Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Auto Union brand
The trademark of Auto Union was a sign of four rings symbolizing the four member companies (trying to avoid confusion with the 5 Olympic rings), as nowadays used by Audi. The trademarks and company names of the member companies, Horch , Audi, DKW and Wanderer were continued. The four rings logo was used only in racing.
The Auto Union racing team was the main opponent of Mercedes-Benz in 1930s Grand Prix motor racing, using unusual mid-engined cars where the drivers sat in front of the engines. It took 30 years until this concept by famous constructor Ferdinand Porsche became generally adopted in motor racing, as the cars were hard to master. Using supercharged engines that produced well over 500hp, the Silver Arrows of these two teams dominated not only 1930s car racing, but set records that would take decades to beat. For example, it took Formula One Grand Prix until the early 1980s to reach these power levels again.
After the World War II
As Auto Union was based in Zwickau, which became East Germany, almost all of the original race cars were lost during or after the war. Audi has rebuilt some cars recently based upon remaining parts, plans and knowledge.
Audi then Auto Union's rival Daimler-Benz became owners for a period of time. Volkswagen purchased Auto Union and when they took control in 1964, the A-U name was dropped and only the Audi brand was used to denote cars manufactured by the Ingolstadt based company, although the official name was still "Audi NSU Auto-Union AG", which was simply shortened to "Audi AG" in 1985.
The four rings logo of the former Auto Union is still a trademark and continuously used by Audi.
- Grand Prix History, Die Silberpfeile
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