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NEW YORK - German luxury car manufacturer Audi is the Official Automobile of the First New York City Concours d’Elegance on the weekend of September 30th to October 2nd. “This celebration of exquisite automotive style and elegance creates a perfect opportunity to highlight Audi’s long and rich history,” says Johan de Nysschen, Executive Vice President Audi of America, Inc. “We are proud to be involved in this very first Concours in the heart of the city, in Central Park”.
Audi’s history goes back more than 100 years, starting in 1899 when automotive pioneer August Horch founded the car company bearing his name. Ten years on, Horch had to leave his own company amidst a board room showdown and immediately began work on a new automotive enterprise. As August Horch’s name was already in use by the original company he founded, he arrived at the name of a new company by translating his name (meaning “Listen” in German) into Latin, Audi. In 1910, the first new cars bearing the brand name Audi appeared on the market.
Even over 80 years ago, the name Audi was already synonymous with luxury and multiple cylinder engines. Audi's first six-cylinder model made its appearance in 1923, also boasting one of the first hydraulic four-wheel brake systems. In 1927, chief designer Heinrich Schuh designed the first Audi eight-cylinder model, known as the "Audi Imperator". Only one of these models is known to exist today.
“For this important event, we wanted the only known surviving example of this car to represent the company’s engineering excellence here in New York City.”, says Johan de Nysschen. A 5-liter in-line eight-cylinder engine delivering 100 horsepower drives the impressive 1929 Audi Imperator and allows even today top speeds of more than 70 mph. “In its day, this car cost the owner more than a house, a symbol of excellence in engineering and design”
For the next ten days, the unique Audi Imperator will be on display in the New York City Audi Forum at 250 Park Avenue, corner of 47th St E. “The Audi Forum will in future function as the Audi ‘embassy’ in the City, and the display of the Imperator is only the start of many interesting things to come”, says de Nysschen.
In addition to the Imperator, there are many more models from Audi’s rich history on display at the New York City Concours d’Elegance. A Horch 853 Spezial Roadster with body from Erdmann & Rossi, the winner of the 2004 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, is expected to be on show as well as other Horch models and a 1930 Auto Union Silver Arrow Racecar, representing Audi’s rich racing history.
One of the company’s German advertisements states: “only those who have a history have a future”. Following this ideal, Audi will bring a number of interesting new models to New York City as well as a sneak preview of the newest Audi, the SUV presented only a few days ago at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Audi is also pleased to announce that Walter Maria de’Silva, Head of Design for the Audi brand group, will be attending the Concours, and bringing his expertise to bear as an honorary member of the judging panel.
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