Founded by August Horch on July 16, 1909, Audi will celebrate its 100 birthday this year with a special exhibit at the Audi automobile museum in Germany. Aptly titled “From Horch to Audi – The history of perfection has a new name,” the exclusive event will present a collection of Audi’s most historic automobiles to the public, including the only surviving model of the Audi Type P. Introduced as Audi’s very first small car in 1931, the Type P’s brief production run was cut short in 1936. No models were believed to still be in existence until 2003 when a perfectly preserved Type P was found in a barn in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Paperwork on the antique revealed that it’s last owner, the mayor of a town in the Swabian region of Germany, had driven the Type P faithfully until garaging it in 1955, where it remained until its discovery nearly 50 years later. Today, the sole surviving Type P will make its first appearance since being fully restored at the “From Horch to Audi” exhibit.
In addition to the Type P, Audi’s centennial celebration exhibit will also feature several other iconic turn-of-the-century Audi’s, including the first Audi ever produced, the 1911 Audi Model A, and a custom-built replica of the 1935 Audi 255 Front Special Roadster (two of which were produced, though none still exist). Also on the guest list is the legendary Audi Type M, one of the most expensive and prestigious cars in its heyday and the first Audi to be equipped with 4-wheel brakes. Beside the Type M will stand its successor, the Type R “Imperator,” which is notable for being the first 8-cylinder Audi as well as the first Audi to surpass the 100-horsepower mark. Produced in 1929, like the Type P, the Type R Imperator that will be on display at the Audi museum is the only model still remaining in existence.
Scheduled to officially open today, the Audi “From Horch to Audi – perfection has a new name” will run until Audi’s traditional birthday on July 16, 2009.