Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Audi Ingolstadt

Note how this late 1950s Audi is a close copy to the 1957 Thunderbird! The rear is just as close to the 'Bird in design.

Dash from a 1939 Audi

Dash from a 1939 Rennwagen -- this car was taken by the Soviets after WWII as reparations and only returned to Germany in 1995. It is the only surviving example.

While a slowdown in car sales has taken place in Germany to a lesser degree than perhaps in the U.S. (although I did hear an Opel ad yesterday over the radio that was touting the slash of 3000 Euros off list price of certain models), yesterday I was around dozens of new Audi buyers at the Audi Forum located at the factory in Ingolstadt. And they come as a family to pick up their new cars, whether they are from Dortmund in the Ruhr or Dresden in the former GDR. Ingolstadt is in Bavaria, halfway between Nurnburg and Munich. The Forum -- a combination museum and facility for the sales and delivery of cars -- was one of the most pleasant places I have visited so far. The facility has a cafeteria that serves excellent food and a very reasonable price -- far better than the ostentacious food service at Mercedes in Cannstadt. The staff is very helpful and friendly, parking was free (get that Mercedes and Porsche!), and the museum is excellent. This museum is different in one important respect -- careful attention has been paid to showing very large exhibit photographs that show how people in the past used the various Audi models. Terrific scenes are on the walls of women driving and riding during the 1920s, racing scenes during the 1930s, and post-WWII youth now enjoying automobility. At various points in the museum there are postcards to take along of some of the key images. The historical narratives that accompany the exhibits are extremely well done, both in terms of writing and analysis. Whoever did the research for this museum did a superior job.

I was also struck by the looming factory complex as I was driving in from the autobahn. You could see it for miles in the distance, as you are driving on a two lane highway with fields of yellow on both sides of the road. It was an awesome juxtaposition of agriculture and industry located on the rolling hills of northern Bavaria.

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LT475.
    The image can be seen at wahooart.com who can supply you with a canvas print of it.