• Feb 28th 2007 at 12:59PM
  • 5
We recently reported that famed auction house, Christies, had pulled one of its Retromobile headline vehicles in the 11th hour. The Auto Union D Type Grand Prix car was expected to draw bids as high as $12 million, so the withdrawal was quite shocking. We guessed that the decision to pull had something to do with the validity of the catalog claims about its racing history, and that guess ended up being pretty accurate, but with a twist. In a statement just released, Christies announced that there were a couple of reasons for its decision. You can read the whole press release after the jump, but basically they determined that rather than this car being chassis number 21, it is in fact chassis 19. That makes this car the only known Type D with a racing history at all, but takes away the reported French GP win attributed to chassis 21. In lieu of bringing it to a future auction, Christies will be accepting sealed bids for the next week. We'll keep you posted on the outcome.

[Source: Hemmings]

In a joint effort with Audi Tradition over the past three weeks, we have completed considerable additional research on the race history of the 1939 Auto Union D Type V12 Grand Prix Racing car originally scheduled for sale at Retromobile in Paris on February 17. Our joint research confirms that the car's chassis is frame 19, and not 21, the chassis of the 1939 French Grand Prix winner.

Regarding racing history, Audi has confirmed that chassis 19 is a genuine 1939 D Type chassis and that it was first raced by Rudolf Hasse in the Eifelrennen on the 20th May 1939 at the Nurburgring, in which Hasse finished in 5th place. It was next raced at the 1939 French Grand Prix in the hands of legendary Auto Union pilot Hans Stuck, who brought the car home in 6th place, behind the company's 1st and 2nd finishers. Audi has kindly been able to support these race results with extensive documentation.

During our now completed verification process, no alteration has been made to the car itself which we believe to be the only Auto Union to which Grand Prix racing results can be attributed.

Christie's was delighted at the response and interest that the car received in the run up to and while on view at its highly successful Eu7.2m auction in Paris. Based on our now completed research, we are accepting sealed tender bids for a period of one week today and invite prospective bidders to contact Christie's London office directly to receive applications for this tender.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago

      So if Chassi number 21 had a first place Grand Prix win, and chassi number 19 (which this apparently is) has some race history, how can chassi 19 be the only chassi with race history?

      Doesn't the GP victory of Chassi 21 count as racing history?

      I am confused.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have chassis #21. It's right here in my barn, under a pile of hay.
      • 8 Years Ago
      What happened to chassis #21 ???
      • 7 Years Ago
      When this story first broke with its smelly provenance (its ersatz "history"), I couldn't resist pasting up a couple of pix and creating my own backstory. Mostly 'cause Christie's giddily predicted the car's new position as the world's highest-priced automobile...

      But the "good" news on this item doesn't end there...

      After it beat 'em in Belgrade (no small feat!), it was shipped on the NordDeutscherLloyd's Bremen, just in time for Scarlett O'Hara to pilot it in the parade in Atlanta for the Gala Premiere of "Gone With The Wind." From there, it took a ride on the Sunset Limited to Hollywood, where Judy Garland was supposed to drive it down the Yellow Brick Road. But, Dorothy had [censored]-slapped too many Munchkins that day (they had to give her a pill), the director yelled, "CUT!", and the car's career in films went down like the Hindenburg.

      Here's a never-before-revealed glimpse inside the studio where Ms. Gail from Kansas
      is getting a "crash-course" driving lesson from the Scarecrow.


      Now that's a car with a pedigree! Whad'ya think it'll fetch?

      end quote.

      A wee odd, isn't it, that they haven't uttered so much as a peep about their one-week-only sealed bids on the car?
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