Audi Rebuilds Historic Auto Union Wanderer Streamline Specials

The most ambitious Audi replicas since the Type C 'Silver Arrow'

Press Release

  • The Auto Union Wanderer 'Streamline Specials' were entered for the Liège - Rome - Liège long-distance races in 1938 and 1939
  • The most ambitious Audi replicas since the Type C 'Silver Arrow'
  • To be handed over in Zwönitz (Saxony)
It's a proud moment for Thomas Frank: "We have re-opened one of the most dramatic pages in our company's history." This morning in the town of Zwönitz, in Germany's State of Saxony, Audi Tradition is to hand over the result of one of the most complex restoration projects it has tackled since the replica of the Auto Union Type C 'Silver Arrow' racing car. The three Wanderer 'Streamline Specials' entered by the Auto Union for the 4,700-kilometre long-distance race from Liège to Rome and back in 1938 and 1939 carried off the 'Coupe des Constructeurs' (the manufacturer's team prize) on their second outing. The cars were later sold and disappeared from the automobile scene, but now, 65 years later, they can be seen again resplendent in all their former glory. Two of these beautiful sports roadsters are the property of Audi Tradition, the third is owned by the Belgian Audi importer D'Ieteren. They are authentic replicas of the original cars, built by Werner Zinke GmbH, one of the leading European car restorers, in Zwönitz (Saxony). Not long after it was first held in 1931, the Liège - Rome - Liège long-distance motor race was already regarded as the most severe non-stop reliability test of its kind. During the 'king of the rallies', as it was also known, the only permissible stops were for refuelling. The teams of drivers, who were obliged to maintain an average speed of at least 50 kilometres an hour despite the condition of the roads at that time, often sat behind the wheel for more than 100 hours without a break as they hurtled through the Ardennes and across the Alps and the Apennines. This merciless challenge to man and machine took its toll: in 1938 only a third of the starters made it across the finishing line, in 1939 21 cars completed the course out of 51 starters. Three of them were 'Wanderer Streamline Specials'; of these, the cars driven by Momberger/Weidauer and Müller/Menz shared fourth place with the same total number of points, and Trägner/Fritzsching were twelfth. This brought Auto Union the most important trophy for works teams - the constructor's title. In 1938 the company had been extraordinarily unlucky: while in the lead, Krämer/Münzert had been obliged to retire with a minor camshaft problem on 30 kilometres from the finishing line. Photo Caption:
Top: The "Wanderer Streamline Special" available as a model car (1:43) in a limited edition.
Source: Text and photos courtesy Audi AG
Published Mar 31st, 2004 2:27pm
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