A private Italian bidder paid nearly £115,000 (€173,000) for a piece of British aviation history today when he bought a Concorde nose cone at auction.
Organisers said the mystery buyer, from Milan, would be installing the structure – which saw 14 years service attached to the end of Alpha Foxtrot aircraft – in his home.
His purchase is one of three Concorde nose cones going on sale at a four-day auction of memorabilia connected to the famous supersonic jets, at Stoneleigh Park, in Warwickshire, UK.
British Airways announced the retirement of its seven-strong fleet in April last year.
Bidders from across the world were logging on to the internet in their hundreds to take part in the event which was being broadcast simultaneously online.
Among the 6,122 lots, were souvenirs including cockpit instruments, crockery, seats, food trolleys and toilet cubicles – one of which sold for £5,500 (€8,200).
Captain Mike Bannister, Chief Concorde Pilot, described the auction as a success.
He said: “Right from the time we announced Concorde was retiring, we have tried to make it a celebration of 27 years of successful service, a tribute to the hundreds of people who designed, built and operated this legendary aircraft and the 2.5 million passengers we have carried.
“As one of the last parts of this celebration, we are making these items available for people to buy as a memento of this fantastic aircraft.
“It is great to see people bidding from across the world. Concorde visited over 250 destinations and we have seen bidders from Australia, Japan and the United States, as well as here at Stoneleigh Park.”
The Concorde auction is the second to be held following a similar sale in London last December.
At that event, New York based Hungarian businessman Ferenc Gaspar paid £320,000 (€481,000) for a nose cone.
The last decommissioned Concorde left London earlier this week as she was carried down the Thames on a barge for the six-day journey to her final resting place at the Museum of Flight in East Lothian.
The two remaining nose cones are listed for sale over the next few days.