What's this about?

The Auto Union and Mercedes Benz motor sport teams, dominated motor racing from 1934 until the outbreak of the second world war. Dubbed the Silver Arrows, these cars and in particular the Auto Unions demonstrated technical advances that were not seen again on racing cars for several decades.

Auto Union was the result of the amalgamation of four companies; Wanderer, DKW, Audi and Horch; hence the four rings, one for each company, of the badge. In 1969 Auto Union became Audi NSU as it merged with NSU and finally became Audi in 1985.

What happened to them?

During the latter part of the war an estimated eighteen Auto Union team cars were hidden in a colliery outside Zwickau, Saxony, where within the Horch factory the Auto Union race shop was based. In 1945 the Russians discovered these Silver Arrows. They were shipped back to Moscow where they were distributed to scientific institutes and motor manufacturers for research. Most of the cars were probably reduced to scrap but so far five vehicles halve been recovered ranging from collections of parts to almost complete cars. Restoration work has been carried out by a British firm Crosthwaite and Gardiner giving us the Auto Unions we see today.

1939 spec bergrennwagen and 1938 grand prix car