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Audi Tradition in Goodwood: revival of the Silver Arrow era

The eventful and varied history of AUDI AG extends back to the 19th century. Find out more about the great personalities from the brand’s 100-plus years of history. Learn about the fascinating evolution of the various models and major milestones in the fields of car manufacturing, engine production and motor racing.

Recent Press Releases

  • 04/04/19

    Audi Tradition presents "Space Miracles" at the Techno Classica classic vehicle show in Essen

    Station wagons from the company's history will be in the spotlight of Audi Tradition's presence at this year's Techno Classica in Essen. From Wednesday, April 10 to Sunday, April 14, the world's biggest classic vehicle show will provide a perfect stage for seven automobile treasures from Audi history. The manufacturer from Ingolstadt will be appearing at the car show under the slogan: "Space Miracle – from the Schnellaster to the Avant" and at the same time will also be celebrating 70 years since the Ingolstadt plant was founded.
  • 03/12/19

    Audi Anniversary Dates 2019

    In their digital booklet entitled "Anniversary Dates 2019", Audi Tradition provides information about the most important products, records and milestones in the history of Audi. This year, the company will be able to look forward to more than two-dozen anniversary dates.
  • 03/08/19

    70 Years Anniversary Audi Ingolstadt

    The automobile manufacturer’s early days in Ingolstadt – An excursion to historical production sites in a DKW Schnelllaster van
  • 02/27/19

    With Audi Tradition on the 2019 Classic Car Tour

    This year too Audi Tradition will be taking part in more than a dozen events within and outside Germany, to celebrate many an anniversary. Exactly 70 years ago, the predecessor of Audi, Auto Union GmbH, was established in Ingolstadt. Classics in the event calendar are the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Classic Days at Castle Dyck and the Donau Classic, this year featuring the DKW Schnellaster, the first automobile to be produced in Ingolstadt.
  • 07/06/18

    Audi Tradition in an Auto Union Silver Arrow at the silver jubilee

    Silver cars on their way to the silver jubilee: the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the world's largest historic motor racing event, celebrates its 25th edition from 12 to 15 July. Audi Tradition is participating in a fitting way with two silver-colored cars from its more than 100 years of history. An Auto Union Type C racing car from 1936 and a 1939 Wanderer Streamline Special will be competing in the event.
  • 03/19/18

    "From 0 to 100" at Audi museum mobile

    As part of the "From 0 to 100" special exhibition, Audi museum mobile is presenting one of the most exciting moments in the history of AUDI AG: the company entering the upper executive class with the Audi 100. From March 28 to June 24, 2018, visitors can expect to see 15 variants of this historically important model which the company premiered 50 years ago.
  • 03/14/18

    Three Audi jubilees at Techno Classica

    Audi Tradition celebrates three big anniversaries at the Techno Classica in Essen from 21 to 25 March. The 50-year-old history of the Audi 100 will be the leading brand presentation theme at the world's largest exhibition of classic vehicles. In 1968, Audi entered the upper executive segment with the sedan. Also, motor sports fans can look forward to the 1988 Audi 200 quattro TransAm and the 1938 Auto Union Type D racing car.
  • 02/20/18

    Audi Tradition starts the 2018 festival season

    More than 20 events in the 2018 event season will allow car lovers not only to experience the historical cars of Audi but also to join the brand in celebrating a number of anniversary dates. Among the highlights in the calendar is the 25th Festival of Speed in Britain's Goodwood. There, Audi Tradition will be presenting the Auto Union Type C Silver Arrows (1936). Meanwhile, this year's presence at Classic Days at Schloss Dyck will be all about the 150th birthday of Audi's founding father August Horch. True to tradition, this year's program of events will kick off with the Techno Classica show in Essen (21 to 25 March).
  • 01/15/18

