The Mercedes-Benz W154 was a Grand Prix racing car designed by Rudolf Uhlenhaut. The W154 competed in the 1938 and 1939 Grand Prix seasons and was used by Rudolf Caracciola to win the 1938 European Championship; the W154 was created as a result of a rule change by the sports governing body AIACR, which limited supercharged engine capacities to 3000cc. Mercedes' previous car, the supercharged 5700cc W125, was therefore ineligible; the company decided that a new car based on the chassis of the W125 and designed to comply with the new regulations would be preferable to modifying the existing car. Although using the same chassis design as the 1938 car, a different body was used for the 1939 season and the M154 engine used during 1938 was replaced by the M163; as a result of the new engine, the 1939 car is mistakenly referred to as a Mercedes-Benz W163. For the 1938 season, Grand Prix racing's governing body AIACR moved from a formula limited by weight to one by engine capacity; the new regulations allowed a maximum capacity of 3000cc with 4500cc without.
This meant the supercharged 5700cc W125, was ineligible to continue. Its new car was based on the W125 chassis, with a supercharged 3000cc engine determined after both types had been tested; the chassis was based on that of the preceding W125. The frame was constructed using oval tubes made of nickel-chrome molybdenum to provide stiffness; the suspension was near identical to the W125. The rear consisted of a De Dion tube, designed to keep the rear wheels parallel using a solid tubular beam, it had hydraulic rear dampers, adjustable from within the cockpit during a race. The bodywork of the W125 was aluminium, left unpainted like its predecessors, making it another of Mercedes' famed Silver Arrows; the new M154 engine was a 3000cc supercharged V12. In 1939, the 2-stage supercharged version recorded a test bed power of 476 BHP at 7,800 rpm. To compensate for the smaller engine compared to the W125, the W154 had an extra gear with a 5-speed manual transmission; the first gear was protected by a latch to avoid being engaged accidentally.
The W154 made its debut in the opening race of the 1938 season, the non-championship Pau Grand Prix in April. Cars were entered for both Lang. Lang crashed during practice and the team withdrew his car. René Dreyfus took pole position in a Delahaye, but Caracciola was second and managed to beat Dreyfus away from the line at the start of the race. Despite leading, Caracciola was suffering from an old leg injury, when he pitted for fuel he handed the car over to Lang. Dreyfus took the lead and would not need to pit as his car's lower fuel consumption meant he could complete the race non-stop. Lang's car developed a spark plug problem and finished the race in second place, nearly two minutes behind; the car's next outing at Tripoli, again a non-championship race, was much more successful. The three cars that were entered for Lang, von Brauchitsch and Caracciola qualified first and third respectively; the gap from Caracciola to fourth placed Clemente Biondetti was over three seconds. The cars retained these positions at the end of the race and although von Brauchitsch and Caracciola had both suffered engine problems, Caracciola still finished over eight minutes ahead of fourth placed Raymond Sommer.
The first race of the European Championship was the French Grand Prix, held at the Reims-Gueux circuit. Three cars were entered, for von Brauchitsch and Lang. A poor turnout meant. Team manager Alfred Neubauer offered to enter a fourth W154 for Richard Seaman, but the organisers insisted on a maximum of three cars per team. Lang took pole position, with von Brauchitsch second and Caracciola third, ahead of the two Auto Unions of Christian Kautz and Rudolf Hasse; the Mercedes-Benz cars led from the start. After two laps, four cars had retired, leaving only the Mercedes-Benz and Talbot cars in the race, the Talbots a minute behind. Lang had difficulties in a pit-stop and Caracciola's engine started firing on only eleven of its twelve cylinders; this left von Brauchitsch to claim victory ahead of Lang. The only other finisher was René Carrièrè in a Talbot, ten laps behind. Three weeks after the French Grand Prix came the second race of the European Championship, the German Grand Prix. Four W154s were entered and they took the first four positions on the starting grid.
