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Wheels of change

autos Updated: Jul 28, 2010 15:20 IST
Aruna Rathod
Aruna Rathod
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Stuttgart in Germany boasts of not one but two superb automobile museums of world famous cars — the Mercedes Benz museum and the Porsche museum. While the former opened its doors in May 2006, the latter opened only last year.

Automobile history
History, engineering marvels, adventure, myths and milestones — you’ll find them all at the Mercedes Benz Museum. The building that spans nine levels, is itself an awesome sight. The permanent exhibition documents 120 years of Benz history.

Take the bubble elevator to the highest level and walk down the aisles lined with the history of the iconic company. One of the most popular displays is the Gallery of Names, where Mercs owned by celebrities and renowned personalities are displayed.

You’ll find the red SL owned by Princess Diana, the Pope Mobile, the large type-770 Mercedes used by Japan’s Emperor Hirohito and Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II, and German statesman Konrad Adenauer's last official limousine.

For racing enthusiasts, the Silver Arrow Races section is a huge attraction. It presents over 40 highlights from the company’s long tradition of motor racing history: from the Phoenix racing car and the famous Blitzen-Benz that toured around the US, right up to the victorious Formula One and DTM racing cars of present day motor sports.

Visual experience
The Porsche Museum is bathed in white. The exteriors and interiors of this monolithic building are dazzling. Escalators take you up to a higher level, where eighty Porsche cars sporting the famous Stuttgart horse emblem are on display.

They range from on-road beauties to the racing models of the Le Mans series, and from the previous iterations of the Cayenne and Cayman, right up to the latest Panamera. The first Beetle designed by Ferdinand Porsche holds a place of honour in this museum.

Both museums offer audio-guides and have a simulated enclosure for visitors. The display here is breathtakingly beautiful. You can stand next to each beauty, and see, touch and feel them — making it an unforgettable experience!

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