    Audi Anniversary Dates 2018

    In their digital booklet entitled "Anniversary Dates 2018", Audi Tradition provides information about the most important products, records and milestones in the history of Audi. There, prospective customers can learn more about the previous brands of the Four Rings and about groundbreaking models like the Audi V8.
  • 08/18/17

    Audi Sport at the Monterey Car Week

    The Audi R8 Spyder V10 plus (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.3; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 287) will be making its debut appearance in the United States this weekend at the Monterey Car Week. Audi Sport is using the occasion to celebrate the long and successful motorsport involvement of the brand with the four rings. Current road and racing models will also be presented.
  • 07/31/17

    Audi Tradition with motor sports classics from three epochs at Schloss Dyck Classic Days

    At this year's Schloss Dyck Classic Days from August 4th to 6th, Audi Tradition is presenting the whole bandwidth of Audi motor sports history. Historic racing cars from a total of three epochs await the approximately 40,000 visitors. On the race track, you can experience the first AUDI AG racing car, the Audi Type C, the legendary Auto Union Type C racing car with its 16 cylinders, and the Audi Sport quattro Rallye. Also, Audi will be exhibiting another icon at the Classic vehicle festival in the Rhineland: the Audi Sport quattro S1 victory car driven by Walter Röhrl to win the Pikes Peak race in the USA in 1987.
  • 06/20/17

    Audi at the Festival of Speed in Goodwood: racing legends meet modern motorsports

    At this year's Festival of Speed in Goodwood, which runs from 29 June to 2 July, Audi Tradition is sending three winning Le Mans cars to southern England. Tom Kristensen will be driving the Audi R8 LMP from the year 2000, with which he brought home Audi's first Le Mans victory. Audi will also be presenting a further two Le Mans cars as part of a special exhibition in honour of the Danish driver. For the first time ever, visitors to the festival will also get the chance to see the Audi Group S mid-engined rally prototype in action, with rally world champion Hannu Mikkola behind the wheel. Completing the vehicle line-up from the brand with the Four Rings will be an Audi RS 5 DTM 2017 as well as an Audi R8 LMS – the current winner of the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring will be driven by Connor De Phillippi.
  • 05/16/17

    Anniversary exhibition at the Audi museum mobile: "Revolution – 60 years of the NSU/Wankel engine"

    An exciting piece of technological history is on-show in the Audi museum mobile in Ingolstadt as part of the new special exhibit entitled "Revolution – 60 years of the NSU/Wankel engine". The special occasion is the 60th anniversary of this once revolutionary rotary engine concept. Audi's predecessor brand NSU took on the new technology at an early stage in vehicles like the "Prinz 3" prototype. The exhibition runs from May 20 to November 5, 2017 and shows this and further models featuring the Wankel engine. What's more, boat, airplane and motorcycle engines, as well as those used in lawnmowers and power saws of various manufacturers also demonstrate the eventful history of this progressive technology.
  • 03/31/17

    Discover vintage vehicles from Audi Tradition on the road

    Audi Tradition starts 2017 with full steam. This year, car lovers can experience historic vehicles at more than 20 national and international events throughout Europe. The highlight for all fans of the great Audi rally age will most certainly be two-time world champion, Walter Röhrl, once again engaging the gears of his legendary Audi Sport quattro S1 Pikes Peak at the Festival of Speed in Goodwood (June 29 to July 2).
  • 03/22/17

    Audi Tradition takes design milestones to Techno Classica

    Tradition brand NSU in the spotlight: at the world’s biggest classic car exhibition, Techno Classica in Essen, Audi Tradition will this year be showing five treasured vehicles from Audi history. Using the motto "NSU – a new way to drive", the brand with the four rings will only be presenting vehicles from the Neckarsulm-based company history starting from Wednesday, April 5th to Sunday, April 9th.
  • 02/09/17

    Audi Anniversary Dates 2017

    In their digital booklet entitled "Anniversary Dates 2017", Audi Tradition provides information about the most important events, records and milestones in product development from the history of Audi.
  • 01/31/17