At the start, Lang took the lead but on lap three his car's spark plugs oiled up and he had to make an emergency pit stop. Shortly afterwards, team manager Alfred Neubauer brought Lang into the pits so that Walter Bäumer, a reserve driver for Mercedes-Benz, could take over. Lang's mechanical problems allowed von Brauchitsch to take the lead. Meanwhile, Caracciola had been struggling with abdominal pain and stopped on lap ten to allow Lang to take over his car. Von Brauchitsch came in for his second pit stop on lap sixteen, followed by Seaman in second position. During von Brauchitsch's pit stop, a mechanic spilt fuel over the car, ignited by a spark from the car's exhaust pipe; this allowed Seaman to exit the pits in the lead of the race. When his car's fire had been extinguished, von Brauchitsch left the pits, only to crash his car during the lap. Seaman continued on to win the race, followed by Lang in Caracciola's car. Lang's car, being driven by Bäumer, retired from the race with engine problems.
Following the French Grand Prix, Mercedes-Benz travelled to Italy to contest two non-championship races - the Coppa Ciano at Montenero and the Coppa Acerbo at Pescara. For the Coppa Ciano, Caracciola was entered in an
Mittweida is a town in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, in the Mittelsachsen district. Mittweida is situated on the Zschopau River, 18 km north of Chemnitz, 54 km west of Dresden. Embedded within the steep hills and valleys of the river and two smaller creeks, the town is green and picturesque. Mittweida has a station on the Riesa–Chemnitz railway. A branch line, closed in 1997, served the industries in nearby Ringethal. Major roads are the state roads S200, S201, S247, connecting the town with various federal roads and the motorway A4 which passes south-east of Mittweida; the town was first mentioned in 1209. In 1286 it was known as civitas and oppidum. Weaving of wool and linen were major occupations of the inhabitants in the Middle Ages, after a spinning mill was founded in 1816, the town grew into one of the major textile-producing centers in Saxony of the 20th century. Mittweida was a sizeable town in the mid-16th century, despite having more inhabitants than Rochlitz, it had remained part of Amt and Amtshauptmannschaft Rochlitz for many years.
In 1924 it became a separate urban district. During World War II, a subcamp of Flossenbürg concentration camp was located in Mittweida. In 1946 the town was reintegrated into Landkreis Rochlitz and was transferred to Kreis Hainichen in 1952. Landkreis Mittweida was formed from the districts Rochlitz and Hainichen in 1994, it was integrated into Landkreis Mittelsachsen in 2008. Of interest are the Gothic church from the 15/16th century, the old town, the historic and technical museums and the nearby Kriebstein castle. Mittweida is home to a University of Applied Sciences with about 5000 students. Founded in the late 19th century, it is known far beyond the Saxon borders. Among its students were August Horch, Walter Bruch, Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen, Gerhard Neumann. 1960–1972 Günter Kluge 1972–1988 Max Gerhard Imhof 1988–1989 Hans Günter Beulich 1990 Helene Gerda Wunderlich 1990–2001 Bruno Rudolf Kny 2001–2015 Matthias Damm since 2015 Ralf Schreiber Manfred Halpern, political scientist Heinrich Gottlieb Tzschirner, Protestant theologian Johannes Schilling, sculptor Rudolf Hasse, racing driver Paul Dittel, Head of Amt VII of the Reichsicherheitshauptamt and SS Obersturmburführer Erich Loest, writer Peter Moreth, politician Andreas Klöden, cyclist Antje Traue, actress Gabrovo, Bulgaria Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"Mittweida". Encyclopædia Britannica. 18. Cambridge University Press. P. 628
Silver Arrows was the name given by the press to Germany's dominant Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union Grand Prix motor racing cars between 1934 and 1939. The name was applied to the Mercedes-Benz Formula One and sports cars in 1954 and 1955, applied to the Mercedes GP/AMG Petronas F1 cars from 2010 to present. For decades until the introduction of sponsorship liveries, each country had its traditional colour in automobile racing. Italian race cars are still famous for their Rosso Corsa red, British ones are British racing green, French Bleu de France blue, etc. German cars like the Blitzen Benz were white, as were the three Mercedes that won the 1914 French Grand Prix 1-2-3. On the other hand, Mercedes won the Italian Targa Florio with cars painted red in 1922 and 1924, blending in with the local competitors; the big supercharged 200 hp Mercedes-Benz SSKL with which Rudolf Caracciola won the 1931 Mille Miglia was called the White Elephant. In 1958, Alfred Neubauer described the origin of the Silver Arrows as being accidental.
