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January 26, 2007 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Nazi racecar for sale. One of two surviving 1939 Auto Union Type Ds, commissioned by Hitler and designed by Ferdinand Porshe, is going on the block at Christies on February 17th. It is expected to fetch the largest price for any car ever in auction.
posted by three blind mice (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Double, but nice title.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:17 AM on January 26, 2007


I would be supremely satisfied if a Jewish captain of industry type bought the thing.
posted by boo_radley at 9:27 AM on January 26, 2007


For however many millions, it ought to come with a captain of industry to push you down the hill in it.
posted by cowbellemoo at 9:31 AM on January 26, 2007


Did you mean Porsche?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:36 AM on January 26, 2007


near the end of this video (youtube) you can see one of the Type D's in action, in New York city, during the R8 launch. i'm amazed it has a reverse gear!
posted by spish at 9:41 AM on January 26, 2007


That's quite a beautiful car. Racing cars still looked like that in the 60's. My model car racing track that I inherited from an older nephew had cars like that.
posted by jouke at 9:46 AM on January 26, 2007


"From Russia, the Auto Union chassis and parts were shipped west to England where the body of this Type D was recreated by Rod Jolley Coachbuilding and made to the exact dimensions of the original."

So it's not even an original car, sheesh.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:03 AM on January 26, 2007


12 million? Carol Shellby's Cobra was a steal at only five million last weekend at Barrett-Jackson.
posted by fixedgear at 10:11 AM on January 26, 2007


German engineering in da haus, ja!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:17 AM on January 26, 2007


You know who else had one of these cars? Hitl... oh, never mind.
posted by kcds at 10:26 AM on January 26, 2007


These and the Mercedes race cars of the era ran on such esoteric and toxic fuels that its nearly impossible to drive them today.
posted by machaus at 10:33 AM on January 26, 2007


Zuhaelter! Can you say "Haelt mein Auto zu?" Meines? Zu means dative case right? God 90% of my German is GONE.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:42 AM on January 26, 2007


Beautiful car despite the history. Auto Union eventually became AUDI, and these early racecars are the inspiration of Audi's current front-end design (the bass-mouth look here, here. )
posted by jba at 12:12 PM on January 26, 2007


It's pretty normal for most or all of the sheet metal on a race car to have been replaced multiple times over the course of it's life.
posted by Mitheral at 12:29 PM on January 26, 2007


Beautiful car. And I don't know if Hitler could drive. Could he?
posted by MarshallPoe at 12:45 PM on January 26, 2007


Yes, he could. Right through Poland.

did I really just type that?
posted by davejay at 2:08 PM on January 26, 2007


And I don't know if Hitler could drive. Could he?

Well, he was always goering places.

Hi, Marshall!
posted by cortex at 3:30 PM on January 26, 2007


I wonder what the ads on a Nazi NASCAR would've looked like.

Vrooom! lookie them nazzies go!
posted by kuujjuarapik at 5:01 PM on January 26, 2007


I wonder what the ads on a Nazi NASCAR would've looked like.

Surprisingly, not too different. STP, Ford, Coca-Cola...
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:42 PM on January 26, 2007


The silver was the ad on a Nazi race car, as silver was the indication that the car was German.
posted by louie at 10:29 AM on January 27, 2007


Even by today's standards, those cars were pretty nuts.

I've got a 1/18 scale model of the land speed record version of that car that Rosemeyer drove, and it's even prettier.

Somewhere I have a tape of the history of AU development of the cars. A few years back, Audi had replicas of some of the cars made (the bodywork was done by Rod Jolley Coachbuilding) and they said that Audi was interested in making replacement mechanical parts (just in case).

When they took the parts ( supercharger housings and other aluminum/magnesium castings) into some British race manufacturers to be blueprinted and re-done, the Brits said that the quality of the metal used was "comparable to that used in modern garden furniture" and how it could stand up to the strain was beyond them.

BTW, back in the 30s these things ran on a mixture of Benzine, methanol, nitro-methane and aviation gasoline. A toxic soup that was unequaled in racing until the past 20 years, when teams were using gas made of stuff like Toluene and Ketone.
posted by Relay at 11:39 AM on January 27, 2007


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