European Champion 1936

MixedMedia / Acrylic on Canvas
on 1.8” / 45 mm Wooden Museum Frame
63” x 43” / 160 x 110 cm

The company logo of Auto Union AG, Chemnitz with its entwined rings represents the amalgamation in 1931 of four brands, Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer which, however, remained independent entities. Horch in Zwickau developed Auto Union Grand Prix racing cars between 1934 and 1939, creating the types A to D. Development of Auto Union racing cars was headed by Ferdinand Porsche from 1934 to 1937.


The 16-cylinder Auto Union racing car was the first racing model with a mid-engine layout. With an engine displacement of 6 litres and 520 horsepower, the Type C achieved a maximum torque of over 850 Nm in 1936. The cars had a reputation of being difficult to control. These were the only competitors at this time capable of beating the Mercedes- Benz racing cars. In terms of motorsport, the season was dominated by Auto Union. Bernd Rosemeyer won five of the 11 races in 1936 and became European Champion ahead of Hans Stuck.


Rosemeyer became the works driver of the Auto Union racing department in 1935. Much celebrated, he gained his first victory in his initial year on the Masaryk Circuit near the Czech city of Brno. He set several speed records during his career. While driving the Type C, Rosemeyer broke the speed limit of 400 km/h (406.32 km/h) in 1937 on a public road.


Following Rudolf Caracciola’s achievement of a new record at 436.893 km/h in 1938, Rosemeyer died in an attempt to set a new record while driving the Auto Union Type R (record car).