In 1934 the international governing body of motor sport prescribed a maximum weight limit of 750 kg for Grand Prix racing cars, excluding tyres and fuel. Neubauer said that when in spring 1934, the Mercedes-Benz team placed its new Mercedes-Benz W25 on the scrutineering scales prior to the Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring, it recorded 751 kg. Racing manager Alfred Neubauer and his driver Manfred von Brauchitsch, who both published their memoirs, claimed that they had the idea of removing all the white lead-based paint from the bodywork; the story continues that the next day the shining silver aluminium beneath was exposed and scrutineering was passed. After the 350 hp car of Von Brauchitsch won the race, the nickname Silver Arrow was born, according to this version. There is however and doubt regarding this story, it did not appear until 1958, no reference to it has been found in contemporary sources. It has since been established that von Brauchitsch had raced a streamlined silver SSKL on the AVUS in 1932, called a Silver Arrow in live radio coverage.
In 1934, both Mercedes and Auto Union had entered the Avusrennen with silver cars. The next big event was the 1934 Eifelrennen, but as few cars complying to the new rules were ready, it was held for Formule Libre, so weight was still not a race-critical issue at that time. By the 1930s, modern stressed-skin aircraft fuselage construction was using polished and unpainted aluminium panels for streamlining and to save weight; the wealthy motor-racing fraternity would have been aware that in heraldry and silver are the same colour, or'tincture', described as'Argent'. Neubauer's 1958 autobiography has been shown to include several embellished stories and dubious claims, including a fabricated hoax surrounding the 1933 Tripoli Grand Prix, where he falsely accused several drivers of "fixing" the race. By 1937, the supercharged engine of a Mercedes-Benz W125 attained an output of 646 hp, a figure not exceeded in Grand Prix Racing until the early 1980s, when turbo-charged engines were common in Formula One - although it was at least matched as early as the late 1940s by conventionally fuelled Grand Prix engines like the BRM V16, despite the rules restricting engines to half the cylinder capacity.
The Silver Arrows of Mercedes and Auto Union cars reached speeds of well over 300 kilometres per hour in 1937, well over 400 km/h during land speed record runs. The superiority of these vehicles in international motor racing established the term "Silver Arrow" as a legend, for example by winning the first race in which they were entered; the names Rudolf Caracciola, Bernd Rosemeyer, Hermann Lang, Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio, will always be associated with the eras of these racing cars. Mercedes-Benz recalled its great past in the 1970s with rallye cars, in the 1980s with the Sauber sportscars as well as the DTM touring cars, the multiple race winning Mercedes AMG F1 cars from 2010 onward. Now a traditional colour for road-cars in reference to the Silver Arrows, most German car companies have a shade of silver in their catalogues conforming to Silberpfeil-Grau, or Silver Arrow Grey; however and Mercedes-Benz are not the only German car companies who paint their cars in a silver colour.
Porsche has inherited the tradition of silver arrows. But the BMW company still paints its cars in the traditional white colour. At the 1999 Le Mans 24 Hours, a total of seven "Silver Arrows" were entered in the Le Mans Prototype class: three Mercedes-Benz CLR two British-built LM-GT1 Audi R8C two Joest Racing LMP Audi R8R that scored third and fourth. In 2010, with the formation of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Mercedes-Benz returned to Grand Prix racing as a constructor. Mercedes' cars have been nicknamed "Silver Arrows" by the team itself; the modern cars race with the majority of their bodies painted in a traditional silver shade, trimmed in Petronas green. In 2010, team principal Ross Brawn introduced the team's first car, the Mercedes MGP W01, as the new Silver Arrow, with Germans Nico Rosberg and 7-time world champion Michael Schumacher driving the car. In 2012, Rosberg drove the Mercedes F1 W03 to victory at the Chinese Grand Prix to claim Mercedes' first victory in Formula One since 1955.
Mercedes' 2014 Formula One car, the Mercedes F1 W05 Hybrid began one of the more dominant periods by a constructor in the sport's history. The Silver Arrows won the first seven races of the 2014 season, only falling due to a KERS failure on both cars in the 2014 Cana
Louis Alexandre Chiron was a Monégasque racing driver who competed in rallies, sports car races, Grands Prix. He is the oldest driver to have raced in Formula One, having taken 6th place in the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix when he was 55. Louis Chiron gained interest in cars and racing, he started driving in Grand Prix races after World War I, in which he was seconded from an artillery regiment as a driver for Maréchal Pétain and Maréchal Foch. He won his first local race, the Grand Prix de Comminges of 1926, at Saint-Gaudens, near Toulouse, went on to drive a Bugatti and an Alfa Romeo P3 to victories in the Marseille Grand Prix, the Circuit of Masaryk, the Spanish Grand Prix. In the Indianapolis 500 of 1929, he drove a Delage to 7th place, he won the 1931 Monaco Grand Prix—the only Monégasque driver to have won his home grand prix—and in 1933 he partnered with specialist endurance racer Luigi Chinetti to win the Spa 24 hours race. Chiron retired in 1938, World War II curtailed motor racing a year later.
