A Visit to the Mercedes-Benz and Porsche Museums
By Ronak Shah
1 mins read
Published on October 19, 2015
Last week I'd the chance to go to Stuttgart and visit both company's museums. Those who have been to Stuttgart will know that the city is not that big, and the two landmarks - the Mercedes-Benz museum and the Porsche museum - are located on the opposite ends of the city (though well connected via underground metro train). So it wasn't possible for me to do both on the same day. I started with the Mercedes-Benz museum.
I was lucky enough to stay in the heart of Stuttgart. The area is called Bosch, only because about hundred years ago Robert Bosch had set up one of its first manufacturing plant there, but now its a tourist place with several hotel options to stay. After walking about 1km to the underground station from the hotel we got a direct train to the station called Neckar Park. Once you get down you will spot at least 10, if not more, signboards to reach the Mercedes-Benz museum. Get the ticket of 8 euros and take the elevator all the way to the top, and do not forget the audio guide. The audio guide is available in English and is loud and clear.
The museum itself is well constructed and well planned. It covers the history of the Mercedes-Benz brand and the brands associated with it. Stuttgart is home to the Mercedes-Benz brand and the international headquarters of Daimler AG. With over 175 vehicles, there are many dating back to the very earliest of of the motor engine. For instance, I never knew that the first long-wheelbase model from Mercedes-Benz was developed in 1900. It's a fact that long wheel base offers better safety attributes and plays a crucial part in the design of the vehicle. Mercedes Simplex prestige models looked ahead to the wheelbase lengths in today's S-Class cars. Talking about S-class, also on display was the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3. First showcased at the 1968 Geneva Motor Show, it was the top-of-the-line model of the W108/108 luxury series, predecessor to today's S-Class. The equation back then was simple - to take the powerful 6.3 litre V8 Mercedes-Benz M100 engine from the luxurious 600 limousine, and fit it into the regular Mercedes-Benz W109 S-Class model which only had 6-cylinder engines at that time. The museum is also the home to all the motorsports cars the company has always been associated with. There are also real-time simulators and theater seating to watch movies about the company's motorsports history. So make sure you have enough time for all of these.
A day later, when I was convinced that I will not be able to make it to the Porsche museum, all of a sudden I found myself with roughly 3 hours to spare. A quick decision made sure that I reached one hour before the scheduled closing time (6pm). Porsche museum is not huge, but it is still as interesting as it can get. You are welcomed with one of the first four-seater sports car - Sascha. Though designed for Austro-Daimler, the car in-effect launched Porsche's great motorsport tradition at the Targa Florio road race in Sicily. The car won 43 races. Weighing at about 598Kg, the car's lightweight construction was one of the biggest reasons for its success. Also on display are the world's first-ever Carrerras. Limited edition of the 356 B Carrera 2 cabriolet and the coupe versions, and Porsche's racing legacy and that was just not related to cars. All the trophies Porsche has ever won in any motorsports including DTM racing and Formula 1 are also on display.
It was a good time spent understanding where the two-global giants come from; their history is well preserved and documented. There is a lot more to this. Remember that process of evolution in cars have also seen two-world wars so its interesting as how many cars couldn't make it to the production because of the world wars and politics behind it.
In the end, don't forget to visit the souvenir store to pamper yourself; you don't get the chance to experience the wheels taking you back in time every day.
Last Updated on October 19, 2015
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