Auto Union Type C: This is what your mighty 16 V1936 sounds like


You already know that every little bit we choose videos with an overwhelming sound. Pills of those with which turn up the speakers and spread panic in the neighborhood. However, we believe that with what you are going to see next, the level will go up one more notch. And we are talking about Auto Union Type C. A silver-bodied beast with a frame of stringers and 16-cylinder injection mechanics (!) Capable of roaring to the point of being downright imposing.

Born in the shelter of the Nazi regime, the Auto Union Type C belongs to the racing saga created by the brand's competition department between 1933 and 1939. With a revolutionary design for the time Due primarily to their aerodynamic mid-engine, these silver arrows dominated alongside Mercedes racing cars at the grands prix of the day. A competition fueled by the extensive subsidies granted to both brands by the Nazi party, interested in using these sporting successes as propaganda.

Something that began at the 1933 Berlin Motor Show, when Adolf Hitler himself announced the financing of a program for the development of cars designed to break the world speed record. From there, engineers like Ferdinand Porsche and Robert Eberan Von Eberhorst and pilots like Bernd rosemeyer, Hans Stuck or even Tazio Nuvolari, they joined their names to that of the Auto Union of competition.

Today, these cars still represent one of the greatest automotive milestones of the XNUMXth century. Something that is not only understood through mechanical rationality, but also by the intensity of its sound.

Let's hear this replica for hill races in the compressor version of the mechanics. Try to imagine that roar at more than 300 km / h on two metal bars with rudimentary suspensions, drum brakes and tires bicycle whose dominance on the road was available to very very few. Specifically, only of the most talented pilots of his time.


In the mid-sixties a young man Mauro Forghieri suggested to Enzo Ferrari the convenience of placing the engine behind the pilot. English successes commanded a change. This was a revolution that had begun to be rehearsed in the mid-50s; Well, if the central engine was so experimental in the Ferrari of the 60s ... Imagine how the motorsport of the 30s could see it. Simply, the silver arrows, both Auto Union and Mercedes with the mechanics in the forward position, looked like rockets from another planet, 20 years ahead of its time.

auto union type c

Presented in 1934, its 16-liter V4 produced 3CV at 291 rpm. Not inconsiderable figures that, however, only represented the beginning of the saga. The following year the Type B came out and in 4.500 the Type C. With an increased displacement to six liters, the power of the Auto Union Type C climbed up to 513CV at 5.000 rpm in the most advanced set-ups with compressor. All this to move his only 824 kilos!

Thus the things, this car got great results at the 1936 and 1937 Grand Prix. In fact, in the first of those two seasons Bernd Rosemeyer claimed victory in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Everything smelled of legend, and brands such as Alfa-Romeo or Bugatti, among others, began to realize the technological leap experienced by their rivals at the expense of the Reich's money, very well used by the brilliant German engineers.

auto union type c

And the legend was increased, because these GP successes were complemented by the triumphs in hill races and records. A record at the height of a magnificent car which had in the Auto Union Type C its most impressive evolution before going down to 12 cylinders with the Type D.

Very few people have seen them in motion, even if it is recreations, and fewer with a little action. Luckily, there have been some of these privileged people who have had the wisdom to record it. And here we are, with a symphony still ringing in our ears. Heavenly music.

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Written by Miguel Sánchez

Through the news from La Escudería, we will travel the winding roads of Maranello listening to the roar of the Italian V12; We will travel Route66 in search of the power of the great American engines; we will get lost in the narrow English lanes tracking the elegance of their sports cars; We will speed up the braking in the curves of the Monte Carlo Rally and we will even get dusty in a garage while rescuing lost jewels.


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