Concorde Nose Cone Sells at Auction
Dec. 01, 2003
LONDON (AP) _ A Concorde jet nose cone sold for $550,000 Monday at an auction of memorabilia and spare parts from the retired supersonic aircraft.
To loud applause from other bidders in west London, the auctioneer made the sale to Hungarian-born Ferenc Gaspar, a New York resident.
The nose cone was the highlight of the auction of more than 120 spare parts and decommissioned items.
``I don't think I have paid a lot,'' Gaspar said later. ``I think it's very cheap. I expected to pay as much as 1 million or more.''
Many items in the auction went for 10 times their estimate. Some engine parts went for around 40 times what was expected.
A gray wool Concorde blanket expected to fetch just $100 went for $2,000.
Travel company employee Lucy Powell expected to have to bid around $6,000 for two passenger seats but ended up paying $15,500.
The auction raised $1.3 million, nearly a half million of that for charities chosen by British Airways.
Flights of the jet have been halted by British Airways and Air France, the only airlines that flew the Concorde. The last commercial trans-Atlantic flight landed in London from New York in October.