This Auto Union Type C LEGO Kit Looks Outstanding

LEGO Ideas has been responsible for a number of great LEGO cars, but few are as interesting as this Auto Union Type C.

Designed by LEGO creator redera00, the car is 50 cm long (about 20 inches long) and features a removable engine cover so that you can see the car’s legendary V16.

The kit has already reached the first major LEGO Ideas hurdles of 100 and 1,000 supporters. With each hurdle, the kits get more time to reach their ultimate goal of 10,000 supporters, at which time it gets reviewed by LEGO and put into production (if LEGO can get Audi’s permission, presumably).

But what’s the story behind the car?

The Type C’s history starts, unfortunately, but inseparably, with the Nazis, who were looking for ways to express Germany’s technical skills. And that included motorsports.

The story gets less evil, though, I swear! This is where Ferdinand Porsche steps in. In financial dire straits, Porsche did the only reasonable thing that someone running out of money would do, and decided to develop a racing engine despite having no actual customers. Looks like he read “The Secret” before the rest of us.

As you might be able to tell from the shape of the thing and the badge on the front, Auto Union decided to put Porsche’s engine in the middle of the Type C (there were other cars before this one, but this is a short history, not a book) and the Porsche didn’t lose his shirt.

Despite the weight being near the back, though, Auto Union still had trouble putting down all of the V16’s more-than-500 hp, so they depended on another Porsche innovation, the limited slip differential (which was actually produced by ZF).

Although the Auto Union Type B had had some mild success in 1935, it amounted to just one victory at the Italian Grand Prix. By 1936, though, the Type C was a dominant force winning all but one Grand Prix (in Monaco, where it retired) at the hands of Bernd Rosemeyer, whom you might remember as the namesake of the concept that eventually led to the R8.

While Auto Union produced the Type A, B, and D as well, none was as successful as the Type C. The most powerful and lightest of the bunch (weighing just 1,817 lbs dry), it was allegedly capable of hitting 211 mph. In 1936.

A prototype for what was to come in the world of racing, the Auto Union race cars were decades ahead of the rest of the world.