    Audi Tradition's debut at the AvD-Histo-Monte

    Double premiere for the start of the 2017 season: from 7 to 11 February, Audi Tradition will participate for the first time in the AvD-Histo-Monte, Germany's biggest classic car winter rally. The double world rally champion Walter Röhrl will be piloting an Audi quattro specially adapted for regularity rallies.
  • 12/07/16

    "Berlin Calling": new calendar from Audi Tradition

    The new wall calendar from Audi Tradition for 2017 is titled "Berlin Calling". Renowned automobile photographer Stefan Warter presents twelve Audi and NSU vintage and classic cars in the German capital city. The Audi Tradition Calendar 2017 is available now, priced 29.90 Euros.
  • 12/02/16

    Audi A3 a model of success: two decades, three generations

    The brand with the four rings is celebrating the anniversary of the Audi A3. This successful Audi model had its motor show premiere twenty years ago in Paris. Today the premium compact is available in a choice of four body styles, four drive systems and three trim lines.
  • 08/30/16

    40 years of Audi five-cylinder engines

    40 years ago, Audi presented the first five-cylinder gasoline engine in the second-generation Audi 100. Enhancements and new developments followed, with turbocharging, emissions control and four-valve technology, rally engines and five-cylinder diesel units. Today, the 2.5 TFSI in the Audi RS 3 Sportback* and in the Audi TT RS* carries on the great tradition of five-cylinder powerplants.
  • 02/26/15

    Classic Car Season 2015 with Audi Tradition

    Audi Tradition will be present at more than 20 national and international events and will be celebrating numerous anniversaries this year. 50 years have passed since the Audi was reborn. In 1965, the company with the four rings, then still under the name of Auto Union GmbH, ended its era of two-stroke engines by bringing out a new model with a four-cylinder, four-stroke engine, which it called the Audi. Several of these first Audis after the Second World War will be making their way to the Danube Classic, being held around Ingolstadt.
  • 06/17/14

    Three major anniversaries for Audi at Goodwood

    Audi Tradition is celebrating three major anniversaries at the Festival of Speed from June 27 to 29, 2014 in Goodwood and, to mark all three occasions, is bringing three iconic motor racing vehicles from Audi’s past to England: The Audi Type C “Alpine Victor” secured the first motor racing triumph. 100 years ago the 35 hp open-topped touring car won the International Austrian Alpine Trial. 80 years ago, the Auto Union Silver Arrow models made their racing debut, which Audi Tradition commemorates by showing the Auto Union Type C racing car from 1936. The trio is completed by the Audi 90 quattro IMSA-GTO, which was entered in the North American race series 25 years ago. Le Mans winners Frank Biela and André Lotterer will be driving for Audi Tradition.
  • 05/19/14

    Audi museum mobile presents: DKW VEMAG and the new dawn in Brazil

    When the Brazilian football team first won the World Cup in 1958, South America’s largest and most populous country was at the dawning of a new era. Football star Pelé rocketed to fame, the architect Oscar Niemeyer designed the new capital city Brasilia as a modern utopia, and the bossa nova sound spread all over the world from the Copacabana. How Auto Union GmbH from Ingolstadt accompanied this new dawn with its DKW cars is illustrated in the latest special exhibition at the Audi museum mobile: “Ordem & Progresso – DKW VEMAG and the new dawn in Brazil” (May 21 to September 21, 2014). “Order and Progress” is the official motto of Brazil.
  • 01/01/14

    History of the Four Rings

    AUDI AG can look back on a very eventful and varied history; its tradition of car and motorcycle manufacturing goes right back to the 19th century. The Audi and Horch brands in the town of Zwickau in Saxony, Wanderer in Chemnitz and DKW in Zschopau all enriched Germany’s automobile industry and contributed to the development of the motor vehicle. These four brands came together in 1932 to form Auto Union AG, the second largest motor-vehicle manufacturer in Germany in terms of total production volume. The new company chose as its emblem four interlinked rings, which even today remind us of the four founder companies. After the Second World War the Soviet occupying power requisitioned and dismantled Auto Union AG’s production facilities in Saxony.
  • 11/28/13

