Christie's is expecting a D-type to command the highest price ever paid for an automobile, with estimates between ten and fifteen million dollars.
485 horsepower.; 185-mph top speed.; Supercharged mid-mounted V-12.; While these numbers and specifications would be impressive attached to any modern sports car, they become truly special when you find out that they describe a vehicle that existed in 1939.; The Auto Union D-type, was designed and built beginning in 1933, after Adolf Hitler requested that a German manufacturer build a car that would showcase the country's technological prowess.; Ferdinand Porsche, who was an engineer for Auto Union at the time, was responsible for designing and building the kind of car Hitler was looking for.; After six years and many revisions, the final result was the D-type.
The D-type's twin-supercharged 3.0-liter V-12 and gas tank were mounted behind the driver, and the car had a four wheel independent suspension.; This setup was completely different than the one used by Grand Prix race cars at the time, and, as a result, driving it was quite an experience.; Apparently the cars had a reputation for being a handful, with huge amounts oversteer that scared the daylights out of drivers who weren't prepared for it.; Not to fear, the car also had a removable steering wheel--just in case the driver became trapped inside the burning wreckage after a wipe out.; What a relief...
There are only a few D-types thought to be left after all these years, and one of them is going to be auctioned off by Christie's next month, in Paris. Christie's is expecting the car to command the highest price ever paid for an automobile, with estimates between ten and fifteen million dollars.