15 Sep 2008

Spitfire sells for $2.8 million

2:57 pm on 15 September 2008

A rare Spitfire aircraft used in World War II has been sold at auction in Nelson on Sunday for $2.8 million.

The 1945 Spitfire saw active service with the Royal Air Force and flew in the Battle of Britain Memorial flight in 1957.

Robert Glover from auction house Bonhams and Goodman says more than 400 people attended the sale.

He says it was bought by a Chinese businessman and is bound for display in a new museum in Beijing.

Graham Orphan, from Classic Wings magazine, says such sales improve New Zealand's award-winning reputation as one of the best places to get historical aircraft restored.

He says more such planes will be restored in New Zealand as the industry's reputation grows.