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The auction was part of the Rétromobile car show in Paris, from February 3-7.

The car has a 3.8-litre V-12 engine and its first race was the Sebring 12 Hours where it finished sixth. It came second in the 1957 Mille Miglia, won the 1958 Cuba Grand Prix and broke the lap record at the 24 Hours of LeMans before retiring in 1960.

Auctioneers Artcurial said: "This exceptional motor car became the most expensive car ever to sell at auction (in euros and sterling)." However, at the time of going to press, this has been disputed due to fluctuations in exchange rates.