NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — A rare 1939 German race 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 reichmarks 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 some of that 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.
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