Bavarian History Through the Rear View Mirror
Being an Audi technician has allowed me to experience many facets of the automotive world and travel to various venues to participate in them. Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Munich Germany to attend a course at the training center there. To my delight, we ended the 4 day session with a trip to Ingolstadt north of Munich. This location is also world headquarters for Audi AG.
Upon arriving at the massive facility it is apparent the design and arrangement of the world headquarters is what has been emulated at the dealers throughout the world. From the airport “Hangar” look to the new “Terminal” look, this was evident when we got to the area. First off, we were guided through a 2 hour tour of the assembly line where the Audi A4, A5 and Q5 are produced. Two words: simply amazing! But after a gourmet lunch break served in the main complex cafeteria, it was on to the Museum Mobile.
Here you find Audi history on multiple levels progressing from it’s origins in 1899 with the first Horch Automobile from Audi founder August Horch, plus the DKWs, NSUs and AutoUnions to the current racing versions of 2012. Select models are rotating from ceiling to floor on a 4 storey conveyor system known as a “paternoster lift” unique in itself. Audi has been able to keep new examples of most of their modern era vehicles here and put them on display. Audi’s early Motorcycle connection was also also shown in abundance with the classic DKWs and Wanderers. The walls are adorned with artifacts and information detailing Audi’s growth to success over the last 100 plus years.
Near the entrance to the Museum gift shop sit’s a ”barn find” a rare 1953 Horch sedan which has been parked as it was left years ago in Texas of all places. This was the last known car to carry the Horch nameplate. The only problem they’re having with it is deciding whether or not to leave it as is or restore it to it’s former glory in the state of the art restoration area in the Audi Tradition facility located outside Ingolstadt. This tour is open to the public as well, so if you are ever in Germany’s Bavarian region it is a worthwhile visit for Audi or classic car enthusiasts alike. You definitely won’t be disappointed!
Written by Perry M. Mason