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At the beginning of the thirties, the fledgling Auto Union, with Ferdinand Porsche was working on the development of a sixteen cylinder racing car that was noteworthy for its rear mounted engine. On the basis of this design, 1934 the Auto Union Type A started as a speed record car that also came to be used almost unchanged in Grand Prix races. A Type C car followed, these were very successful in their open wheel format but even more spectacular was the streamlined version the "Stromlinie" that made its one and only appearance in the non formula AVUS race in Berlin in 1937. Using the body developed for the World Record Car, with a rag coefficient of just 0.237, a conspicuous feature was the cut outs over the wheel arches. These were designed to allow the driver to see the condition of the tires. They were edged in black to improve the contrast.
In the race Rosemyer reached a top speed of 380 kph on the long straight. This made him not only faster then present day Formula 1 racers, he also ran the fastest lap that has ever been run on any circuit.
From 1935, for the world record trials, Auto Union reverted to the aerodynamic body panels that had been developed from the results of tests carried out in the wind tunnel of the German aeronautical research establishment.
It was particularly striking for the flat compact almost futuristic bodywork, made of duraluminium and totally covering the chassis, that Auto Union had in 1937 for the world record trials on the type C, which was different only in minor details to the racing car. The Auto Union Type C streamlined version had a 6005cc 16 Cylinder engine which delivered 520 bhp at 5000 rpm. In October 1937 on the Frankfurt - Darmstadt stretch of the autobahn Bernd Rosemyer created a legend by breaking 15 records in three days. Among these he reached a sensational to speed over a mile of 406.3 kph from a flying start and 216.4 KPH from a standing start over the same distance.
Bernd Rosemyer, before he signed a contract with Auto Union as a Grand Prix Racing Driver he was considered a very gifted racing motorcyclist and his risk taking style attracted a great public following.