Find by category:

Exhaust Notes

Classic Alfa Romeo race car sells for record $9.4 million

1935 Tipo 8C-35 Monoposto breaks all-time record for the marque.

By James_Tate Sep 17, 2013 6:12AM

As the years pile on, auction sales of classic Alfa Romeo cars are proving more and more that you don’t have to be a Ferrari collector to spend a lot of money on Italian cars.

A 1935 Alfa Romeo Tipo 8C-35 Monoposto sold for 5.94 million pounds -- around $9.44 million -- at Bonhams Goodwood Revival Meeting on Saturday, setting a record high for the Alfa marque.


So why was this particular car worth that much money? Well, we know that this is a hot time to be in the classic car world, with values higher than ever and there being few other outlets in which the wealthy can indulge in a truly appreciating investment. But this Alfa Romeo also happened to have been driven by the legendary Tazio Giorgio Nuvolari – a guy that Ferdinand Porsche famously called "the greatest driver of the past, the present and the future." And while we don’t necessarily have 9 million bucks to spend on one of his ex-rides, we can certainly see the appeal after breezing through the man’s storied racing career.

But more than that, this was the car that Ferrari backed before it started making F1 cars of its own. That’s why there’s a prancing horse on the hood, kids. So you can now technically tell your friends that Ferrari is so good at winning F1 races that the company was actually doing so before it even built an F1 car! 

No, but seriously, though – this car is more important than Ferrari and F1. Did you catch that build date? 1935. This thing was commissioned by Benito Mussolini himself, in an effort to beat cars funded by Adolf Hitler from Mercedes-Benz and Audi. And it did, with Nuvolari piloting it to victory. With an absolutely fascinating history, it’s hard to believe that this car sat in a barn for more than 30 years after its owner (an industrialist by the name of Dennis Poore) became tired of using it for local hill climbs and the like, parking it in 1955. It’s fully restored now (as the money should suggest) and can even hit its designed top speed.


As we mentioned, the car was sold by Bonhams, which it would seem is on a roll. In July at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the company auctioned off the F1 Mercedes driven to victory by Juan Manual Fangio in 1954 and 1955 for 19.6 million pounds ($29.6 million at sale) – the highest price ever paid for a car sold at auction. James Knight, Bonhams' international managing director for 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."

Also at the Goodwood Revival sale was a one-owner 1961 Jaguar E-Type roadster that sold for 225,500 pounds ($358,725), a record price for a road-going E-Type. A 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV owned by Rod Stewart, one of seven right-hand drive models, sold for 919,900 pounds ($1.46 million).


Sources: Daily Mail, Museo Tazio Nuvolari, Bonhams; Photo: Bonhams

Sep 17, 2013 8:29AM
Just like the rest of you I was short by a couple of bucks, otherwise it would have been mine!
Sep 17, 2013 10:25AM

 I'm a car guy... I love unique, special, or performance cars.  I appreciate the workmanship and technology that is involved in producing an extraordinary car.  And, even though I'll never own a 9 million dollar car, I still appreciate it for what it was and is today.  Like any work of art, it should be appreciated.  Would it be OK if the same buyer bought a unique or rare first edition novel?  Or a painting by one of the masters, and paid 9 million or more for it?


Unfortunately, there are many people on this blog that qualify as ignorant, envious, id**ts.

Can anyone here explain how your life would be better or how the world in its entirety would benefit if this car didn't exist?  Or that no one wanted to buy it?  Does it really matter in the greater scheme of things if any particular car is sold for 1 dollar or a billion dollars?  Of course not...


Why some here are  jealous, upset, annoyed, or angry at a total stranger who is lucky (or smart or talented) enough to buy and own a unique bit of automotive history is beyond my understanding.


The federal govt. spends (wastes?) millions of $$$ every single day, and a large number of people in this country don't give a rip.  It's very disheartening to read posts insulting and demeaning an obviously successful person, simply because that individual decided how to spend their OWN money.  Rather than facing criticism, they should be applauded and celebrated, and revered as an object lesson in how, in this country, you can achieve ANYTHING if you are dedicated, ambitious, and focus on achieving specific goals, whatever they may be.


As long as it's done legally and ethically, what's wrong with success allowing you to go where you will, buy what you want, and live the life you choose?  Why would that upset anyone?  It shouldn't...

How much money is too much?  At what $$$ figure do you pass through 'enough' into too much?


