Cars previously owned by celebrities are easier to sell, but is this also true for cars that belonged to infamous dictators?
Well, this superb 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Berlinetta by Touring was not actually owned by a dictator, but bought by one for his mistress.
Italy’s war-time dictator, Benito Mussolini, bought the Alfa Romeo for his lover, Clara Petacci. Featuring a stunning coachwork by Carrozzeria Touring, the 6C 2500 Sport Berlinetta was used exclusively by Ms. Petacci during the war years, usually with chauffeur Franz Spögler behind the wheel.
The latter confirmed the vehicle’s identity and its war-time use many years after hostilities ended. Spögler also recalled that this was the very car that Petacci and other members of her family drove in convoy from Milan in a bid to find refuge across the Italian border in 1945.
However, Petacci was stopped by partisans close to Lake Como and later executed along with Mussolini. This means that her last journey took place in this Alfa Romeo. After the war, chassis no. 915033 was acquired by a U.S. Army officer and shipped directly Stateside. It was re-discovered in 1970 on a farm in New York State and fully restored in recent years by world-renowned Alfa Romeo expert, Francesco Bonfanti.
The car will go under the hammer on February 4, 2015 in Paris, at an event organized by RM Auctions. “Few cars that have passed through our hands have had quite the important historical context that this Alfa Romeo can boast,” says Augustin Sabatié-Garat, car specialist, RM Auctions Europe. “That it is also one of the most desirable of all pre-war Grand Touring cars and beautifully restored by the world’s leading marque expert, makes it an unbelievable prize for any serious collector,” he added.