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“125 years of the car”: Audi put on a fine show with over 40 vehicles at the grand car parade in Stuttgart on 8 May. At the head of the Audi phalanx was Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, accompanied by world rally champions Hannu Mikkola and Stig Blomqvist in their legendary machines from the 1980s.
The grand car parade of Automobile Summer 2011 – the anniversary event organised by the State of Baden-Württemberg for the 125th birthday of the automobile – included exactly 125 vehicles. Audi’s involvement dates back to the predecessor brand NSU, and to its roots at what is now the Audi plant in Neckarsulm. Consequently, spectators along the route from the Porsche Museum via the Mercedes-Benz Museum to the Schlossplatz in Stuttgart were also treated to the sight of many former NSU models.
Rare exhibits on the road
Over 30 classic and vintage cars from the treasure chest of Audi Tradition took part in the parade, ably supported by cars from the brand clubs. The oldest vehicles from the house of Audi were the Horch 10/50 hp from 1925, still with right-hand drive, the Audi Front Roadster from 1935 and the Audi Type R, also known as the Audi Imperator. In addition to these there were of course also pre-war models from Wanderer and DKW on show.
Audi Front Roadster from 1935
Only two prototypes of this car were built in 1935. They were both lost in the confusion of the Second World War. Following many years of restoration work using photographs and drawings, Audi Tradition presented this rarity to the public again in 2009.
The Audi Type R “Imperator” – the first in-line eight-cylinder car
In 1929 the company launched its first in-line eight-cylinder car, delivering a mighty 100 horsepower. Audi Tradition acquired and restored the last example of this model some years ago.
Racing legends from the 1980s
The parade also included two racing legends: the Audi Rally quattro A2 and the Audi Sport quattro S1. At the wheel of the two rally cars sat former world champions Hannu Mikkola und Stig Blomqvist. These two drifted their way to the title with Audi in 1983 and 1984. And there was yet another world champion in the line-up for Audi: 1990 World Cup winner Karl-Heinz Riedle drove with Chairman of the Board of Management Rupert Stadler in an Audi R8 Spyder.
A glimpse into the future of the car
Along with many contemporary witnesses from over 100 years of Audi motoring history and some current models, the visitors to Automobile Summer 2011 were also able to a get a glimpse of the future. For example, Audi also displayed three innovation models, including the Audi A1 e-tron, in an exhibition on the Schlossplatz in Stuttgart.
40 vehicles from the history of Audi
A stimulating blend of historic exhibits and contemporary forms of presentation.