- More than 18,000 visitors expected at the world’s largest oldtimer show
- Jubilee classics from company history on the Audi stand
- In the limelight: Auto Union Type A race car, Audi Type C Alpine Rally winner and Audi Rallye quattro A2 world rally champion
Audi Tradition has assembled a true winning team of race and rally vehicles for this year’s Techno Classica in Essen, Germany, the world’s largest oldtimer show. From March 26 to 30, 2014 the company will have four generations of successful race and rally cars on display, including the Auto Union Type A Silver Arrow from 1934 and the Audi Type C Alpine Rally winner. Also on the stand in Essen is the Audi Rallye quattro A2 that Stig Blomqvist drove to victory in the drivers’ and manufacturers’ rally championships 30 years ago. Other exhibits that have contributed to the company’s motor sport heritage are the R8R Le Mans race car used for Audi’s debut on the Sarthe circuit in 1999, and the winner of the 2013 event, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro.
At the Techno Classica, Audi Tradition occupies a 700 square meter stand in Hall 7. Members of the Audi Club International (ACI) are displaying their historically significant cars in Hall 7.1, so that this year too there are two attractive venues for enthusiasts under the sign of the four rings.
The oldest Audi Tradition exhibit is the 1919 Audi Type C Alpine Rally winner. Developed by August Horch in 1912, this car with its 35-horsepower engine could reach a top speed of 80 km/h. Three times in succession – from 1912 to 1914 – the Audi Type C was victorious in the Austrian Alpine Rally, in its day the most arduous long-distance motor sport event. Exactly a century ago the car pulled off the triple victory that gained Audi the Alpine Rally winner’s trophy in perpetuity.
Another eye-catcher: the Auto Union Type A Silver Arrow, in which Hans Stuck began his career as one of the legendary Auto Union drivers. This first-ever Auto Union Grand Prix racing car, which appeared in 1934, was highly advanced and spectacular in its design. Ferdinand Porsche developed its 4.4-liter, supercharged sixteen-cylinder engine, which had an output of 295 hp and was located immediately behind the driver – a mid-engine car well ahead of its time, with a layout that has now been adopted as standard on Formula 1 cars. On its very first outing, the Auto Union Type A set three new speed records with Hans Stuck at the wheel. The car to be seen in Essen is a replica of this Grand Prix race car, owned by the Belgian D’Ieteren company.
The Audi Rallye quattro A2 is another highlight. Visually the least spectacular of all Audi’s rally cars, it proved in the end to be the most successful. Thirty years ago the Swedish driver Stig Blomqvist took this Audi model to victory in the drivers’ and manufacturers’ world rally championships. The Audi Rallye quattro A2, with its 360-hp power output, could reach 100 km/h from a standing start in 4.2 seconds. Also at the Techno Classica: the Audi 90 quattro IMSA-GTO. It is exactly 25 years since drivers such as Hans-Joachim Stuck, Walter Röhrl and Hurley Haywood spectacularly strove for victory on the American racing circuits. Stuck won seven races in the 1989 season alone.
Audi has dominated the Le Mans 24-hour race for the past 15 years. Its drivers were at the top of the winners’ podium on no fewer than twelve occasions – especially the Dane Tom Kristensen, who holds the record with nine victories. He first drove for Audi in 1999, the year in which the company made its debut in France’s most prestigious race – and last year he was successful yet again. Both these winning cars are on the Audi stand at the Techno Classics. In 1999, the first year in which Audi entered the R8R, it came in third, driven by Tom Kristensen with Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro at that time. By 2013, in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, Kristensen was able to score his ninth Le Mans win, partnered on this occasion by Alan McNish and Loic Duval.
Another exhibit is the replica of a Wanderer Streamline Special dating from 1939: with the original car Auto Union AG, as it was then, took the team prize in the Liege-Rome-Liege long-distance race. It is accompanied on the Audi Tradition stand by the DKW Hartmann Formula Junior, one of the first competition cars in the company’s history intended for customer racing. DKW dealer Alfred Hartmann from Berchtesgaden brought this car to the racetrack. As early as 1959, he developed a Formula race car based on the Audi Union 1000, and capable of reaching 180 km/h. Last but not least among the Audi Tradition exhibits at the Techno Classics in Essen are two very special NSU motorcycles: the 125-cc NSU Race Fox Type Dolphin on which Rupert Hollaus took the world championship title in 1954, and a 250-cc NSU Race Max ridden by Werner Haas to world championship success in the same year.
Those interested in showcase models will certainly take a closer look at this year’s limited edition model from Audi Tradition. Only 333 will be made – upholding another tradition – and finished in orange. Lovers of miniature models will certainly be tempted by this Audi 200 quattro TransAm in 1:43 scale.