    “RaceSeries” – 2014 Audi Tradition calendar

    The new wall calendar from Audi Tradition has arrived. Under the theme of “RaceSeries”, it shows 27 automotive specimens from the history of AUDI AG. Automotive photographer Stefan Warter has created sophisticated studio setups pairing the race versions of these cars and motorcycles with their series-production counterparts. Contemporary graphic material sets the historical context of the photos. The layout and graphic design are by the artist Kristina Redeker.
  • 06/26/13
    Culture and Trends

    Jürgen Partenheimer pays Audi a visit

    During the summer AUDI AG in Ingolstadt will be visited by the Sammlung Moderne Kunst that is part of the Bavarian State Painting Collections. The works will be presented by the Audi museum mobile until mid-September in the exhibition “Jürgen Partenheimer. The Visit”. With the artist himself attending, the Bavarian State Painting Collections and Audi today opened this joint project.
  • 04/05/13

    Two Audi anniversaries at the Techno Classica

    Audi Tradition is celebrating not one but two anniversaries at the Techno Classica in Essen (April 10 to 14). In Hall 7 of the world’s largest classic car fair, the brand with the four-ring emblem is displaying examples from the history of its V8 engines. 80 years have elapsed since Audi’s associate company Horch exhibited the new 830 model at the Berlin Motor Show, powered by that company’s first V8 engine. 25 years later the Audi V8 went into production and represented a milestone in Audi’s history – access to the premium segment of the market.
  • 04/03/13

    “I like it” – and the winner is: Audi quattro

    The fans have delivered their verdict, and the winner is – the Audi quattro. With more than fifteen thousand “Likes”, Facebook users chose eleven cars for display in the new special exhibition “I like it” to be held in the Audi museum mobile. Most votes went to the 1984 Audi quattro with four-wheel steering, with the A1 clubsport quattro and Audi TT clubsport quattro joining the winner on the podium in second and third places.
  • 03/28/13

    On the road internationally with Audi Tradition

    A green light for the start of the event season: in 2013 Audi Tradition will be present at more than 30 international events, including several anniversaries. At the Goodwood Festival of Speed, for example, Hannu Mikkola will take the wheel of an original Audi Rally quattro. In 1983, thirty years previously, he was the first driver to win the world rally championship in an Audi. 75 years have elapsed since Ewald Kluge became the first German winner of the world’s most difficult, hazardous motorcycle race, the Tourist Trophy (TT) on the Isle of Man on a 250 cc DKW. Audi Tradition will therefore be participating for the first time in the Classic TT held in August, which attracts motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the world to the island in the Irish Sea.
  • 11/09/12

    “Forever Young” Calendar from Audi Tradition

    The 2013 wall calendar from Audi Tradition has arrived! Under the slogan “Forever Young”, it features twelve vehicles from recent chapters in the history of Audi. Automotive photographer Stefan Warter was responsible for the lavish studio shots of the classic cars, which were all built between the 1960s and the 1990s. An individual background was created for each image, with designs by artist Kristina Redeker.
  • 11/10/11

    Around the world in a year with Audi Tradition

    “Discover Worlds with Audi Tradition”: This is the title of the Audi Tradition calendar for 2012, with 13 different classic vehicles from the company’s history of more than 100 years pictured in 13 different countries – all the way from Eastern Europe to America. The aim is for the cars to tell a story, whether at a classic car event, a photo shoot or in those special moments in years gone by when Audi Tradition rediscovered vehicles from its own history which had almost been forgotten.
  • 03/22/11

