Auto Union Typ B #1 – Minichamps

1935 Auto Union Typ B 
Pilot: Hans Stuck
Team: Auto Union
Race: 2nd place in the German GP in 1935
Minichamps - 503.13.003.13 (diecast)

Published 09/24/18

The Typ A of 1934 was something absolutely new for Auto Union. As a brand, the company was in its infancy, and the Typ A was their very first racing car. Totally designed in-house and based on Ferdinand Porsche’s P-Wagen project, the Typ A was quite revolutionary for the time. And with all that novelty, the engineering department had a full plate with the car. After all, the rear-mounted engine and complex V16 was totally out of the norm. But with some good results in the 1934 season, Ferdinand Porsche was convinced that he was in the right path. However, Mercedes-Benz also seemed to be in the right track with their W25. So for the next season the Typ A had to be improved. And to keep themselves competitive, in 1935 Auto Union introduced the Typ B.

From a distance its very hard to tell aprt the A, B and C models.

From the outside the Typ B was very similar to the previous A model.  But the new car featured over 50 improvements, including a 105 mm longer chassis. Since the A was a real beast to drive, to improve handling the chassis was longer. Because of the new chassis the two fuel tanks were replaced by a single 210 liter tank behind the driver. Also new were an improved brake system, an improved gearbox and a new rear axle with torsion bars. The engine was basically the same V16 with a Roots supercharger. But it received bigger valves and new cylinders, with increased compression. In the early season displacement was the same 4360 cm³. Later on, however, that was expanded to 4951 cm³. All in all Auto Union built four new cars.

I always say that the wheels make or break a model.

In the beginning of the season Auto Union had issues with the new engine. But by the Nürburgring race things back on track and expectations were high. The VIII Großer Preis von Deutschland took placeon July 28, 1935, at Nürburgring. The 1935 German Grand Prix would consist of 22 laps on the Nordschleife circuit (22.8 km). A total of 22 GP cars were in the race, and Auto Union had four Typ B cars, all with the 5.0 engine. Mercedes had a staggering team of seven W25 cars, and were confident.

A ballot determined the starting grid – yes, things were different back then. However, once the light went green, the world witnessed one of the most incredible car races of all times. Caracciola, Rosemeyer, Nuvolari and von Brauchitsch dueled like mad men all through the race. But in the end it was the Flying Mantuan (40” video) that won the day. In the inferior Alfa Romeo P3 #12, he bested all the superior Teutonic machines. Hans Stuck, that did a consistent race, finished in second place to Nuvolari aboard the Auto Union #1.

And I say (complain?) that some Le Mans cars have “simple” liveries…

Once again Minichamps delivers a superb model, with a fantastic level of detail. In terms of diecasts they’re without a doubt the best, and are easily as good as a Spark resin model. Unfortunately though, Silberpfeile are not the favored cup of espresso of most collectors. But if you do dig the whole vintage GP era, these are the best models on the market.

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