Recession? What recession? You wouldn't know a thing about it if you spent all your time at collector car auctions. Last year a rare 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante Coupe set a new record at $7.9 million, which was subsequently trumped by a $10.9m 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder. Last month that unbelievable record was shattered at the same event, where a rare 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa sold for over $12 million. You'd be forgiven for thinking that stratospheric record would stay in place at least until the economy recovered. And it very well might. But if any car stands a chance at breaking the record yet again, this is it: a rare 1938 Auto Union D-Type racer, one of the famous Silver Arrows that dominated motor racing in the years leading up to WWII.
This rare specimen of automotive history was supposed to hit the auction block two years ago, but was withdrawn at the last moment due to questions over its pedigree vis-a-vis its sister cars, most of which were brutally destroyed in the Soviet Union after they were seized by Communist troops liberating East Germany. With suspicions laid to rest and its history verified, Chassis 19 is set to return to the auction block at Bonhams' upcoming Quail Lodge event in August. Although Bonhams lists the car's value at around $8 million, previous estimates placed it closer to $12m, a position from which it stands to make automotive history yet again.