- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

LONDON (AP) - A British adventurer has paid a record price for a two-seat version of Britain’s World War II Spitfire fighter.

Steve Brooks, who four years ago became the first person to fly from pole to pole by helicopter, the winning bidder at 1,739,500 pounds ($2.53 million) at an auction on Monday.

The plane was built as a single-seat fighter, but the restorers rebuilt it as the much rarer two-seat trainer. Since Britain never used the trainer version, this plane is painted in the colors of the Netherlands, which had three of the planes.

Bonhams, the auctioneer, says the record price for a Spitfire had been 3.2 million New Zealand dollars ($1.8 million), set last year.

The Daily Mail newspaper quoted him as saying: “I’m a great believer that things like this were built to be used, not to be museum pieces.”

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