I don't listen to Lady Gaga or Jay Z's music.  I wouldn't pay a cent for their songs.  But, I have no problem at all with their success.  They are wealthy beyond measure and have achieved it on their own.  But, based on the posts here, shouldn't Jay Z 'give back' by donating his Bugatti Veyron to a homeless shelter?   But if he DID do that, would it be OK if someone paid 9 million for it at the auction?  Think about it.  IMHO

Sep 17, 2013 8:27AM
Wow! I could buy a $30,000 car for each day of the year. If I could afford that I could afford the storage, insurance and gas. Some of us can only dream.
Sep 17, 2013 8:39AM
If someone wants the car and has the money, what in the hell difference does it make to you clowns? You comment like you were bidding against the buyer.
Sep 17, 2013 10:29AM
Some say the poor should be they give all their free cash to feed the poor? You have a computer or your here through an eletronic toy you don't could of fed the poor. You have a big screen TV? Sell it & feed the poor! To say "STUPID" is in who's eyes? One guy paid $2.3 million for a 1804 silver dollar....& sold it 12 years later for $7.6 million. Some call that a stupid investment? If collectibles have no value...the lets throw the Mona Lisa, all Monet's & Van Gogh's, & especially Picasso's & Warhol's junk in the garbage! Oh you say, that is art? Is not a designed car art?
Sep 17, 2013 8:23AM

"Enterbatman" don't know anything about cars or performance. This car was built for one thing performance and not to look pretty setting in a drive way. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.


Sep 17, 2013 9:27AM
I'd drive it up and down the street in front of Jay Leno's house.  Real slow...
Sep 17, 2013 8:10AM
Dear Santa....I have been a very good boy, and would like a......
Sep 17, 2013 12:06PM
All of you Joe Six-Paks can STFU now and go back to your Honey Boo Boo reruns. You guys applaud when moneyed people restore your local theater, but If it were not for people with deep pockets, a lot of historic cars would have been long gone and/or never restored. These people have the money to invest in bringing these cars back so you can appreciate automotive history. The last mid-year (1967) Corvette Stingray sat in a barn for years with rats eating the interior and wiring until a Corvette aficionado bought it and invested $200K to restore it. I am grateful to these people who love cars and want to preserve them, we all get to enjoy them, too.
Sep 17, 2013 10:33AM
Retired now, bought myself a 67 GTO at a auto auction recently.
Boy was I stunned and surprised at the buyer and seller fees the auction houses collect.
6% and 6% on each end. So my $60,000 goat netted them close to $8,000 in fees.
Fellas, let me tell you we are all in the wrong business.

well classic cars like these can only go up in value. unlike that new lambo or ferrari that will certainly depreciate over time.
Sep 17, 2013 10:02AM
While some talk of the stupid rich, & it is a fact one cannot take a1935 Alfa Romeo Tipo 8C-35 Monoposto to their grave.....neither can they take $9.44 million. So if they choose the car over the cash to have memories....their cash, their memories.
Sep 17, 2013 10:05AM
Lots of whiners on here that must only get to drive their moms Honda.
Sep 17, 2013 9:46AM

Alfa Romeo is a legendary marque, often under-rated and overlooked with car enthusiast's.


I own an Alfa Spider and would not trade it for a newer BWW, Miata, Pontiac or other 2 seater.

There is just something about seat of your pants driving in a 2 seater roadster with no air bags, cup holders or power anything.


Watch the movie The Graduate to get the idea.............

Sep 17, 2013 10:20AM
Would those poor in here complaining about how stupid this guy is to spend $9.44 million on a car. Would it be an oxymoron (or are they simply morons), to claim stupidity of a rich person, when he has the dollars to buy it, & they don't?
Sep 17, 2013 10:35AM
I suppose some believe he'd been better off to of spent the money on a picture of a campbell soup can? Perhaps some Picasso that a 5 year old could draw?
Sep 17, 2013 9:25AM
I loves me a Alfa Romeo ! I had a Niki Lauda edition Veloce in College. Big valve ported head, Cams, Hi Comp pistons, headers, dual Webers and Colotti rear end. It would eat 240 / 260 / 280 Z's and BMW 2002 TI's. It was more fun than my 1965 Porsche 356C.
Sep 17, 2013 8:31AM
But noe of that would appreciate at the rate of the Alfa!
Sep 17, 2013 8:53AM

I have a 1978 Alfa Romeo spider and love it. Had a Alfa Romeo race car mechanic work on the engine and this car is like a bullet. It`s not a muscle car but a piece of engineering that is awesome on curving roads and at 60 mph it`s just warming up on the highway.


Sep 17, 2013 11:00AM

Stupid?..... I think not!


Congrats to who ever made that much money and loved cars enough to buy this piece of history.

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Cars are cool, and we here at MSN Autos love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world. Contact us at