    Across Europe with Audi Tradition

    Audi Tradition is beginning the 2011 historic car season with a very full programme. The heritage department of AUDI AG will have its “Museum on Wheels” on display at more than 30 events. The “classic of classics”, Italy’s world-famous Mille Miglia, is on the programme again following a two-year break. In May, five historic DKW models from the 1950s will make the journey to northern Italy. Before this, Audi Tradition will make an appearance at the world’s largest historic car show, the Techno Classica in Essen.
  • 02/16/11

    How DKW changed the automotive world

    The first Audi advertising with the ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ slogan appeared 40 years ago, in 1971. Even then this technical leadership claim was well and truly justified. If we look back another 40 years we find DKW, one of the companies that later became Audi, introducing its F1 model at the 1931 International Automobile Exhibition in Berlin – the world’s first high-volume production car with front-wheel drive.
  • 05/12/10

    Audi Tradition – new presence on the Internet

    Audi Tradition now has a new Internet presence online at, and in English at The new Internet pages provide an interesting insight into the eventful history of AUDI AG with its brands Audi, DKW, Horch, Wanderer, Auto Union and NSU. This is a presentation of “Vorsprung durch Technik” going back more than a century.
  • 01/21/10

    Audi Tradition: Online shop for spare parts

    To keep fine classic cars looking good in the future: “Audi Tradition Parts” today launched its online parts shop for the Audi brand and those that preceded it. The range offered by Audi Tradition is intended to help dealers, members of Audi Club International – and of course all other customers too. To find the shop on the Internet, go to
  • 10/06/09

    100th anniversary of Bernd Rosemeyer’s birth

    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.
  • 05/26/09

    How the “Silver Arrow” legend was born

    75 years ago, one of the most dramatic chapters in the whole of motor sport history began. On May 27, 1934 the German racing cars that were soon to acquire the nickname “Silver Arrow” were entered for their first race, on the Avus racetrack in Berlin. Although neither Auto Union, the company from which Audi in its present-day form developed later, nor Mercedes Benz won that event, it was not long before these two manufacturers began to dominate international Grand Prix racing, a situation that prevailed until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. It seems almost incredible today, but by 1936 the Auto Union racing cars were reaching speeds of up to 380 kilometres an hour on the long straights of the Avus circuit – truly, the birth of a legend.
  • 01/15/09

    Centenary of racing legend Ewald Kluge’s birth

    The most famous DKW motorcycle racer ever stood out for having supreme driving skills and a will of steel – two powerful qualities that formed the launch pad for a unique racing career. Ewald Kluge would have celebrated his 100th birthday next week, having been born on January 19, 1909 in Lausa in the German state of Saxony.
  • 06/28/07

    75th anniversary of the four rings

    Four interlinked rings: this was the symbol of the merger of Saxony's four car companies Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer that led to the formation of Auto Union AG precisely 75 years ago, on 29 June 1932. By the late 1930s, one in four cars in Germany was built by Auto Union AG and sported the four-ring badge on its radiator grille. Auto Union AG was created as a result of this merger, becoming the second-largest car manufacturer in Germany. To this day, the four rings remain the signet of AUDI AG. Thomas Frank, Head of Audi Tradition, explains: "The four rings embody one of the leading international suppliers of exclusive cars and are a visible expression of brand identity and quality – while at the same time acting as a bridge between the past, present and future."
  • 06/04/07

    Audi Tradition celebrating 100 years of DKW

    A legend of the automotive world is celebrating its centenary this year: DKW. The company from Zschopau in Saxony originally planned to build steam-driven vehicles, yet ultimately rose to fame courtesy of its two-stroke engine. DKW had already become the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer in the late 1920s, and then in the 1930s was the first company to mass-produce vehicles with front-wheel drive. DKW produced the pre-war period’s answer to Volkswagen, the F-series small cars, in astonishing numbers. Audi Tradition is marking the anniversary of its predecessor brand by entering DKW classic cars in a whole host of events, including the Mille Miglia and the Gran Premio Nuvolari in Italy, the Concours d’Elegance in Bergerac, France, the Silvretta Classic and Ennstal Classic in Austria, and of course the “100 Years of Rasmussen” festival in the town of Zschopau on 26 August.
  • 07/21/05

