The London-based auction house Bonhams will offer a completely air worthy two-seater Vickers-Supermarine Spitfire for auction on April 20 at the Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon (near London). The plane will be the first two-seater to reach public auction in more than 20 years.
This particular plane was built in 1944 and delivered to the Royal Air Force’s No 33 Maintenance Unit at Lyneham in Wiltshire. It was subsequently sold to the South African Air Force in 1948 and in the 1970s, it was rediscovered in a Cape Town scrap yard. After five years of painstaking restoration, the plane is civilian registered as G-ILDA and will be offered as a freshly-completed, zero-hours, ground-up restoration.
The estimated value of the plane is £1.5 million and it is actually the second such plane sold by Bonhams in the past seven months. Last September, the auction house sold a non-airworthy bubble canopy MK XVI Spitfire (which are usually considered less desirable by collectors) for a record price of more than $3 million NZ (£1.1 million).