AUTOROTICA: The Audi that was an Ugly Duckling

Automobile designer, Pál Járay (Paul Jaray) was a Hungarian engineer who worked for Luftschiffbau Zeppelin (LZ), where he oversaw aerodynamic work on airship designs. The famous Graf Zeppelin, and the infamous Hindenburg were based on his designs. He also designed car bodies for Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Maybach, Ford, and Audi (among others).

In 1922 he filed a patent for a motor vehicle body that had been shaped in the wind tunnel. He created a long-tailed, cigar-shaped vision of the future.

The Jaray-Audi had a 40 hp six-cylinder engine, and was ahead of its time. Even today, the car looks futuristic—maybe even something from Pixar’s “Cars” animated film series.

The prototype futurama vehicle was recently given a new life in an ad for Audi’s new A5. With the ad agency linking the aggressive, ahead-of-its-time looks to that of Jaray’s Audi.  In the ad we witness the Jaray-Audi scaring horses, drawing disapproving looks from the townspeople and receiving angry honks from other drivers—set to the music from Hans Christian Anderson’s Ugly Duckling.

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