Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Classic German car expected to go for £8m at auction

If spending £10,000 on a car seems a bit much, you probably won't be in the market for the 1939 Auto Union Type D Grand Prix car which Christie's of Paris will be auctioning on February 17. If this car changes hands for the £8m expected, it will become the most expensive car on earth.

It's the sort of price you might pay for a work with an extraordinary history by Chagall, Van Gogh or Picasso - and in an automotive sense that's just what this car is.

Ferdinand Porsche - the primogenitor of the Porsche line which actively continues today - laid down the design for Auto Union's Grand Prix cars in the early years of the Nazi regime. With the personal encouragement of Hitler himself, Porsche created a car so visionary that it was not surpassed for almost 30 years. Its driver sat far forward and its engine was mounted in front of the rear axle - a set-up providing perfect balance which has been the pattern for F1 cars for the last 45 years.
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