The last Auti Union Type D (1939) is now in the possession of Audi, after a long and interesting history.
Audi is happy to announce that they have managed to recover the last Auto Union Type D ever made. This is a twin-supercharger version that was developed and raced back in 1939. World War II abruptly ended the "supercharger era" and Auto Union failed to rescue these cars, unlike Mercedes-Benz that secured almost all of the Silver Arrow cars. The reason why Auto Union failed to protect these precious cars is because the vehicles were stored in the Zwickau area which was occupied by the Soviet Army.
Just one Type C was recovered and presented in Munich at the Deutsches Museum, prior to the start of the Cold War. However, later on the car was damaged after a bomb attack. Towards the end of the 70s, rumors started surfacing about an Auto Union model found in Russia. An American collector of historical cars by the name of Paul Karassik managed to find after ten years two dismantled Auto Union vehicles, one in Russia while the other was in Ukraine.
In 1990 Karassik entrusted British company Crosthwaite & Gardiner to rebuild the vehicles and after an in-depth examination it was decided to rebuild a single-supercharger Type D to 1938 specification, along with a Type D twin supercharger racing car in the 1939 specification. For both cars they had to develop a replica body. Three years later in August, the first car was completed, while in 1994 the second one was done as well.
In 1998, Ingolstadt-based carmaker Audi bought the 1938 specification car and now they bought the 1939 specification model as well. Besides these two cars, Audi also has a Type C which was previously returned.
For additional details, check out the press release below.