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Hitler race car could fetch $12 million A rare 1939 German sports car commissioned by Adolf Hitler is expected to command the highest price ever paid for any automobile at auction, according to Christie's, which will conduct the auction in Paris in February 2007.
The car, one of five remaining "Auto Union D-Types," is expected to sell for as much as $12 million, said Rupert Banner, head of Christie's motor cars department.
In 1933, after becoming Chancellor of Germany, Hitler offered 500,000 reichmark for a company to design a race car to show off the nation's technological prowess. Originally, Mercedes-Benz got the nod. But Ferdinand Porsche, then an engineer working with Auto Union, which today is known as Audi, was able to secure the financing to build a revolutionary car he had designed.
That car was modified over the next few years to become the 1939 Auto Union D-Type.
The D-type had a number of features that were extremely advanced for its day, including an engine mounted behind the driver and four-wheel independent suspension. Its twin-supercharged 3-liter V12 engine can produce 485 horsepower, giving the car a top speed of 185 miles per hour.
In many ways, the D-type offered a glimpse into what would become the future of racing. It's fundamentally very similar to Formula 1 and Indy race cars of today. "It's the same as a modern day race car, just without fins," said Banner. More at CNNMoney.com
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