Nuvolari’s old Alfa 8C sells for £5.9m
In the week we drive the 4C, 1935 GP car becomes most expensive Alfa ever sold at auction
Posted: 18 Sep 2013
This is a 1935 Alfa Romeo Tipo C 8C-35 ‘50013', but literally three people in the world call it that, so we shall simply call it the 8C-35. It was once raced by the legendary Italian GP racer Tazio Nuvolari. And as of last weekend, it has become the most expensive Alfa Romeo... in the world.
Well, the most expensive Alfa ever sold at auction, anyhow. At last weekend's Goodwood Revival, this racing Alfa changed hands for a record sum of £5,937,500, eclipsing the Alfa Romeo auction record; that was £4.2m a couple of years back for a 1935 Monza 2300.
Seems Bonhams have a knack for finding these rare, old school racing gems, because lest you forget, it was only a couple of months back they managed to sell Fangio's old Mercedes Formula One racer for a world record breaking £19.6m.
Why the near-£6m price for something old and Italian? Nuvolari was a legendary GP racer, and one of the stars of Alfa Romeo's racing team, Scuderia Ferrari (they were all one team back in those days before Enzo began making his own racing cars). Apparently, Ferdinand Porsche reckoned him to be a superstar driver, and upon his death, his coffin was reportedly placed on a car chassis and pushed along by none other than Juan Manuel Fangio, Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi.
The car itself is a 3.8-litre monoposto - or single seater - pushing out 330bhp from its supercharged straight-eight engine. It remains the only one of its kind in existence, and was campaigned against the giants of its era, fielded by Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union.
James Knight, Bonhams MD, said: "It is more than a car for all of us who are passionate about cars." It certainly is. Have a click through the pictures and then ask yourself: those thin tyres, the sparse cockpit and the notorious fatalities of the era - could you have raced one of these?