Le Mans crash car in record sale

A rare Austin-Healey that was involved in the tragic 1955 Le Mans disaster has been sold for a record price at an auction organised by Bonhams.

The 1953 Austin-Healey 100 Special Test Car was purchased by a private collector for £843,000 at Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge, Surrey.

The classic car had remained stored in a barn for 42 years before the sale in December.

The auction house said that the car, which was involved in the catastrophic Le Mans disaster that killed 84 people including Mercedes racing driver Pierre Levegh, is the priciest Austin-Healey to be sold at auction.

A spokeswoman for Bonhams said: "This is a fantastic result for the Austin-Healey and a world record for any car of this make at auction.

"Everyone is delighted. The auction went on for about 10 minutes and there was a tense, excited and hushed atmosphere in the room as four bidders competed for the car."

She added: "We had bidders in the room and over the phone, but the car finally went to a private buyer who was in the room."

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