In the beginning

Audi Tradition will be bringing out some rare classics at events in 2019.

From the workhorse DKW Schnellaster to the fire-breathing Audi 90 IMSA GTO, Audi Tradition will be bringing out the big guns at classic events throughout the year.

Andrew Baker

AUDI AG

28 February, 2019


Students of automotive history have plenty to celebrate in 2019, with Audi Tradition taking part in more than a dozen major historic events throughout the year featuring some very interesting machinery from the brand’s illustrious past.

Perhaps none more so than the DKW Schnellaster, the first vehicle produced in Ingolstadt after the Auto Union brand was resurrected following the Second World War. It’s difficult to rationalise that in just 70 years, the company that produced the the DKW Schnellaster – which translates to ‘rapid transporter’ – would be producing the likes of the Audi R8, A8 and A7 Sportback, to name just a few.

At the end of the Second World War, Auto Union appeared to be dead. Expropriated by the Soviet occupying power in its original base of Saxony, and removed from the Chemnitz Commercial Register in 1948, the company seemingly no longer had a future. Nevertheless, that future would continue in the US occupation zone. Re-established in 1949 with modest beginnings in former military buildings in Upper-Bavarian Ingolstadt, the first offerings from Auto Union GmbH in 1949 were the DKW Schnellaster and the DKW RT 125 W motorcycle, with ‘W’ standing for West. In just 70 years Auto Union GmbH would become  AUDI AG.

the DKW Schnellaster, the first vehicle produced in Ingolstadt after the Auto Union brand was resurrected

The DKW Schnellaster, the first vehicle produced in Ingolstadt.

Another classic event that always features on the Audi Tradition calendar is the Goodwood Festival of Speed

The DKW Schnellaster will be one of the stars of the Donau Classic, but it will also be pivotal in the ‘Techno Classica’ classic car show in Essen (April 10 – 14) where Audi will be appearing under the slogan: ‘Space Miracle – from the Schnellaster to the Avant’ – the centre of attention being station wagons from the greatest variety of periods in the company's history.
Another classic event that always features on the Audi Tradition calendar is the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England. Thirty years ago, in 1989, Audi entered an Audi 90 in the US IMSA GTO Series – one of the most spectacular cars that Audi has ever set loose on the asphalt. The Audi 90 IMSA GTO will start in Goodwood together with its predecessor, the Audi 200 quattro Trans Am, and a restored DKW UL 500 motorcycle. 

The awesome Audi 90 IMSA GTO in action.
The DKW Universal F 89 S, also known as Woody.