11 Sept 2012

Audi Silver Arrows at Goodwood Revival

Audi is taking four of it's glorious Auto Union Silver Arrows to the Goodwood Revival from 14-16 September. 

Alongside the Mercedes Silver Arrows of the 1950s the Auto Union cars will treat the fans lining the course to demonstration runs over the three days of the Revival. Nick Mason, Jacky Ickx and Frank Biela will drive the Audi cars.

On each day Audi will give a demo run of replicas of the Auto Union Type C from 1936 and an Auto Union Type D Dual Compressor from 1939.  Also on show will be "Karassik models" that are largely made from original spare parts - a Type D from 1938 and Type D Dual Compressor from 1939.  The latter two cars were restored in the early 1990s and this will be the first time they have been seen side by side in public.

Paul Karassik is an American car enthusiast who tracked down the two original chassis' in Russia and added original engines he had found separately.  He handed them over to Crosthwaite and Gardiner to restore - thus were borne the "Karassic models"

The Silver Arrow models built by Mercedes Benz and Auto Union dominated the racing scene from 1934 until 1939 - reaching speeds of 180mph.  Which is frightening when one considers the lack of crash protection available to the drivers - and the drum brakes.

One of the Auto Union drivers, Bernd Rosenmeyer, became the first man to hit 400kmh (248.5mph) on an ordinary road in a car - the Type C Streamliner - in 1937.  In 1938 he attempted to go faster but at 273mph his car was caught by a gust of wind and swept it off the road - killing him.

The specifications of one of the cars - the Type C - are so impressive they are worth quoting:

6 litre V16
Single camshaft
2 x Roots superchargers
513bhp at 5000rpm
5 manual gears
Top speed of 211mph
Fuel tank capacity 200 litres
Weight 824kg