Kiwi Spitfire sells for $2.8 million

01:43, Jan 31 2009

A Chinese buyer has paid NZ$2.8 million at a Nelson auction for a Spitfire, World War 2's most famous fighter aircraft.

TV3 News said the price was an auction world record for a Spitfire.

The auction was staged by Australian company Bonhams and Goodman, an offshoot of London-based Bonhams.

The Mark XVI Spitfire has been owned for the past decade by Auckland's Subritzky family, which restored the fighter to near flyable condition.

News agency Bloomberg's website reported the aircraft had been bought by North China Shipping Holdings Co chairman Yan-Ming Gao, who planned to donate it to the China Aviation Museum in Beijing.

The auction, at Nelson's Museum of Wearable Art and Classic Cars, also featured a number of classic cars.