Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Germany Part 3 - Stuttgart, the Mercedes Museum

Our Stuttgart portion of the trip was pretty much all about the car museums, Mercedes and Porsche to be exact.  After a tasty little breakfast at the inn we were staying in, we slogged through the rain and drove first to the Mercedes Museum (since we were only going to Museums, the rain really didn't bother us much.  Better then than one of our outdoor hiking days!), which is situated much like the Guggenheim Museum in NY where you start at the top of the museum and spiral down.  Surprisingly to us, this was by far one of our favorite museums of the trip as the format of the museum combined the beautiful Mercedes cars with the timeline of major events happening in the world and how the company adjusted to the times.  It was very well done!

Here is the trip to the top floor in a very sci-fi design elevator with our extremely informative English headsets on - you just pointed at a designator symbol and could get extended history on the technologies/designs.

The first part of the exhibit detailed the history of the invention and evolution of the motor as well as vehicles in which the motor was used including flying contraptions.  The early motors used a fuel called Benzinum (see 3rd picture in the set above) which could only be obtained at local hotels, grocery markets, and restaurants in small glass bottles.
And here's the money shot - the first model named a "Mercedes".  She was a beaut!

The early models were actually quite complex and large for such a new technology.  And boy were they pretty!  I'm sure the actuality of driving on dirt roads didn't leave them looking so pretty after a trip or two...  The museum also had these also side rooms that had "off topic" vehicles, if you will - some were filled with modes of Mercedes Benz built mass/work transportation while others had "famous" Mercedes cars like the popemobile.

Being fairly non-religious and a Jew to boot, I had no clue there was even a vehicle made called the "pope-mobile" and I was rather entertained by it. The second floor down along the spiral was my favorite:

Check out those gorgeous cars from the roaring 20s!  That first red one makes my heart flutter a bit - so gorgeous.

The next floor down was pretty impressive too - you know I love me some 50's/60's mid century design!  S was having a crush moment himself when he saw that silver 300 series model with the gull wing doors.

The floor with the modern cars wasn't all that exciting (what happened to beautifully designed mostly-affordable cars?? They're so boring now....) but the bottom floor had S's racing adrenaline going again and he was in his element - nearly a century of race cars!!!
We finished off our Mercedes Museum trip with a quick stop at their cafe for some lunch, my favorite part being the rather large raspberry linzer cookies with a Mercedes logo in the center.  I was probably bit too obsessed (tasted good too!)  And then we made the obligatory stop in the gift shop.  It was also one of the better gift shops we were in (though naturally pricy) and we got some great souvenirs.  Coming up next: the Porsche Museum!

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