Schuco Studio VI Auto Union
Article Number 23371
Record-Breaking Automotive Performances. In Design and Speed.
The streamline vehicles of Auto Union have thrilled the masses and marked a high point in the history of record-breaking rides. The interplay of high-performance engines, lightweight construction, aerodynamics and chassis design set standards in the 1930s, against which other racing car manufacturers had to be measured – vehicle engineer, Laurence Pomeroy, even spoke of “high watermarks” of automotive technology. At the same time, due to the arrangement of the engine behind the driver, the race models from Auto Union belong to the most beautiful racing car shapes of all time.
In 1931, Wanderer, which was to form Auto Union a year later with Audi, DKW and Horch, signed a contract with Ferdinand Porsche for the development of a new racing car. Wanderer sales expert, Klaus Detlof von Oertzen, had a clear vision: he wanted to produce the fastest vehicle in the world. Such a flagship project should be the foundation stone of Auto Union, who, after all, had previously only been known as a brand for their individual parts, and should help them to gain in popularity as soon as possible. However, wind resistance was the critical element for the design of the racing car: so much so that the design of streamlined vehicle flowed significantly from the aerodynamic findings of the aircraft industry. The construction of the body, for example, aimed at the lowest possible air resistance.
The plan worked. Within a few years, Auto Union developed into the strongest competitor of Mercedes Benz in the German market and won for itself one competition after the next. The participation in races and record runs also added considerably to the reputation of the company – the brand was suddenly on everyone’s lips. The ride in which the 400 km/h mark on the Frankfurt – Heidelberg motorway was cracked with the Auto Union Type C by Bernd Rosemeyer, in particular, remained in people’s memories, not to mention the one in which the racing-car driver lost his life.
Legendary Tin Toys. From Schuco.
Schuco is one of those companies that has given the (toy) city of Nuremberg a worldwide reputation. Heinrich Mueller, at the same time boss and idea generator, designer and constructor, founded it together with the merchant Heinrich Schreyer as the company Schreyer & Co. Since 1921 it has born the name Schuco, whilst by the end of the 1920s, it was already a prospering enterprise, reflecting the spirit of the times with its mechanical tin toys.
Most of the designs and patents came from Müller himself, who repeatedly tested and improved his cars, checking them for durability against the harsh treatment in the nursery – for example, by dropping each model on the floor. It is even reported that he later threw the (hopefully smaller) toy cars across the road adjacent to the company premises. Only the models that survived this “everyday test“ went into production, because, in the end, they won’t be treated gently at playtime!
From Cuddly Toys to a Silver Arrow.
Having begun with cuddly toys and wheeled animals, hand puppets and mechanical toys, Schuco became a legend with the production of toy cars, in the 1930s. Decisive for the success of the mechanical car were, above all, the original refinements with which numerous models came. A real bestseller, for example, was the Schuco “Wendelimousine” – a model that “does not fall off the table when driving”, because it turns on its own!
Although production was halted during the Second World War, the company later resumed tin-toy production and was in 1952 – with 800 employees – the largest toy factory in Nuremberg. Until the 1960s, Schuco’s metal car business boomed and found a place not only in German children’s rooms and hearts. However, just as rapid as the rise was the speed of the fall. Sales slumped in the late 60s due to competition from plastic and electronic toys, and the company had to declare bankruptcy in 1976. Today they are in business again and with them the famously solid metal cars, which are now more collectable models rather than toys.
Collector’s model. Not suitable for children under 14 years old.
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