After exhaustive restoration and repair work, a one-of-a-kind 1929 Audi Imperator has been handed to Audi Tradition, the manufacturer's Berlin museum.

After exhaustive restoration and repair work, a one-of-a-kind 1929 Audi Imperator has been handed to Audi Tradition, the manufacturer's Berlin museum.

Audi introduced the Imperator at the end of the 1920s as the successor to the innovative Audi Type M six-cylinder model, but it was not destined to be a great success as it entered the market at a period of great economic turmoil.

This grand old dame was discovered in the German state of Saxony at the end of the 1990s, and purchased by Audi Tradition. Built in 1929, this eight-cylinder car is probably the only surviving member of the 145 built at the time.

The car had a five-litre engine developing 100 horsepower, and several other innovative features. The bonnet was made from aluminium, and carried a "1", which was Audi's emblem at that time. Tyre changes were made easy by wheels with a central locking nut, and the car had a special worm-drive rear axle.

Ralf Hornung, who is responsible for the purchase and restoration of historic vehicles at Audi Tradition, said that this old luxury car was still in a passable condition when it was bought by Audi and the original engine was still running.

Peter Spillner, who headed the team of restorers, explained their approach: "We looked at the original photographs in the Audi archives and decided to build an open touring car with a phaeton body." The colour was based on detective work as well, since one of the headlights still bore traces of the original paint, which was somewhere between olive green and brown. "We studied cars of a comparable age, because all the manufacturers at that time had the same outside suppliers."

Thomas Frank, head of the AUDI AG heritage division, was ecstatic about the results. "The Audi Imperator looks fantastic, down to the tiniest detail. Our expectations have been more than fulfilled."

The car has now been restored to its former splendour, but Audi Tradition does not intend for the moment to display it in the Audi museum mobile in Ingolstadt. Thomas Frank said, "the Audi Imperator will initially be reserved for use on special company occasions."

Original article from Car