A 1936 Auto Union Type C race car thunders up the driveway of the Goodwood Estate amid the early summer showers that South East England is so famous for. Up to 200,000 fans undeterred or perhaps accustomed to the dampness, line the roughly one mile long paved strip that has become irrevocably linked with the culture of vintage cars.
Some may argue the car was fittingly driven by another vintage classic, iconic drummer, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd. Mason and Audi have had a long history of collaboration and has driven other models of the firms vintage racers at Goodwood in years gone by.
Rather than sit in a museum full time, Audi occasionally sends some of its historic vehicles to special events for display and sometime use.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed has been called the ultimate lawn party for gear heads on the planet. Situated in South East England, Lord March’s estate dates back to the the late 17th century and currently hosts a number of social and corporate events throughout the year.
Audi was the first automaker to embrace the event and has been bringing its heritage collection to the Festival of Speed for the past 11 years.What sets Goodwood apart from other vintage car shows is that there’s a gentleman’s rule at Lord March’s event, you bring your car, you drive it. There are themed paddocks all around the grounds and for many automotive fans, the Festival of Speed presents the opportunity to view classics you have probably only ever heard of or witnessed in photos. Even talking to seasoned collectors or other journalists, everyday one encounters the sentiment of never having seen some obscure or ridiculously rare vehicle. The chatter amongst Lord March’s guests this weekend was could there actually be a billion dollars worth of cars on display this year? It seemed more probably than not.
The car paddocks are usually divided into chronological eras and sometimes under manufacturer’s clusters. Audi brought 3 vehicles from its Historic collection, the Type C Grand Prix car, an Audi Quattro S1 rally car as well as a DTM car from.The true story of the original pre-war Silver Arrow Auto Union race cars reflects the chaos following the end of World War 2. With the Allies looking to claim territory and spoils, the entire collection of Auto Unions race cars ended up in Soviet hands. The majority of the vehicles were never seen again. The only exception being a Type C car and approximately 3 Type D cars. One of which was located in a museum in Latvia not so long ago. Those cars have been restored and reside at Audi’s museum. Replicas have also been commissioned by Audi and occasionally show up at Goodwood.
The Type C hill climb car being run at Goodwood is a replica of the supercharged V16 model originally built in 1936. This model was built in 1998. Its dual rear wheels at each rear corner was a signature feature when configured for the legendary hill climb events. The Type C was infamous for its prodigious power output. This version of the 6.0L supercharged engine outputs 520HP. The original racer and its engine were designed by Ferdinand Porsche and could produce up to 560HP. Bear in mind this was made in 1936! Drivers of the time reported being able to spin the rear wheels at speeds approaching 150 MPH. With tire technology limited to thinner wheels, Auto Union figured the doubling of the rear wheels allowed for more contact to help lay all that power down on the road. The top speed of this monster is reportedly 211 MPH.
The Audi S1 Quattro E2 Group B Competition car is one of the most storied vehicles in Audi;s recent racing history and provided most potent at establishing the Quattro performance legend. When the S1 cars were finally discontinued in 1986, it was estimated that the 2.1L inline 5 cylinder turbocharged engines were producing as much as 591 HP.