    H.P. Müller motorcycle world champion for NSU

    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.
  • 07/29/04

    Achille Varzi would have been 100 on August 4th

    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.
  • 06/25/03

    “The two-stroke road to success”

    “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.
  • 01/17/03

    Bernd Rosemeyer killed in an accident 65 years ago

    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).
  • 12/04/02

    The publication of a new book

    A car without a logo? Unimaginable! In the car industry logos symbolise the "inner value", the message of the brand, and they ensure the continuity and recognition of the cars. The history of AUDI AG, which extends back to the 19th century, is particularly rich in logos and badges that were used on vehicles with the Audi, DKW, Horch, Wanderer, Auto Union and NSU brand names.
  • 07/19/02

    The story of Latin scholar Fikentscher

    History comes alive at the Audi museum mobile: Horst Fikentscher, 73, was recently one of up to 1,000 museum visitors a day. His first port of call was the delivery centre where he picked up his new Audi before visiting the museum to find out more about the history, the brands and models that make up Audi’s heritage. Yet the name Fikentscher is itself part of this history. Horst Fikentscher’s grandfather Franz was the company’s co-founder and his father Franz responsible for giving the company its name.
  • 06/06/02

    25 years ago: End of Ro 80 production after 10 years - Launch of the 5-cylinder injection engine - Premiere of the Audi 100 Avant (Press Information); Status: 06/02

    Three silver anniversaries this year: Audi Tradition is looking back at three important events in the history of Audi, which were not only of importance to the brand with the four rings but had far-reaching consequences in automotive history.
  • 12/14/01

    100 years ago: the first Horch car originated in a stable New book about the life and work of August Horch

    August Horch is considered one of the pioneers of the German car industry – the first Horch motor car took to the streets of Cologne's Ehrenfeld district 100 years ago, and it is 50 years since the death of the man who was among the very first automotive engineers. This is reason enough to recall his life's work – the systematic refinement of the motor car of the early days into an object that much more closely resembles the present-day car. The August Horch Museum in Zwickau has brought out a book that celebrates the life of August Horch as both an engineer and an individual. This commemorative biography, entitled "Pionier der Kraftfahrt" ("Pioneer of the Motor Vehicle") is based on many years of research by the author Jürgen Pönisch. The book is 218 pages long, and is illustrated with 284 photographs (some published here for the first time), as well as 110 documents.
  • 10/31/01

    “Auto Union GP” – a photographic portrait of the Auto Union race cars

    The legendary Auto Union Silver Arrows dominated the major races of the 1930s, winning 32 of 54 races up to the end of 1937. The battles fought out between the Auto Union race cars and the Mercedes single-seaters are unforgotten. Names such as Hans Stuck, Bernd Rosemeyer and Tazio Nuvolari are inseparably linked with the Auto Union Silver Arrows. The famous photographer Peter Vann has now paid tribute to these impressive racers in his fascinating illustrative book “Auto Union GP. Race and Record Cars”. Due to be published in October, his book illustrates the restoration of these unique vehicles and the exciting search for clues to the whereabouts of those race cars that had been lost without trace. Elaborate photo stories show the timeless beauty of the Silver Arrows with the four rings. A historical outline with plenty of background information, plus details about the technology and design of these legendary race cars round off this photographic volume.
  • 10/21/99

    50th anniversary of the Four Rings in Ingolstadt

    A new company bearing the name Auto Union GmbH came into being on September 3, 1949 in Ingolstadt, to uphold the automotive tradition of the four rings. It is this company that is the actual precursor of the present-day AUDI AG. From its base in West Germany, its purpose was now to maintain the tradition that the former Auto Union AG had established in Saxony.
  • 04/08/99

    Dates in the history of DKW

  • 02/08/99

    Horch - Dates in history

  • 02/08/99

    Audi - Dates in history

  • 02/08/99

    August Horch - Curriculum vitae

Historic Models



After parting company from Horch Motorwagenwerke AG, August Horch established a new company in 1909, again with the declared aim of building automobiles. Since Horch was unable to make further use of his own name as an automobile brand, he resorted to the device of translating his own name into Latin: “Horch“ (“Listen!“) became “Audi”. This was the starting point for the Audi factory in Zwickau.

