Hans Stuck’s Auto Union D-Type Goes Under the Hammer

The 1939 Auto Union D-type is one the rarest vintage cars in the world, so there is no wonder it is expected to fetch at least £5.5 million at the Quail Lodge Bonhams auction.

One of Hitler’s favorites, this D-type with rear-mounted 3-liter twin-stage supercharged V12-cylinder engine was driven by Hans Stuck in the 1939 Grand Prix racing season, as reported by the Daily Mail. The car finished on the fifth place in the German EifelRennen event on the North Circuit of the Nurburgring, and on the sixth in the Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France.

Hitler’s obsession for motor racing was well fueled by the domination of the Silver Arrows in the '30s. Stuck, who was a friend of Hitler’s chauffeur, met the Führer on a hunt in the mid-twenties and since then he was protected by the Nazi leader throughout his career. As Hitler’s favorite racing driver, the SS persuaded Auto Union to keep Stuck in the team, though its place was offered at some moment to somebody else.

The 1939 Auto Union D-Type was finally tracked down by antique car enthusiast Paul Karassik, which hand it over for restoration to the British Silver Arrow specialists, Crosthwaite & Gardiner in Buxted, England. The D-type uses magneto ignition and has no power steering.

The car has an all aluminium body on a steel chassis and a four-ring Auto Union badge, representing Horch, Audi, DKW and Wanderer manufacturers. Auto Union became ‘Audi NSU Auto Union’ in 1969, and then just Audi in 1985.

Auto Union ‘D-Type’ chassis ‘19’ will be featured in the Bonhams & Butterfields sale at Quail Lodge in California on August 14. The Quail Lodge auction, now in its 12th year, recorded four world record prices.
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