Photo courtesy of RMAuctions
An exceedingly rare 1939 Alfa Romeo 6c2500, a gift from Benito Mussolini to his mistress Clara Petacci, just sold for $3 million at an RM Auctions event in Paris.
The first 6c2500 sold at auction in years, and given the role it played in the couple’s failed attempt to flee an imploding Italy for asylum in Switzerland, it is also the first curio & relic car sold in years.
The 6c marque was the designation for the Italian automaker’s performance line. The 6c2500 featured a 2.5 liter inline-six cylinder making 160 horsepower, propelling it to a top speed of 120 mph during its 1938 launch.
What’s more, this 6c2500 has its original chassis, body, and engine, according to RMAuctions, making it desirable for its originality, not only its famed story.
As the story goes, Mussolini and Petacci were fleeing Italy under the guise of being retreating Nazi soldiers, with Petacci as Mussolini’s sister. Their caravan of five or six cars was stopped at a roadblock with the 6c2500 leading the way.
Mussolini’s disguise failed. Because of this, the two were hauled off for execution and the car was confiscated, only to resurface in private hands years later.
Although the price tag of $3 million may appear to be high, it is dwarfed by Mussolini’s personal Alfa Romeo car that sold for $9.5 million in 2010.
However, both pale in comparison to the most expensive classic european car ever sold: the $29.65 million, one-of-one,1954 Mercedes W196R once raced by Juan Manuel Fangio.
It remains unclear how many 6c2500 remain in private hands, according to RM, but this is one of 18 known to be produced.