Auto Union

On 29 June 1932, Audiwerke, Horchwerke and Zschopauer Motorenwerke/DKW merged on the initiative of the State Bank of Saxony to form Auto Union AG. At the same time a purchase and leasing agreement was concluded with the Wanderer company for the acquisition of its automobile department. The new group had its headquarters in Chemnitz. When Auto Union AG was established, it was the second-largest motor vehicle manufacturer in Germany. The four interlocking rings chosen as its emblem symbolised the indissoluble unity of the four member-companies. The brand names Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer were retained. Each of the four brands was allocated a specific market segment within the new company: DKW (motorcycles and small cars), Wanderer (medium-size cars), Audi (cars in the upper midsize market segment), Horch (top-class luxury cars).


Established originally in 1902 as Rasmussen & Ernst in Chemnitz, the company moved to Zschopau, in Germany’s Erzgebirge mountains, in 1907. It first manufactured and sold waste steam oil traps and other components for steam raising plant, and later added centrifuges of all kinds and painting equipment to its product range. It also supplied car parts such as mudwings and vehicle lighting. The company's founder Jörgen Skafte Rasmussen began to experiment with a steam-driven motor vehicle in 1916, registering "DKW" as a trademark. By 1919 the company’s name had been changed to Zschopauer Motorenwerke and it was manufacturing small two-stroke engines. This led in 1922 to the successful introduction of motorcycles bearing the DKW name. The first small DKW motor car appeared on the market in 1928.


By the end of the nineteenth century several companies in Germany were already building cars. Among them was August Horch & Cie., established on 14 November 1899 in Cologne. August Horch was one of the pioneer figures of automotive engineering. Before setting up business on his own, he worked for Carl Benz in Mannheim for three years as Head of Automobile Production. In 1904 August Horch moved his business to the town of Zwickau and transformed it into a share-issuing company. Following differences between the Executive and Supervisory Boards, August Horch left his company in 1909.


The NSU company was founded in 1873 by two mechanics from the Swabian region of Germany in the town of Riedlingen an der Donau. Seven years later it moved to Neckarsulm. In the first 20 years of its existence, it manufactured knitting machines. In 1886 the proprietors of the knitting machine factory opened a department devoted to building bicycles. From then on, two-wheeled road vehicles were to govern the company’s fortunes. Motorcycle production started in 1901, and the company’s first cars appeared five years later. Car production ceased in 1929, however, when the company decided to concentrate fully on its bicycles and motorcycles. It was almost three decades later, in 1958, when car production recommenced in Neckarsulm. On March 10, 1969 Auto Union GmbH, Ingolstadt joined forces with NSU Motorenwerke AG, Neckarsulm. The new company, known as Audi NSU Auto Union AG, was established retrospectively from January 1 onwards and had its head offices in Neckarsulm.


In 1885, the two mechanics Johann Baptist Winklhofer and Richard Adolf Jaenicke opened a repair business for bicycles in Chemnitz. Shortly afterwards they began to make bicycles of their own, since demand at that time was very high. These were sold under the brand name Wanderer, and in 1896 the company itself began to trade as Wanderer Fahrradwerke AG. Wanderer built its first motorcycle in 1902. The idea of branching out into motor car production was finally put into practice in 1913. A small two-seater that people nicknamed "Puppchen" (loosely translated as “Baby Doll”) heralded in Wanderer's tradition of motor car production that was to last several decades.
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