When racing resumed after the War, he came out of retirement and drove a Talbot-Lago to victory in two French Grands Prix. According to a Los Angeles Times review of fellow driver Hellé Nice's biography, Chiron accused her, at a 1949 party in Monaco to celebrate the first postwar Monte Carlo Rally, of "collaborating with the Nazis"; the review says biographer Miranda Seymour is "circumspect on Nice's guilt". A review of the same book in The New York Times says Nice was accused of being a "Gestapo agent". Seymour's book says that in a letter to Antony Noghes, the head of the Monte Carlo Rally committee, Hellé Nice "protested her innocence". Paired with the Swiss driver Ciro Basadonna, Chiron won the 1954 Monte Carlo Rally, achieved podium finishes in the fifteen Formula One races he entered that year, his last race was in 1955, when he took a Lancia D50 to sixth place in the Monaco Grand Prix a few weeks before his 56th birthday, becoming the oldest driver to compete in a Formula One race. He is the oldest driver to have entered for a Formula One race, taking part in practice for the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix when he was 58.
Belgian Grand Prix – 1930 Czechoslovakian Grand Prix – 1931, 1932, 1933 French Grand Prix – 1931, 1934, 1937, 1947, 1949 German Grand Prix – 1929 Italian Grand Prix – 1928 Spanish Grand Prix – 1928, 1929, 1933 Monaco Grand Prix – 1931 Moroccan Grand Prix– 1934 Grand Prix du Comminges – 1947 Grand Prix de Marseilles – 1933 Grand Prix de Nice – 1932 Spa 24 hours – 1933 Rome Grand Prix – 1928 Marne Grand Prix – 1928 Monte Carlo Rally – 1954 Chiron retired after 35 years in racing but maintained an executive role with the organizers of the Monaco Grand Prix, who honored him with a statue on the Grand Prix course and renamed the Swimming Pool corner after him. As he had achieved the greatest number of podium finishes in Bugattis, the 1999 Bugatti 18/3 Chiron concept car and the 2016 Bugatti Chiron are named in his honor. Louis Chiron was so popular in Czechoslovakia, whose Grand Prix he won three consecutive times, that after 75 years his name still lives in a popular saying "He drives likes Chiron", used when referring to speeding motorists or to people who drive quickly.
Grand Prix History, Louis Chiron Louis Chiron at The Crittenden Automotive Library Louis Chiron at Le Mans Louis Chiron at Find a Grave
The Mercedes-Benz W125 was a Grand Prix racing car designed by Rudolf Uhlenhaut to race during the 1937 Grand Prix season. The car was used by Rudolf Caracciola to win the 1937 European Championship and W125 drivers finished in the second and fourth positions in the championship; the supercharged engine, with 8 cylinders in line and 5,662.85 cc, attained an output of up to 595 horse power in race trim. The highest test bed power measured was 637 BHP at 5,800 rpm, it gave 245 BHP at a mere 2,000 rpm. In 1938, the engine capacity of supercharged Grand Prix cars was limited to 3000cc, the W125 was replaced by the Mercedes-Benz W154; the W125 was considered the most powerful race car for about 3 decades, until large capacity American-built V8 engines in CanAm sportcars reached similar power in the mid 1960s. In Grand Prix racing itself, the figure was not exceeded until the early 1980s, with the appearance of turbo-charged engines in Formula One; the W125 reached race speeds of well over 300 km/h in 1937 on the AVUS in Berlin, equipped with a streamlined body.
