A car that Ferdinand Porsche built at Hitler's behest is coming up for auction. It looks set to become the most expensive car ever auctioned.
In February, Christie's will sell off a 1939 Auto Union D-Type racing car, believed to be one of only two in existence. Porsche built the machine at Hitler's direct request -- the Nazi dictator wanted to show off German engineering prowess.
The car was one of the fastest of its day with 485bhp and a Vmax of 186mph. It did the job, winning a GP in Belgrade with Nuvolari at the wheel in 1939, just before the outbreak of war.
Most of the D-Types were destroyed during hostilities but this particular model shipped off to the Soviet Union by the Red Army so its technological secrets could be dissected.
Later, a car enthusiast discovered it and it made its way to the UK, where was recreated by Rod Jolley Coachbuilding to the exact dimensions of the original on its original underpinnings, the bodywork having long been lost. The car was fully restored by Crosthwaite and Gardiner at Audi's expense, and was tested for the first time by Dick Crosthwaite at the Nürburgring in October 1994.
The current world record for a car at auction is held by a 1931 Bugatti Type 41 Royale Sports Coupé that Christie's sold for £5.5 million in the late 1980s.