A little over 80 years after it first competed at the world-famous Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, the Auto Union Type C Grand Prix car is to return to the Worcestershire, England, hillclimb in the hands of Hans-Joachim Stuck.
On Saturday July 16 and Sunday July 17, the 1990 DTM champion will pay tribute to his father by repeating Hans Stuck’s 1936 hill climb attempt at the world’s oldest motorsport venue in continuous use.
Setting an overall best on the day of 45.2 seconds, Hans Stuck senior claimed victory in the ‘Over 5 litres Supercharged class’, however his performance was hampered by wet weather that significantly slowed his attempts to improve on this.
A report following the weekend’s activities originally printed in Motor Sport Magazine in July 1936 (issue 337) described how Stuck senior was confronted with a ‘sharp shower of rain’ and had to battle ‘colossal wheelspin’ in an effort to launch the V16 racing car off the line.
On Stuck’s second attempt, Motor Sport recounted how he was ‘rewarded by the most ferocious series of tail wags we have ever witnessed, his elbows in turn rising high above the car’s side as he corrected the skids, and finished the run with a skid across the line which must have made the timing officials jump for their lives.’
The Type C was the most successful German racing car of the era, having won three out of five Grand Prix by 1936 and half of all circuit and hill climb races that Auto Union entered. It was the third iteration of the brand’s Silver Arrow Grand Prix car, and by this stage its V16 engine had a displacement of six litres and combined a colossal 520PS output with maximum torque of 87 mkg (approximately 850 Nm) at 2500 rpm.