One of the most celebrated and noted vintage Audi’s is about to cross the auction block for $8,000,000 – and no, it’s not the new R8 V10 up for auction – but, the 1939 Auto Union Type D race car.
The Type D was a something of a Porsche 917 of it’s day in the pre-World War II era of racing in that it was a multi-faceted race car with continually changing engines and body work. Driven by the likes of racing legend Tazio Nuvolari (See Audi’s Nuvolari concept which developed into the design platform for many current Audi’s) and the world famous Hans Stuck, Sr who drove the car to a then record of 199MPH. The Type D powered through being a grand prix car over a career spanning from 1934 up until the break out of World War II in late 1939. During the same time period, the Type D proved to be highly successful and capable as a hill climber, despite it’s unwieldy handling which was only harnessed with it’s 500+ horsepower engines which could easily out muscle the Mercedes W125 race cars of the day.
After the war, this particular car, chassis #19, was tucked securely under the Soviet Union’s iron curtain as a vehicle studied for its technical prowess and managed to eventually escape the USSR after being bought up by a wealthy Russian. With its storied history and as a car that was the pinnacle of racing for its time, this Auto Union Type D will surely fetch the expected price of $8,000,000 when it goes under the hammer at Bonhams and Butterfields auction in Carmel, California this August.