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Auto Union D-Type news - Bid on Hitler’s favourite - 2009

Liked the look of that Ferrari 250 Testarossa sold at auction last month, but couldn’t quite stretch to the £8 million asking price?

Then how about this bargainous Auto Union D-Type racer, up for auction in August and expected to sell for a mere £5.5 million?

Raced by Hans Stuck and Rudolf Hasse in the 1939 Grand Prix season, it’s one of only three D-Types known to exist, and was lost behind the Iron Curtain for half a century before being recovered by an American enthusiast just a few years ago.

The D-Type was one of the German ‘Silver Arrows’ - named for the national colour of the Mercedes and Auto Union racers - that dominated Grand Prix racing in the 1930s.

This car, chassis 191, is powered by a 3.0-litre, supercharged V12 which puts out around 485bhp - a simply staggering amount for an inter-war racer. Aluminium bodied, it weighs in at just under one tonne, and will top over 200mph.

Bonhams - for it is they who are auctioning the car - confidently assert that the engine puts out so much torque that you can easily light up the rear wheels at 100mph: a buttock-clenching experience, we’d wager, in a car with no harness. Or belts. Or, er, anything.

If all that wasn’t enough to have you readying the chequebook, here’s the deal-breaker: the D-Type has been described as Hitler’s favourite car. The Fuhrer was obsessed with motor racing, and Hans Stuck was his driver of choice.

Could make a lovely pair alongside that tasteful Fiat 2800, if you’re into that sort of thing. We really, really hope you’re not.

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