world record breaking price of £5.9 million at Goodwood Revival Sale

One of the most charismatic of all the great pre-war Grand Prix racing cars - the ex-Tazio Nuvolari 1935 Alfa Romeo Tipo C 8C-35 '50013' - Scuderia Ferrari Nr '65' sold for £5,937,500 at Bonhams Goodwood Revival Meeting today (Saturday 14 September), creating a new world record for an Alfa Romeo sold at auction.

The previous record for this marque was £4,245,118 for a 1933 Alfa Romeo 8 cylinder Monza 2300 sold in California in 2010.

Bonhams Goodwood Revival sale saw the iconic 330-horsepower supercharged Alfa Romeo Grand Prix car make history yet again at the scene of its best-remembered post-war exploits, Goodwood. Now '50013's pre-war record as a truly classic, race-winning Alfa Romeo, campaigned by that most revered of motor racing figures, Tazio Giorgio Nuvolari, has a new laurel - a world record price.

This follows hot on the heels of the sale of the F1 Mercedes driven to victory by Juan Manual Fangio in 1954/55 which Bonhams sold at Goodwood Festival of Speed in July this year for £19.6m (the highest price for any car sold at auction). Combined with today's result Bonhams 2013 Goodwood sales have achieved nearly £50m.

Today's result means Bonhams now hold world records for the following 11 marques at auction: Alfa Romeo (£5,937,500, Aston Martin (£3,200,000), Austin-Healey (£843,000), Bentley (£5,000,000), Jaguar ($4,955,000/£2,655,000), Lagonda ($1,382,000/£740,000), Lotus ($998,000/£672,000), Maserati (£4,033,500), Mercedes-Benz (£19,601,500), Rolls-Royce (£4,700,000) and Talbot-Lago ($4,847,000/£2,597,000).

James Knight, Bonhams International Managing Director Collectors Motor Cars, said after the sale: "Once again Bonhams has been privileged to offer a world-beating motorcar and help it to achieve a world-beating price. Selling something like this, one is aware that history is a guest at the auction, due to the car's past, its performance today, and what all automotive enthusiasts will say about the car in the future. It is more than a car for all of us who are passionate about cars."

The 1935 supercharged Alfa Romeo 8C-35 was campaigned as new by Alfa's proxy factory team, the celebrated Scuderia Ferrari – including the legendary Tazio Nuvolari, one of the greatest racing drivers of all time.

Nuvolari, then already 43 years old, was renowned for his utterly fearless and totally-committed approach to racing. He is often credited with developing the power-drift driving style, and as star of the Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo team he led Italian racing's rearguard action against the state-backed German 'Silver Arrow' cars of Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union.


Another world record was made at this sale for a standard road-going E-Type Jaguar with a 1961 E-Type 3.8 Series 1 flat floor roadster going for £225,500. It was owned by one family since 1963.

An ex-Works, Irish Tourist Trophy, Brooklands 'Double-Twelve, George Field, Dudley Froy 1931 Invicta 4.5-liter S-Type 'Low Chassis' Sports with coachwork by Cadogan sold for £953,500.

A 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV Coupe with coachwork by Carozzeria Bertone, a car delivered new to Rod Stewart, one of just seven right hand drive examples went for £919,900.

A 1961 Ferrari 250GT Series II Cabriolet with coachwork by Pininfarina, in need of restoration. It had been in the same family for 40 years, and was sold for £707,100.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Arvel P
      • 1 Year Ago
      Economic downturn? It has nothing to do with some of these cars, as they are one of a kind examples with deep histories. Economy never effected artwork because they are singular pieces. Where you going to find another Alfa with that serial number and lineage for sale?
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tazio Nuvolari was an epic figure during the golden age of motor racing. Racing was dangerous, safety measures almost non-existent, the cars were primitive and the courses hazardous. Nuvolari was a fearless character; his skill and daring made the still-new concept of motor racing exciting. The car is more than just an object, it's a link to a time the likes of which we'll never see again, and a man that made them worth remembering.
      • 1 Year Ago
      While I certainly agree that $9.4 million is a lot of money to spend on a car, the real reason for that price is that this car is a museum-quality historic artifact. How much is the original signed copy of the U. S. Declaration of Independence or the Liberty Bell worth? They're priceless, for exactly the same reason - they are historically significant. Since this Alfa is the only one of it's knd that still exists, it will do nothing but increase in value in the future. Actually the Ala was a good deal. In 2008, British DJ Chris Evans paid 5.5 million British Pounds, or about $11 million at the exchange rate at that time, for a Ferrari 250 short wheelbase California Spyder - and more than 50 of them were made, so it's not nearly so rare. Also, this price pales in comparison to the prices paid for some works of art, for example, the $268 million that was paid in 2011 for Cezanne's "The Card players" ot the $120 million for Edvard Munch's "The Scream". There have been at least 50 paintings sold since 1987 for more than $60 million. How much is the Mona Lisa worth, or Michelangelo's "David"? You can't even estimate their worth.
        • 1 Year Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Must be nice to be able to wriye a check fr that amount.Lets hope its fully restored to its hey day so every can enjoy a one of s kind.
      • 1 Year Ago
      ...or they spend $13 million on a California beach house (like Mitt Romney) then wastefully demolish the house to build an even larger one with a car elevator, complaining about paying 9-13% federal income taxes.
        • 1 Year Ago
        You don't mean he did something like Steven Spielberg?...
      • 1 Year Ago
      All the Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa cars of the 1930's are collector delights. Ditto the post WWII cars of the 50's. Includes Indy cars also.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope my geo sells for that in a few years !
      dearest rat
      • 1 Year Ago
      I bet you'd get goosebumps sitting in the driver's seat...
      • 1 Year Ago
      A greater fool and his money are soon parted.
        • 1 Year Ago
        It's a piece of history and art that moves on its own, looks cool and makes amazing noises...much better than any static oil painting by one of 'the Masters'
        • 1 Year Ago
        I would rather have this than the pile of notes paid for it. I would bet the car will be worth more in the future.
          Andrew Pappas
          • 1 Year Ago
          Exactly. While there is a fervor at the top of the market, the lower end such as classic muscle cars haven't regained their footing. This seems more like the rich putting their money somewhere rather than increased interest in classics esoterically.
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's worth a lot just by virtue of having been raced by the great Nuvolari. And oh yeah, get lost, idiot spammers.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tazio Nuvolari has to be the greatest Grand Prix driver in my estimation. The money for this Alfa probably has more to do with Tazio than with the car itself. Nuvolari was the only man to beat the German teams in the pre-war \"Silver Arrows\" era. I guarantee you no one living today could go faster in one of the monsters of that era than Tazio. This was a very heady time in Grand Prix racing.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hunk of garbage. Who cares about Novolari whoever that is.
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