- Subject: Rare Auto Union V16 to be Displayed at L.A. Auto Show
- From: AOL News <AOLNews@aol.com>
- Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 14:26:46 EST
- Organization: AOL (http://www.aol.com)
<HTML><PRE><FONT COLOR="#000000" SIZE=5><B>Rare Auto Union V16 to be Displayed
at L.A. Auto Show
<FONT COLOR="#000000" SIZE=3></B> AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/
-- Audi of America, Inc. has announced that the only surviving all-original
Auto Union V16 Silver Arrow will be exhibited on the Audi stand at the 1997
Los Angeles Auto Show. Valued at over $8 million, the V16 Silver Arrow is
expected to be the most valuable exhibit in Los Angeles.
The only time an Auto Union V16 raced on these shores, it made history
when Bernd Rosemeyer drove it to victory in the 1937 Vanderbilt Cup in New
Now the highlight of Ingolstadt-based Audi AG's historic collection, this
1937/39 mountain climb version of the Auto Union V16 helped the Zwickau,
Saxony team to reign supreme in the prestigious European and German Mountain
Auto Union's mountain climbers were specialized short-wheelbase
developments of the revolutionary Auto Union V16 Grand Prix cars designed by
Dr. Ferdinand Porsche. With a 6-liter, 520 horsepower and 603 foot pounds of
torque, 16-cylinder, supercharged, all-alloy engine mounted between driver and
rear axle, these massively powerful Bergwagens and their Grand Prix cousins
spearheaded racing technology, pre-empting by two decades the general adoption
of mid-engined design.
First built in 1937 on a short-wheelbase C-type Grand Prix chassis with a
GP specification V16 engine and sprint gearing, this surviving example helped
brilliant "King of the Mountains" Hans Stuck, Sr. take the 1938 German
Mountain Climb Championship, his fourth consecutive crown.
For 1939, H.P. Muller took over this Auto Union's wheel. In June of that
year, he won heat one at the Kahlenberg mountain climb. Then, still with its
V16 engine, date-stamped February 1936, the car was rebuilt around a modified
version of the latest D-type V12 GP chassis, with a de Dion rear axle in place
of the difficult-handling C-type's swing axle. Other improvements included
hydraulic shock absorbers, four-leading shoe brakes and a curvaceous D-type
nose. In this most formidable and beautiful guise, in which it survives, it
won heat one for Muller on the Grossglockner in August, the last pre-war
In 1945, at the end of the war in Europe, it was one of 18 Auto Union team
cars snatched from their coal mine hiding place near Zwickau by the Russians
and taken to Moscow for research. It was given to the Zil factory from where,
in 1976, it was rescued dramatically, just hours from planned destruction, by
Viktors Kulbergs, president of the Latvia Antique Automobile Club and founder
of the Riga Motormuseum, Latvia.
Audi AG, through its Auto Union GmbH subsidiary, acquired this historic
automobile from the Riga Motormuseum in 1995. It was then restored by
Crosthwaite & Gardiner of Buxted, East Sussex, England. Last June, it was
driven in competition for the first time since 1939 by Hans Stuck, Jr., son of
its former driver, at the 1997 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
It will become a centerpiece of the Audi Forum for Heritage and Vision, an
ambitious DM 30 million museum project scheduled to open at Audi AG's
headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany, in the year 2000.
SOURCE Audi of America, Inc.
CO: Audi of America, Inc.
ST: Michigan, California
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