Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Built on the orders of Hitler, the world's most pricey car

In its day it won two grands prix and reached speeds that would not be surpassed for decades. Now a racer conceived as a symbol of Nazi domination is about to set a new record, as the world's most expensive car.

1939 Auto Union D-type
The car is expected to fetch £6 million at auction

The 15ft 1939 Auto Union D-type is expected to fetch about £6 million when it goes under the hammer at Christie's in Paris, surpassing the record £5.5 million paid for a 1931 Bugatti Royale at the Royal Albert Hall 20 years ago.

Its arrival in the auction room is thanks only to a dogged collector who tracked down two of the fabled cars in Russia, where they had been taken after the war, and a specialist British car restorer in sleepy Sussex.

The car's genesis dates back to the 1930s when Adolf Hitler provided the funds for two companies, Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz, to start producing racing cars that came to be known as Silver Arrows. The revolutionary cars were designed by the Austrian automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche.
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