In land speed record runs, a Mercedes-Benz W125 Rekordwagen was clocked at 432.7 km/h over a mile and a kilometer. This car was fitted with a DAB V12 engine of 5,576.75 cc with a power of 726 BHP at 5,800 rpm. The weight of this engine caused the car to weigh over the 750 kg maximum limit, so it never appeared in Grand Prix.. Due to the uncompetitiveness of their W25 car, Mercedes pulled out of the 1936 Grand Prix Season midway through the year in order to concentrate on designing a car that would see them return to the top of the rankings. A new racing department was set up within Mercedes-Benz. Rudolf Uhlenhaut a production car engineer for the company, was selected to lead the design team in late 1936. Uhlenhaut had not designed a racing car, but had significant experience testing road cars on the Nürburgring race track, experience which allowed him to adapt his knowledge easily to race cars; when testing the old W25 car, Uhlenhaut remarked that the suspension was too stiff, preventing the wheels from following the road.
During the test session, a wheel came off the car, yet Uhlenhaut continued to drive the car as if nothing had happened. This stiffness caused the chassis to the rear axle to bend by up to 7 -- 10 cm under braking; the brief for the new car included a stiffer chassis and more travel on the suspension to avoid the problems experienced in the 1936 car. The W125 had a much stiffer tubular frame construction compared to the previous W25 model; this was achieved using oval tubes made of nickel-chrome molybdenum steel which flexed less than the frame used in the W25. The bodywork of the W125 was aluminium metal, which like its predecessor was left unpainted in its bare silver colour; this brought Mercedes' cars during this period the nickname of Silver Arrows, the racing colours of Germany being silver. With no regulations limiting engine size, other than the 750 kg total car weight limit, Mercedes designed a 5.6 litre engine configured with eight inline cylinders and double overhead camshaft for the W125.
Named the M125, the engine was fitted with a Roots type supercharger producing 632 lb⋅ft of torque at the start of the season. The engines built varied in power, attaining an output between 640 horse power at 5800 rpm. Fuel used was a custom mix of 40% methyl alcohol, 32% benzene, 24% ethyl alcohol and 4% gasoline light; the engine weighed 222 kg - 30% of the total weight of the car, was mounted in the front of the car. Like its W25 predecessor, the W125 used a 4-speed manual transmission; the gearbox design was changed to a constant mesh type, which provided better reliability compared to the sliding mesh transmission of the M25. In a constant mesh gearbox, the transmission gears are always in mesh and rotating, but the gears are not rigidly connected to the shafts on which they rotate. Instead, the gears can rotate or be locked to the shaft on which they are carried; the previous sliding mesh transmission required the gears to be spinning at the same speed when engaged. The W125 made its first competitive outing in May at the 1937 Tripoli Grand Prix with Mercedes-Benz entering four cars.
German Hermann Lang won his first Grand Prix motor race to give the W125 a victory on its début and provide Mercedes with their first victory over rivals Auto Union since May 1936. The next race was held at the AVUS motor-racing circuit in Germany, a 12-mile long circuit consisting of two long straights of 6 miles length joined at either end by a curve; as such, it was possible for a car to reach its top speed. Mercedes entered two W125 cars, a streamliner, modified from the original design to increase its top speed on the straights and a standard car driven by Richard Seaman in case of problems with the streamliner; the streamliner had a top speed 25 km/h faster than the regular car. On lap three of the race, the streamliner retired. Seaman's regular W125 finished in fifth position. At the Eifelrennen held at the Nürburgring circuit, Mercedes entered five W125's, including one driven by Christian Kautz fitted with the new suction carburettor supercharger system. Kautz finished in ninth, while teammates Rudolf Caracciola and Manfred von Brauchitsch finished in
Auto Union racing car
The Auto Union Grand Prix racing cars types A to D were developed and built by a specialist racing department of Auto Union's Horch works in Zwickau, between 1933 and 1939. Of the 4 Auto Union racing cars, the Types A, B and C, used from 1934 to 1937 had supercharged V16 engines, the final car, the Type D used in 1938 and 1939 had a supercharged 3L V12 that developed 550 horsepower. Wheelspin could be induced at over 100 mph, the marked oversteer that persisted throughout the cars' development made all the Auto Unions difficult to handle, although the smaller engined Type D was a bit easier to drive because of the smaller engine and the half as much space it took up in comparison to the 6L V16 in the previous Type C; the oversteer was due to the fact that all 4 tyres were the same size, the big engines were heavy, racing cars during this time did not have aerodynamic downforce- which meant there was no way to keep the rear stable, therefore making it impossible to get rid of the car's oversteer.
