50 years of Audi 100, 80 years of Auto Union Type D and 30 years TransAm
More than 185,000 visitors expected at the world’s largest classic vehicle exhibition
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.
The development of the Audi 100 is one of the most exciting stories in Audi history. In the mid-1960s, immediately after Auto Union GmbH was taken over by Volkswagen AG, the Ingolstadt team was instructed to care for current models and not develop any new ones. However, Ludwig Kraus, Technical Director of Auto Union at the time, was worried about the company’s survival and he worked on a second model series. He contravened instructions and designed a modern mid-range car that the Volkswagen board of directors finally gave the go-ahead to. In 1968, Auto Union presented the sedan as the Audi 100. Almost 800,000 cars were sold, making it a thorough success and contributing to Audi’s development in a major way. At the Techno Classica, Audi Tradition will show three special models: a two-door Audi 100 LS Automatic built in 1972, an Audi 100 LS made in 1974, and the 1971 Audi 100 Coupé S.
More highlights will be awaiting motor racing fans at the Audi stand in Hall no. 7: eighty years ago, the Auto Union AG sent the Auto Union Grand Prix Type D racing car on to the race track for the first time. In 1938, Auto Union pilot Tazio Nuvolari won the Grand Prix races in Italy and England with the 420-hp strong supercar, and in the following year Auto Union triumphed in the French and Yugoslav Grands Prix. The third anniversary model dates back to 1988, when Audi had just withdrawn from rally sports. For the first time, the marque with four rings competed on circuits in the North American TransAm series. Racing driver Hurley Haywood won the championship straight away in an Audi 200 quattro.
At this year’s Techno Classica, the large crowd of motorbike fans won’t miss out either. Audi Tradition is presenting the DKW 350 RM ridden by Gustl Hobl in 1955, when he won the German Championship. Also, there will be an utterly unique exhibit on loan from the motorbike collection of Schloss Augustusburg: the DKW ULD 500 that was built as a prototype in 1938.
Lovers and collectors of miniature models can also obtain this year’s Audi Tradition model at the exhibition: an orange-colored first generation Audi TT Coupé, from a limited edition of 333, on a scale of 1:43. Further classic vehicles from the company’s history will be presented by the members of the ACI (Audi Club International) in hall 7.1.