The Auto Union D-type racer was reportedly Adolf Hitler’s favorite car. This is one of the rarest in the world.
Expected to fetch at least £5.5million at auction in August, this Auto Union D-type racer is one of the rarest vintage cars in the world – and one of Hitler’s favourites. Driven by the Führer’s friend Hans Stuck in the 1939 Grand Prix racing season, it is one of only three D-types known to exist – and was lost behind the Iron Curtain for 50 years. Hitler was obsessed with motor racing as proof of German technological superiority and the Silver Arrows – as the Mercedes and Auto Union teams were known – utterly dominated the sport in the Thirties. Stuck, originally a hill-climb champion and friend of Hitler’s chauffeur, impressed the Nazi leader when they met on a hunt in the mid-Twenties and was protected throughout his career by the acquaintance. When the Red Army overran Berlin at the end of the war, all Silver Arrows cars were immediately shipped back to the NAMI motor research institute in Moscow to be reverse-engineered: a brutal process that destroyed almost all of them, one being chopped in half to serve as a trailer for an apparatchik’s car. Nobody knew this chassis – number 19 – had survived, until American car enthusiast Paul Karassik tracked it down, adding an original engine from a separate D-type carcass and handing it over to British Silver Arrow specialists Crosthwaite and Gardiner to restore to its original form. – From Daily Mail