This authentic reconstruction of the original Auto Union "Silverarrow" Type D
Dual Compressor will debut at the Festival of Speed at Goodwood, England
1939 Auto Union "Silverarrow" to star at Goodwood Festival of Speed
Construction of this racing car, the original version of which won two Grand Prix races at the hands of H.P. Muller and Tazio Nuvolari, took four years. The "Silverarrow" will be taken on its maiden drive by Nick Mason, the Pink Floyd drummer, in front of some 150,000 spectators at Goodwood.
Thomas Frank, Head of Audi Tradition, said, "We are delighted that we now have this car in our collection. And where better to give it its first outing than in the UK? We believe that this gesture is a fitting tribute to the people whose unique craftsmanship has brought this extraordinary car back to life."
The "new" Auto Union Type D was constructed entirely in England. The specialist workshop Crosthwaite & Gardiner in East Sussex was able to call on almost 30 years of experience in reconstructing Auto Union "Silverarrow" cars. On the other hand the bodywork specialists at Roach Manufacturing, near Southampton, had only a handful of historic photos as their basis.
When Auto Union was broken up by the occupying Soviet forces in East Germany after the Second World War, not only were all Auto Union racing cars lost, most of the technical documents, too, vanished without trace.
The Type D racing car is the last version of the Auto Union "Silver-arrow" cars (1934 to 1939) to be developed by Auto Union's Racing Division in Zwickau. In an effort to make the 420 hp twelve-cylinder engine in the Type D even faster, the single-compressor version from 1938, the year it made its debut, mutated into a dual-compressor version. This boosted the power output by 65 hp, but also necessitated various modifications to the body. The racing car's tail end took on a hump shape to accommodate the dual compressor, coupled with a long air intake pipe, and the nose was made flatter. The resulting modified Type D only made its debut mid-way through the 1939 season in the Belgian Grand Prix. This meant that Keith Roach and his team had very few photos to serve as a guide. He is nevertheless very satisfied with the results. "It is one of our all-time masterpieces," he said. Roach Manufacturing had already built a reproduction of the streamlined body of the record-breaking Auto Union Type C from 1937 based on photos. This vehicle is now on show at the Audi museum mobile.
In Nick Mason, Audi say they have a worthy pilot for its maiden outing. The Pink Floyd drummer is a leading proponent of classic car racing in Great Britain. He has driven in the Le Mans 24 Hours on five occasions and is the proud owner of a notable collection of racing cars whose value is in the mid-range double-digit millions. He already drove an Auto Union racing car at Goodwood in 2007, the 1936 Type C.