UPDATE: The 1960 Auto Union 1000 Sp Coupe sold Wednesday for $17,000. Previous story appears below.
"Here's something you don't see every day," I quipped as I shared this Bring a Trailer auction with the rest of our team through our chat messaging app. "More like never see," countered Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. And he's right. None of us have ever actually seen a 1960 Auto Union 1000 Sp Coupe in person. Perhaps that's because only 5,004 were built between 1958 and 1965.
Fortunately, that's what the internet is for. And so we share with you this wonderfully rare piece of automotive history, complete with an image gallery and a helpful link to Wikipedia because we don't really know much about the car other than that it's very, very cool. It looks quite a bit like a first-generation Ford Thunderbird, and in fact was reportedly styled to mimic that car's striking lines.
Power comes from a 981cc three-cylinder two-stroke engine mated to a four-speed manual transmission with a column-mounted shift lever. All 54 horsepower (thanks, Wikipedia!) are funneled to the front wheels, which means it may look like a T-Bird but is a very different breed of imaginary avian predator. Lightning bird, perhaps? Perhaps not... it apparently takes 22 seconds to hit 60 miles per hour on its way to a top speed of 87 mph. We'll just go with rare bird, then.
According to the auction page, this 1960 Auto Union was traded in on a brand-new Audi A6 13 years ago. Which makes a certain kind of sense, considering the Audi brand sprang forth from the ashes of Auto Union after World War II. Look close and you'll even see Audi's well-known four-ringed emblem on the back of this beautiful silver tail-finned machine.
We have no idea where bidding will end up on this thing, but whatever the figure, the buyer will certainly end up with an intriguing conversation piece.