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Nazi-beating Alfa sold for R93m

2013-09-16 11:48

CLASSIC ALFA RACER SOLD: The legacy of legendary racer Tazio Nuvolari’s 1935 Alfa Romeo Tipo C 8C-35 lives on as one motoring enthusiasts purchased this iconic Italian race car for R93.5-million. Image: Bonhams

An Alfa Romeo, which raced in South African grands prix, has become the world's most-expensive Alfa. The 8C-35, commissioned by Benito Mussolini to show up the Nazis, was knocked down for the equivalent of R93.5-million!

LONDON, England – Legendary racer Tazio Nuvolari’s 1935 Alfa Romeo Tipo C 8C-35 has been sold for a staggering R93.5-million, reports Bonhams auctions. The offer beat the previous world record for an Alfa Romeo, set in 2010, with a motoring enthusiast spending more than R66-million on a classic Italian model.

GALLERY: 1935 Alfa Romeo Tipo C 8C-35

The supercharged Italian racer, capable of 265km/h, was the product of long-standing rivalry between Nazi Germany's racing teams and Benito Mussolini's Italian racers.

One wealthy owner handed over a cool R93.5-million for for the Alfa Romeo 8C-35 at the Goodwood Revival Sale near Chichester, England.

TAKING ON THE NAZIS

Nuvolari is often credited with developing the power-drift driving style and as the star of the Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo team. He led Italy against the German 'Silver Arrows' of Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union. In 1933-34 Adolf Hitler released state funds to help Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union overturn Italy's dominance of motorsport. The German brands had technology the Italian teams couldn't afford.

Alfa Romeo launched its 8C-35 in time for the 1935 Italian GP with a supercharged straight-eight engine and independently-suspended, hydraulics-braked chassis.

The racer's car's most spectacular success was earned in the 1936 Coppa Ciano, when Nuvolari took over from assigned driver Carlo Pintacuda after the team leader's 12C-36 car suffered transmission woes on the second lap.

Nuvolari tore back into the fray and, despite being seven laps behind, ultimately triumphed over the entire Auto Union team, to achieve a home victory.

RACING ON SOUTH AFRICAN SOIL

Nuvolari's '50013' was sold in 1936 to young Swiss private owner Hans Ruesch, who brought the car to England where he made his debut with it in the Shelsley Walsh hill-climb before winning the Donington Grand Prix.

Ruesch then shipped it to South Africa, where he set fastest race lap in both the Rand and South African GP events.

The race car was then acquired by British industrialist Dennis Poore . The car was retired into long-term storage and retained until Poore's death in 1987. Bonhams brought the car out from its long hibernation and racing enthusiast Peter Giddings had it restored. The car has since campaigned in classic racing events.

‘MORE THAN A CAR FOR US’


Bonhams motoring department director James Knight said: “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."
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