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Mussolini's Alfa Romeo Sells for $9.5 Million

The legendary sportscar, designed to beat Hitler's government-funded cars, can still reach 165 mph

By: Daniel Koren
Published: September 17th, 2013 in News » World
The Alfa Romeo 8C-35

Benito Mussolini's legendary Alfa Romeo 8C-35, which set records when it debuted in 1935, continues to turn heads 78 years later, after being sold for £6 Million (US $9.5 million) at an auction at the Goodwood Revival Sale near Chichester, making it Europe's second most expensive car after the Mercedes W196 (sold for £19 million).

The car was built specifically to beat Adolf Hitler and his fleet of government-funded vehicles, developed by the likes of both Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

Mussolini had personally invested time into building the burning red automobile shaped like a bullet, which, even after lying dormant for the past 40 years in a garage in Buckinghamshire, can still reach 165 miles per hour.

When it first debuted in 1935 at the Italian Grand Prix, the Alfa Romeo put all other race cars to shame, after Italian race car driver Tazio Nuvolari leaped into it after his own vehicle broke down at the halfway point of the race, and was still able to take the title. He became an Italian hero after that.


(The Alfa Romeo 8C-35)

The Daily Mail reports that 8C-35 was at that point under the management of Scuderia Ferrari; the event made headlines for Ferrari, which soon enable them to create their own unique brand of vehicles.

The Alfa Romeo was one of many initiatives Mussolini underwent to defeat Nazi Germany's race car team, as the two countries (though allies throughout the war) had a rivalry when it came to racing vehicles.

In 1933, Hitler had used government funds to create impeccable race cars built by Mercedes Benz and Audi.

However, at the Italian Grand Prix, neither of them stood a chance against the Alfa Romeo 8C-35. Drivers of the car could reportedly leap from fifth place to first in under two minutes. An impressive feat.

The Alfa Romeo has since undergone a massive restoration and has been sold at tip-top condition. The offer defeats the previous world record for an Alfa Romeo, which was set in 2010 purchased one at over £4,245,118.

"This car is a piece of Italian automotive artistry. It really is an exquisite thing," said Doug Nye, a motoring historian, of the Alfa Romeo 8C-35. "You feel the vibration of it beat through your chest when you are stood alongside it when it is started up. It has a tremendous presence."

"It is more than a car for all of us who are passionate about cars."

Related articles: Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, World War II, Alfa Romeo, Mercedes, Audi, World News, Alfa Romeo 8C-35
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