Built on Hitler's orders:  the world's priciest car

In its day it won two grands prix and reached speeds that would not be surpassed for decades. Now a racer conceived as a symbol of Nazi domination is about to set a new record, as the world's most expensive car.
The 15ft 1939 Auto Union D-type is expected to fetch about £6 million when it goes under the hammer at Christie's in Paris, surpassing the record £5.5 million paid for a 1931 Bugatti Royale at the Royal Albert Hall 20 years ago.

Its arrival in the auction room is thanks only to a dogged collector who tracked down two of the fabled cars in Russia, where they had been taken after the war, and a specialist British car restorer in sleepy Sussex.

The car's genesis dates back to the 1930s when Adolf Hitler provided the funds for two companies, Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz, to start producing racing cars that came to be known as Silver Arrows. The revolutionary cars were designed by the Austrian automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche.

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