Automotive performance physics and aerodynamics were not understood until the 1960s, with the Auto Union's sophisticated suspension, a compromise on setups could not be achieved to sufficiently dial out the oversteer- and the narrow tyres used at the time were of no help either. Between 1935 and 1937 Auto Unions won 25 races, driven by Ernst von Delius, Tazio Nuvolari, Bernd Rosemeyer, Hans Stuck and Achille Varzi, their main competition came from the Mercedes Benz team, with Auto Union proving successful in the 1936 and 1937 seasons. Known as the Silver Arrows, the cars of the two German teams dominated Grand Prix racing until the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Having been made redundant from Steyr Automobile, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche founded Porsche in Stuttgart, with engineering colleagues including Karl Rabe, financial backing from Adolf Rosenberger. Car commissions were low in the depressed economic climate, so Porsche founded the subsidiary company Hochleistungsfahrzeugbau GmbH in 1932 to develop a racing car, for which he had no customer.
In 1933, Grand Prix racing was dominated by French and Italian marques Bugatti, Alfa Romeo and Maserati. In early 1933, governing body AIACR announced a new formula, with the main regulation that the weight of the car without driver, oil and tyre was not allowed to exceed 750 kg; this was created to restrict the size of engine that could be used, with the authority estimating that this weight limit would allow around 2.5-litre engines. Based on Max Wagner's mid-engined 1923 Benz Tropfenwagen, or "Teardrop" aerodynamic design built in part by Rumpler engineers, the experimental P-Wagen project racing car was designed according to the regulations of the 750 kg formula. On 15 November chief engineer Rabe submitted the first draft to the planning office of a racing car for the new formula, with Josef Kales responsible for the V16 engine, while Rabe held responsibility for the chassis. In 1932 Auto Union Gmbh was formed, comprising struggling auto manufacturers Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer; the chairman of the board of Directors, Baron Klaus von Oertzen wanted a show piece project, so at fellow director Adolf Rosenberger's insistence, von Oertzen met with Porsche, who had done work for him before.
At the 1933 Berlin Motor Show, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler announced two new programs: The people's car: a project that would become the KdF-wagen A state-sponsored motor racing programme: to develop a "high speed German automotive industry," the foundation of which would be an annual sum of 500,000 Reichsmarks to Mercedes-Benz German racing driver Hans Stuck had met Hitler before he became Chancellor, not being able to gain a seat at Mercedes, accepted the invitation of Rosenberger to join him, von Oertzen, Porsche in approaching the Chancellor. In a meeting in the Reich Chancellery, Hitler agreed with Porsche that for the glory of Germany, it would be better for two companies to develop the project, resulting in Hitler agreeing to pay ₤40,000 for the country's best racing car of 1934, as well as an annual stipend of 250,000 Reichsmarks each for Mercedes and Auto Union; this annoyed Mercedes, who had developed their Mercedes-Benz W25, gratified, its racing program having financial difficulties since 1931.
It resulted in a heated exchange both on and off the racing track between the two companies until World War Two. Having garnered state funds, Auto Union bought Hochleistungs Motor GmbH and hence the P-Wagen Project for 75,000 Reichsmarks, relocating the company to Chemnitz; the mid-engined configuration, which the Cooper Car Company revived, was unusual at the time. From front to rear the layout comprised radiator, fuel tank, engine; the problem with early mid-engined design was the stiffness of the contemporary ladder chassis and suspension. The car's turning angle changed as the momentum of the centrally mounted engine increased on the chassis, causing oversteer. All Auto Unions had independent suspension, with parallel trailing arms and torsion bars at the front. At the rear, Porsche tried to counter the tendency to oversteer by using a then-advanced swing axle suspension on the early cars. On the Type D, rear suspension was a de Dion system, following the lead of Mercedes-Benz, but the supercharged engines produced 550 horsepower, which exacerbated the oversteer.
