An Iconic ‘Spitfire’ went going on sale for 2.5 million

A fully restored ‘Spitfire’ from the Second World War is expected to go on sale for around 2.5 million.

The iconic plane was shot down while on a bombing campaign over Dunkirk. The Calais beach sand owned the remains of the plane for a long time after the War. It was only after the 40 years of its crash that plane was discovered and was fully restored.


This particular ‘Spitfire’ known as P9374 has many interesting sides. Perhaps the most important thing about the plane is the aviator who flew it. Peter Cazenove was flying ‘P9374’ when it came down. On May 24, 1940 Peter Cazenove’s Spitfire was hit by a single bullet form a German Dornier 17-Z bomber. Cazenove crash-landed the plane on the sandy Calais beach and survived the crash with minor injuries. Peter Cazenove abandoned the plane and walked into mainland Calais, where he was captured by Nazis along with some of his comrades. Peter Cazenove was among those involved in famously known ‘The Great Escape’, and successfully made back to home.

The spitfire was sucked in by the sands of Calais beach, and soon disappeared under tons of sand. The plane reappeared in 1980 after strong currents pushed the Spitfire out of the sand. Although, it underwent massive corrosion and damage by history enthusiasts looking for a bit of the iconic plane, however a major chunk of the spitfire was intact.

Originally manufactured at the Vickers Armstrong factory in Woolston, the Spitfire was included in RAF’s 92 Squadron at Croydon in October 1939, The Telegraph reports.

Image source: Christies 

After its discovery in 1980, P9374 travelled many places starting from Museed’l’Air at Le Bourget. Mostly in parts, the Spitfire was owned by a number of collectors after landing in the hands of the Engineers at Aircraft Restoration Company. A team of 12 engineers were put to task to restore the historic plane. The company was restoring this particular plane for Thomas Kaplan. Mr. Kaplan is an American Philanthropist and an art collector who is now selling his plane along with another Second World War Spitfire.

‘Spitfire’ planes played a very crucial role in the ‘Battle of Britain’ by defending Britain against a ruthless Luftwaffe assault. RAF pilots totally dominated the airs thanks to Spitfires and forced Luftwaffe to reconsider its plan of a British take over. Reportedly only two Spitfires were shot down by German bombers, and are now owned by Mr. Kaplan and going on sale on July 9, 2015.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE