Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Deutschland, Part 6

My second day in Stuttgart was spent at the Mercedes-Benz Museum. While I wasn't able to do the factory tour, it worked out fine, since I spent about nine hours at the museum. If you ever find yourself near Stuttgart, I highly recommend stopping by, as this architectural marvel (as seemingly all German automotive museums are) makes for a fascinating experience.

The main exhibit started at the top of an awesome shaft of elevators, where they showed you videos projected on the wall through the elevator glass. At the top you are confronted by a stuffed horse with the following inscription:

From there, you encounter the coolest part of the museum, which only Mercedes-Benz can offer, essentially a chronicle of the concurrent invention of the automobile by two men who apparently never met: Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler.

Starting with the first internal combustion engine, the so-called "Grandfather Clock":

It continues with the first car:

And then on to the evolution and adaptation for myriad uses:

Throughout the exhibit there was plenty of world history gracing the walls, to give you a good context in which to discover the cars. Eventually you get to some of the most beautiful cars ever to grace the road, the 300SLs, including the Gullwing coupe:

They even had a special exhibit which chronicled the evolution of the E-Class:

Needless to say, this museum was the subject of endless fascination for me. I was impressed beyond my expectations, though I can't imagine your stay would be near as long as mine.

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