The Auto Union Type C was the measure of all things in the 1936 racing season. The story of the most successful Auto Union driver, Bernd Rosmeyer, who claimed the European Championship that year, is indelibly linked with the Type C. A 16-cylinder engine with 520 hp accelerated the Silver Arrow to a top speed of 340 kilometers per hour (211.27 mph). Developed by Ferdinand Porsche, the car is considered the “grandfather” of today’s Formula 1 race cars. Its most significant design feature is the six-liter V16 engine mounted behind the driver and ahead of the rear axle. The Auto Union Type C won three of five Grand Prix races in 1936: half of the circuit races and all of the mountain races.
Another racing icon will be behind the wheel of the Auto Union Type C at the 2014 Historic Grand Prix of Monaco, however: Jacky Ickx. The Belgian drove Formula 1 for twelve years at a time when the drivers still risked their lives every time they climbed into the cockpit. He twice finished second in the Drivers Championship and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans six times. Ickx is already looking forward to his appearance in the Auto Union Type C. “Driving a car like that in a location like that is a privilege.”
On Sunday, May 11, Audi Board Member for Technical Development Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg will climb behind the wheel of a twin-supercharged Auto Union Type D. This car is considered the most beautiful of the Silver Arrows and represents the last generation from the Auto Union Racing department before World War Two. Due to rule changes following the 1938 season limiting displacement to three liters, the 1939 car is equipped with a 485-hp, twelve-cylinder engine that powers it to a top speed of 330 km/h (205.05 mph). “I am really looking forward to this encounter with our brand’s racing history,” said Hackenberg.