The 100th anniversary of the birth of racing driver Bernd Rosemeyer, who was born on October 14, 1909 in Lingen in north-west Germany, is approaching. Audi Tradition will be laying a bouquet at the memorial on today’s A5 Autobahn. Rosemeyer achieved international fame primarily as one of Auto Union’s top drivers in Grand Prix races and world speed record attempts in the “Silver Arrows” era of the 1930s. His racing triumphs in Europe, Africa and the USA made him a public idol – not least because of his swashbuckling driving style. Bernd Rosemeyer was a hero of his time, who tragically lost his life at the zenith of his career while making a world speed record attempt in early 1938.
2008 is the 70th anniversary of the death of the illustrious Auto Union racing driver Bernd Rosemeyer. He was killed when his Auto Union streamliner racing car crashed during an attempt to break the world record on the autobahn between Frankfurt and Darmstadt. Audi Tradition will be laying a wreath at the memorial on what is now the A5 autobahn. Audi Tradition and the August Horch Museum, Zwickau, will also be organising a congress in memory of Bernd Rosemeyer on January 28, 2008.
In these next few days it will be the 50th anniversary of Hermann Paul Müller’s World Motorcycle Championship title for NSU. Müller, who answered to the name “Renntiger” (race tiger), was the first privateer to win the World Championship in the 250 cc class. He recorded over 200 victories – not just on two wheels – and was one of the German motor racers who were prevented from enjoying a truly great career by the Second World War.
September 11th, 2004 is the 50th anniversary of the death of Rupert Hollaus. The 23-year-old Austrian had just become world champion in the 125cc class on his NSU when he was involved in a fatal accident during training for the final race in Monza. As the decision to withdraw from motor sport-related production came soon after this event, the 1954 Monza race meeting is not only associated with the tragic death of Rupert Hollaus, but was also the final appearance of the highly successful factory team run by NSU, the company that later became part of the Audi Group.
Former Auto Union racing driver Achille Varzi would have turned 100 on August 4th. The Italian was one of the world’s best drivers until the mid-1930s and was considered in his home country to rival the legendary Tazio Nuvolari on equal terms. In the course of an exceptional career, Varzi won 28 Grand Prix events in eleven years including the most difficult races, and was admired for his sober, efficient driving style. Achille Varzi was a member of the Auto Union team from 1935 to 1937. He won the Tunis Grand Prix and the Coppa Acerbo in cars bearing the four-ring badge in 1935, and the Tripoli Grand Prix in 1936.
“The DKW brand is not only an important part of the history of AUDI AG as we know it today. Without DKW, Audi perhaps wouldn’t even exist anymore.” Thomas Frank, Head of Audi Tradition is referring to the difficult years after the Second World War when Auto Union attempted a new start in Ingolstadt following its dissolution in Saxony. It was the DKW motorcycles and cars with their two-stroke engines that helped the company back on its feet. Not least for this reason, Audi Tradition is paying tribute to the founder of DKW Jörgen Skafte Rasmussen, who would have celebrated his 125th birthday on 30 July, with a special exhibition in the Audi museum mobile in Ingolstadt: “The two-stroke road to success” (Im Zweitakt zum Erfolg) from 3 July to 23 September 2003.
Every year, when the first week in June comes round, a small island in the Irish Sea is transformed into a motorcyclists’ mecca: it is TT race week, and the winners can be sure of a permanent place in the motorcycling hall of fame. This event on the Isle of Man, the most arduous road race held anywhere in the world, took place for the first time in 1907. For 30 years, the winners were always British riders on bikes made in the United Kingdom, possibly because outsiders had no opportunity to practise on the course, and the weather was too unpredictable for them to cope with. None the less, a TT win was the ultimate goal for riders of every make of bike.
Bernd Rosemeyer, one of the most exceptional racing drivers in German motor racing history, died 65 years ago. The then 28-year old was killed in a world record attempt on 28 January 1938 when his Auto Union Streamliner rolled over several times at some 440 km/h on the Frankfurt to Darmstadt autobahn. AUDI AG, as the traditional successor to Auto Union AG Chemnitz, will lay a wreath in memory of the famous racing driver at the site of the accident on the present-day A5 between Frankfurt and Heidelberg (in the direction of Darmstadt, commemorative stone at the first car park after the Langen-Mörfelden exit).
Further information about the official fuel consumption figures and official, specific CO2 emissions of new passenger cars can be found in the “Guide to fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and electricity consumption of new cars,” which is available free of charge from all sales outlets and from DAT (Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH), Hellmuth-Hirth-Strasse 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen, Germany (http://www.dat.de).