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.
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.
OTHER TOP PRICES AT BONHAMS GOODWOOD REVIVAL SALE TODAY INCLUDED:
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.