The original Porsche-designed V16 was modified as a V12 when in 1938 the
Auto Union AG, was an amalgamation of four German automobile manufacturers, founded in 1932 and established in 1936 in Chemnitz, Saxony. It is the immediate predecessor of Audi; as well as acting as an umbrella firm for its four constituent brands, Auto Union is known for its racing team. The Silver Arrows of the two German teams dominated not only GP car racing from 1934 onwards but set records that would take decades to beat, such as the fastest speed attained on a public road. After being reduced to near ruin in the aftermath of World War II, Auto Union was re-founded in Ingolstadt, Bavaria in 1949 evolving into the modern day Audi company following its takeover by Volkswagen in 1964 and merger with NSU Motorenwerke in 1969; the current corporate entity which bears the Auto Union name – Auto Union GmbH – was founded in 1985 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Audi AG. The company's distinctive logo, of four interlocking rings to represent the original four members of the Auto Union, survives as the logo of Audi.
Auto Union was formed in Germany in 1932 merging: Zschopauer Motorenwerke J. S. Rasmussen founded by Danish engineer Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen in 1916, it branched out into motorcycles, front-drive two-stroke cars built at Audi works in Zwickau since 1931. Horch – founded 1904 by August Horch in Zwickau, it built cars starting from straight-twin engines to luxury models with V8- and V12 engines. Audi – because of disputes with the CFO, August Horch in 1909 left his namesake enterprise and founded Audi across town, building inline-four-, six- and eight-cylinder-engined cars. In 1928 Audi became a subsidiary of Zschopauer Motorenwerke. Wanderer – founded in 1911, with small four-cylinder cars and a more luxurious straight-6 built in Siegmar In August 1928, the owner of DKW, acquired a majority ownership of Audiwerke AG. In the same year, Rasmussen bought the remains of the US automobile manufacturer Rickenbacker, including the manufacturing equipment for eight- and six-cylinder engines; these engines were used in Audi Audi Imperator and Audi Dresden models.
At the same time, six-cylinder and four-cylinder models were manufactured. In 1930 the Saxony Regional Bank, which had financed Rasmussen's business expansion in the 1920s, installed Richard Bruhn on the board of Audiwerke AG, there followed a brutal pruning and rationalization of the various auto-businesses that Rasmussen had accumulated; the outcome was the founding in Summer 1932 of Auto Union AG with just four component businesses, being Zschopauer Motorenwerke with its brand DKW, Audi and the car producing piece of Wanderer, brought together under the umbrella of single shareholder company Auto Union. Although all four brands continued to sell cars under their own names and brands, the technological development became more centralized, with some Audi models employing engines by Horch or Wanderer. Auto Union chairman, Baron von Oertzen, wanted a showpiece project to announce the new brand. At the 1933 Berlin Motor Show, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler announced two new programs: The people's car: a project that became the KdF car A state-sponsored motor racing programme: to develop a "high speed German automotive industry," the foundation of which would be an annual sum of 500,000 Reichsmark At fellow director's Adolf Rosenberger insistence, von Oertzen met with Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, who had done work for him before, developed his own P-Wagen project racing car based on the new 750 kg formula.
German racing driver Hans Stuck Sr. had met Hitler before he became Chancellor, not being able to gain a seat at Mercedes, accepted the invitation of Rosenberger to join him, von Oertzen, Porsche in approaching the Chancellor. In a meeting in the Reich Chancellory, Hitler agreed with Porsche that for the glory of Germany, it would be better for two companies to develop the project, resulting in Hitler agreeing to pay ₤40,000 for the country's best racing car of 1934, as well as an annual stipend of 250,000 RM each for Mercedes and Auto Union; this annoyed Mercedes, who had developed their Mercedes-Benz W25, gratified, its racing program having financial difficulties since 1931. It resulted in a heated exchange both on and off the racing track between the two companies until World War II. Having garnered state funds, Auto Union bought Porsches Hochleistungsfahrzeugbau GmbH and hence the P-Wagen Project for 75,000 RM, relocating the company to Auto Unions Horch plant at Zwickau; the Auto Union racing cars types A to D were built as Grand Prix racing cars from 1934 to 1939.
They resembled the earlier Benz Tropfenwagen built in part by Rumpler engineers, The only Grand Prix racers to wear Auto Union's four-ringed logo, they were dominant in 1936. From 1935 to 1937, Auto Union cars car won 25 races, driven by Ernst von Delius, Bernd Rosemeyer, Hans Stuck Sr. and Achille Varzi. Much has been written about the difficult handling characteristics of this car, but its tremendous power and acceleration were undeniable – a driver could induce wheelspin at over 100 mph; the cars used supercharged piston engines. Rosemeyer would drive one arou