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New MB museum in Stuttgart

  #1  
Old 06-06-2006, 02:04 AM
AAR
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Default New MB museum in Stuttgart

One of these years I'll get a vacation again. Going here would rock.
Autoweek article. Worth hitting the link for the pics.

An Elegant Home, Indeed
Mercedes-Benz erects a museum befitting its vast collection

By ROGER HART

AutoWeek | Published 06/01/06, 11:57 am et



Mercedes-Benz has long had one of the greatest collections of historic cars on the planet, with hundreds of vehicles from its rich 120-year history. With the opening last month of the Mercedes-Benz Museum, the company now has one of the greatest car museums in the world—and maybe the greatest museum building in which to showcase these vehicles.

Located alongside the B14 and B10 highways just outside the gates of Mercedes’ main plant in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, this architectural masterpiece houses 80 passenger cars, 40 commercial trucks, and 40 racing cars and trucks along with more than 1500 displays. The exhibit space measures 54,120 square-feet on nine levels. (By contrast, U.S. supermarkets average around 45,500 square-feet.)
Planning for the new facility started in 1999, with construction getting under way in 2003. Construction costs ran e50 million ($65 million).

The museum is a multi-sensory journey through time: Visitors begin the tour by taking an elevator up through a vast atrium to the top floor, then exit the elevator to the sounds of clopping horse hoofs, sounds that set the stage for the invention of the automobile. The centerpiece is the 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen, the first car built by company namesake Karl Benz. Visitors then choose one of two routes that spiral down through the company’s milestones.
The first route features seven Legends Areas that tell the chronological story of Mercedes-Benz. These include Pioneers: The Birth of the Automobile, 1886-1900; Mercedes: The Birth of the Brand, 1900-14; New Departures: Diesels and Superchargers, 1914-45; Wonder Years: Form and Variety, 1945-60; Pioneering Ideas: Safety and the Environment, 1960-82; Worldwide Mobility: Global and Individual, 1982 to present; and Silver Arrows: Races and Records.

The second route takes visitors to five Collection Areas that show the variety of vehicles that wear the Mercedes-Benz badge. These include the Gallery of Travel, Gallery of Loads, Gallery of Helpers, Gallery of Names and Gallery of Heroes. These areas are self-explanatory; buses and taxis fill the Travel section while Pope John Paul’s Popemobile is in the Heroes area. Several galleries show Mercedes’ line of commercial vehicles; this facility can easily house the firm’s mammoth buses and trucks.
A replica of the car that started it all, the 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen, is the centerpiece at the start of the Mercedes-Benz Museum tour.
The building, designed by Dutch architects Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, features an interior modeled on the human DNA-spiral double-helix structure. This shape allows visitors to switch between the two tour routes at any time.

Both routes conclude at the same spot—a banked curve on which sit the cars and trucks from Mercedes’ racing heritage. The Silver Arrows: Races and Records exhibit includes car No. 722, the 300 SLR Stirling Moss and co-driver Denis Jenkinson piloted to the record-setting 1955 Mille Miglia victory.
The 1902 Mercedes-Simplex 40 PS is the oldest Mercedes in existence. Simplex referred to the ease with which the car operated.
This racing area allows visitors to sit in a grandstand and savor the exhibit. Also featured is racing memorabilia, including driver suits, helmets, gloves and shoes, along with videos of vintage races. Two racing simulators give visitors a chance to try their hand at the wheel of a race car.

Long, sweeping hallways lined with showcases detail historic moments. Yes, there is mention of the World Wars and of Germany’s role in each; it can be argued not enough space is devoted to that subject and to the company’s role; no military vehicles from this era are on display.

Surprising, too, is the absence of an exhibit of the various model-line evolutions, for example, the classic S-Class. The museum has a broader scope, leaving open the opportunity for special exhibits that detail specific cars. With just 160 vehicles on display, Mercedes can tap the inventory it has stashed in multiple warehouses for future shows.

A Fascination of Technology area provides a look at the daily lives of Mercedes engineers and designers.
No. 722, the SLR Stirling Moss drove to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia. 5. Long circular hallways take visitors past a wide variety of displays.
The Mercedes-Benz Center Stuttgart is adjacent, and it features the entire Mercedes lineup. Of course there is a souvenir shop, as well as several restaurants. An amphitheater sits between the two buildings.

This new museum replaces an older, smaller one that hosted more than 500,000 visitors annually. Museum officials expect visitor numbers to increase, and for visitors to spend roughly two hours per trip on site.

Two hours is not enough time to take in 120 years of automotive history, let alone to appreciate the breathtaking architecture that houses it.
The final display area features record-breaking cars.

Mercedes-Benz Museum

Mercedesstrasse 100
70372 Stuttgart, Germany
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on Mondays and national holidays. Admission e8, with children 14 and under free
 
  #2  
Old 06-07-2006, 04:31 PM
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Default RE: New MB museum in Stuttgart

Well since I'm in Germany, might as well hit that spot up one of these weekends. Only a two hour drive if even that.

And no S-Class? Geesh. When you say Mercedes to someone first thing that usually comes to mind is the S-Class whether it's the Pullman, W116, W126, W140, or even the W220 or W221.
 
  #3  
Old 06-25-2006, 03:18 PM
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Default RE: New MB museum in Stuttgart

The s-class or a 300SL Gullwing.
 
  #4  
Old 06-25-2006, 04:02 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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Default RE: New MB museum in Stuttgart

Ah, and the 300SL Gullwing. Timeless styling that so many auto makers have been trying to imitate but still, 50 years later, haven't got it right.
 
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