DKW Monza Celebrates 50 years
at Mille Miglia


DKW Monza

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5th May, 2006

Audi Tradition’s famed DKW Monza post-war racer will make a return to the race circuit next weekend at Italy’s Mille Miglia, fifty years after it first hit the road.

The Audi Tradition Department will take advantage of the 50th Anniversary of the DKW Monza to demonstrate the extraordinary capabilities of this racing machine at the Mille Miglia from 11th to 14th May, 2006.

With a small-volume production of just 230 models, the DKW Monza was exceptionally popular with Americans. And it was a world-record setter.

The car was named after the world-famous Italian Grand Prix circuit where the first sports car in Auto Union post-war history enjoyed outstanding success.

In 1956, the DKW Monza set new world records in the 1,100 cc class over distances of 4,000 miles, 5,000 miles and 10,000 kilometres as well as over the time distances of 48 and 72 hours.

After the series of wins by the DKW 3=6 Sonderklasse in European touring car racing and rallying in 1954 and 1955, two racing drivers started to develop a sporty body for the successful model. Günther Ahrens and Albrecht W. Mantzel designed a record-breaking car on the basis of the 3=6, incorporating an extremely lightweight plastic body built at Dannenhauer & Stauss in Stuttgart.

The first prototype was presented in 1955 at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. The DKW Monza went on sale after its world record runs in 1956. Surprisingly enough, a large number of this small-volume model were exported to the USA, where the lightweight sports coupé with its new plastic body proved to be extremely popular. Despite a modest 44 horsepower, its straight-three, two-stroke engine propelled it to a considerable top speed of 140 kilometres per hour.

In Germany, the DKW Monza cost 10,500 marks in 1956. The fact that only 230 examples were built can be attributed to Auto Union GmbH already having another exciting new sports car project up its sleeve - the Auto Union 1000 Sp which was launched in 1957.

Background – Audi Tradition
The four rings of the Audi badge symbolise the brands Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer, which were combined under the umbrella of Auto Union. Auto Union and NSU, which merged in 1969, made many significant contributions towards the development of the car. AUDI AG was formed from Audi NSU Auto Union AG in 1985.

Together with the two traditional companies Auto Union GmbH and NSU GmbH, Audi Tradition nurtures and presents the deep and diverse history of Audi. The Audi museum mobile at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt is open from Monday to Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

DKW Monza

Other Audi news: here.

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