Audi Tradition Celebrates 70 years of the Silver Arrow in Zwickau

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September 3, 2004

Source: AUDI AG, Audi Tradition

  • Motor racing event in the town centre

    These three cars never stood together under starters’ orders: the three Auto Union Silver Arrows – Type A (1934), Type C (1936) and Type D (1938). On “Audi Day”, Saturday, September 11th 2004, 70 years after the first Auto Union racing car was built in Zwickau, three of the legendary Silver Arrows will be put through their paces together in their birthplace – a world first and a real visual and auditory treat! To mark this anniversary and the official re-opening of the August Horch Museum on the previous day, Audi Tradition will be exhibiting milestones from the company’s motor racing history and staging a unique demonstration with around 20 competition cars. These will be driven on an enclosed circular course around the “Glück-Auf ” bridge in the centre of Zwickau.

    The long tail of the Auto Union Silver Arrow Type A, built in Zwickau in 1934, caused a furore at the time. The 16-cylinder engine was positioned behind the driver – standard today for Formula One cars – and had an initial power output of 295 bhp, later increasing to as much as 520 bhp. At its premiere, Hans Stuck drove the brand new car straight to a world record on the Avus racetrack in Berlin. This ushered in the golden era of the German Silver Arrow – the duel between Auto Union and Mercedes. In 1934, Stuck became European Champion and German Road Racing and Hillclimb Champion in the Auto Union Type A. The Zwickau racing team enjoyed great success with their 16-cylinder Silver Arrow. By the end of 1937 the Auto Union had taken part in 54 races and won 32 of them. During this period, the high-performance racing cars also set up 15 world records and 23 records for cars in this class. In 1936, the never-to-be-forgotten Bernd Rosemeyer won the European Championship by a huge margin in the Auto Union Type C. This was the forerunner of today’s Formula One World Championship. The Auto Union Silver Arrow Type D with its 12-cylinder engine also won several important races in 1938 and 1939.

    The demonstration races on “Audi Day”, Saturday 11th September 2004, begin at 10 a.m. The 1.4-km track is the same as that used for the annual Sachsenring Rally and runs over the “Glück-Auf” bridge. Cars will be start according to the era from which they date, so that the first to race will be racing cars from the 1920s and 1930s. In addition to the three Auto Union Silver Arrows, the reconstructed 1939 Wanderer Streamline Special sports car will also be on the starting line.
    DKW ruled the roads during the 1950s and 1960s – and also the racing world. The DKW models on show will be the beautiful DKW Monza, the successful DKW 3=6 and the stylish DKW F12. The revolutionary Audi quattro rally cars recall the 1970s and 1980s, and the period from the 1990s to the 21st century will be represented by circuit-racing quattros, an Audi R8 and the latest A4 German Touring-Car Championship cars.

    The demonstration drives will take place between 10 a.m. and 11.30 a.m. and continue between 1.15 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. (with a break for lunch from 12.15 p.m. to 1.15 p.m.). After each demonstration drive by the Audi heritage racing cars, spectators will be able to admire a parade of Audis comprising the company’s production vehicles from the 1920s to the present day (at 11.40 a.m. and 2.55 p.m.). Visitors with their own classic vehicles are invited to take part in the “Classic Vehicle Parade” for all makes, which will take place towards the end of the day (starting time: 3.30 p.m.). The paddock will be in the car park at the Brückenberg and is open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    After the official opening of the August Horch Museum in Zwickau in its new premises in Audi Strasse (previously Walther Rathenau Strasse), the museum will be open daily except Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., starting on Saturday, September 11th 2004.

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