AllCarCentral Goes To
The Mercedes-Benz Museum
Story and Images by Frank Cunningham
The Mercedes-Benz Museum
The Mercedes Benz Museum is just outside of Stuttgart, as is the Porsche Museum and with both museums available for, shall we say, the price of one. An extension of 2 days to our European tour was an easy choice to make. The train ride from the last town of tour, St. Goar on the Rhine River, placed us at the Mercedes Benz museum’s train station platform around noon. We were tired from traveling all morning with one train change and a change at the main Stuttgart station to the local rail line. At about 2:00 PM we were also ready for lunch.
There were signs pointing to the museum and we started off, each dragging our wheeled luggage and backpacks. The journey was about a 1/4 mile ending at a 2 large buildings. One I recognized as the museum. However the building directly in front of us had a large sign stating, "Visitors sign in here". So we headed in there. At the back edge of the lobby a lady was loudly saying the "museum is over there" and then started hollering at me as I headed out the door which she had pointed to, as for some reason, that was not the door I was to use.
Mercedes Benz has made so may great cars and even though their museum is a very large building many cars are close together. Many of the cars can not be viewed from all sides and the lighting makes it difficult to photograph.
I took the audio device but using it was a distraction to my main goal of getting photos so I did not get to enjoy the stories. My wife, who likes to look at older cars was off reading the historic story line on the posters lining the outside wall of the ramp sections. Mercedes Benz has cleverly related its history with world events. The posters mention events like JFK in Berlin, the Beatles coming to America and Elvis Presley, and then fit in special Mercedes Benz mile marks. Clever and entertaining.
I recognized the museum. However the building directly in front of us (left in the photo) had a large sign stating, "Visitors sign in here".
Once back on the street and headed for the museum building we reached a enormous plaza guarded by a serious number of steps to climb. Much to high to try to pull up our luggage. By dragging our luggage an additional 75 yrds the steps were replace by a reasonably sloped section of the plaza where we could ascend with our luggage and load of gear.
The Museum is set up to start at the top and twist ones way down in a spiral. A short ride up in a gated elevator opens up in the first room displaying the story and history of the birth of the automobile. One of the keys to developing the first automobile was a lightweight engine and there were several displays dedicated to that. The ramp slowly descended and along the wall was a shelf holding the cars which made Mercedes Benz the power it is in the automotive world.
We purchased our tickets and found the coat check room that would keep our luggage for us, as we had not had time to stop at the hotel. First on the list was food. Down stairs was the gift shop and restaurant. My wife and I have no language skills beyond American English so are at the mercy of the those try to serve us when traveling. The restaurant was quite large, but only one small section seemed to be available to sit in for food service and we could not readily determine the best way to be served as all tables were being used. Asking questions did not solve the issue so we climb up to the counter and tried the best we could to get comfortable on the high bar stools. Lunch was, shall I say "OK". Mercedes Benz standards "?". It seemed to me that the place was more geared to serve groups, with individuals being a disruption. But maybe that was because I was tired and too long from my last meal back in the Rhine River Valley.
Benz Patent-Motorwagon 1886
Walking down the ramp brings one forward in time and history.
There is an audio guide available to tell the visitor about each car
In the early years and during World War II most all automotive companies made aircraft engines.
The Museum has rooms with collection of cars which in one way or another relate to each other
Just enjoying the building architecture is a real pleasure.
As the Daimler organization isn't just about cars there were significant displays of heavy equipment as well. My favorite was the 1955 Mercedes Benz high-speed racecar transporter with a sigh saying that Maximum speed was 105 MPH. Driving that vehicle with its extreme frontal overhang at 100 MPH must have been more of a challenge than driving the GP machines that it was hauling.
Paring the SL's with the heavy truck needs some explanation
The 300 Sl Roadster
Serious snow removal
Mercedes Benz testing and research vehicles
I had 2 disappointments. The priceless collection of early racecars, just to the right beyond the edge of the image, the GP machines and the SL models were set up on an elevated ramp something like a banked race track. They were very difficult to see and even more difficult to photograph. The other disappointment was that these jewels of the museum was right a the end of the downward spiral display, and by the time I had reached them the loud speaker was saying that the building was closing.
And there were still many unique one-off cars to be seen.
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