Auction of Aviation History
By Christina Bohnstengel
On April 20, collectors will have a chance to own a piece of aviation history. For the first time in 20 years, a two-seater Vickers-Supermarine Spitfire TR Mark IX will go to public auction at the Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon.
The London-based auction house, Bonhams, describes the vintage plane as an historic Warbird, ready to fly and in truly sparkling flightline condition. Vickers-Armstrong originally built the bird in 1944, and in 1948 it was sold to the South African Air Force. Several decades later it was rediscovered and rescued from a scrap yard in Cape Town by the late aviation enthusiast Charles Church. Alan Dunkerley became a proud papa of the plane in 1989 and when the late Paul Portelli got his hands on it in 2002, he commissioned Classic Aero Engineering to restore it to the TR Mark IX two-seat trainer specification.
The estimated value of the Vickers-Supermarine Sptifire is £1.5 million.
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