Sixty years after Auto Union star Bernd Rosemeyer’s fatal attempt to reclaim a prestigious speed record from Mercedes-Benz’s Rudolf Caracciola, Audi AG has commissioned the construction of a new streamliner to join its fleet of new Auto Unions.
The car (like the others, to be built in Britain by Crosthwaite & Gardiner), will be of the type in which Rosemeyer set a world record for the flying kilometre at 406.30kmh (252.48mph) on the Frankfurt-Darmstadt autobahn in October 1937. He died the following January when a cross-wind blew him off the road.
Because of the difficulty inherent in recreating the all-enveloping aluminium bodywork from scratch, without patterns – a job expected to tax the skills of craftsman Keith Roach for at least a year – there is, as yet, no completion date for the project.
Though the original had a 6.5-litre unit, a ‘stock’ 6-litre V16 engine, developing 520bhp, will power the chassis, which will incorporate some original parts. Manoeuvring the huge beast, with its restricted steering lock and enclosed wheels, will pose many a logistical problem when it is demonstrated at regular venues. MP