What Do The Beatles and the Pope Have in Common? | Inspire
What Do The Beatles and the Pope Have in Common?
Good to Know
Good to Know

What Do The Beatles and the Pope Have in Common?

Find out with this mini tour of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.

Mercedes-Benz always keeps at least one example of every road and concept car it has ever made. These 160 vehicles are housed in the architecturally impressive Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart – an awe-inspiring testament to 130 years of class-leading design and engineering glory, where each car is almost immediately upstaged by the next. 

Here are six unmissable cars of the Mercedes-Benz Museum:

1. Benz Patent-Motorwagen, 1886
The journey through 130 years of Mercedes-Benz's automotive history begins with "Genesis" – the very first automobile. In 1886 Karl Benz was the first to combine a chassis and drivetrain, and the 954cc three-wheeler he invented secured him a place in history as the founding father of the automobile. Be sure to share a singular moment in its presence. 

2. W125 Rekordwagen, 1938
On the highway from Frankfurt to Darmstadt, racing driver Rudolf Caracciola achieved the highest top speed ever recorded on a public road – 432.7km/h – in the 540kW, 12-cylinder, six-metre long "Teardrop". That's 100km/h faster than Lewis Hamilton's F1 race car of today!

3. 300 SL & 190 SL, 1954
After WW2, Mercedes-Benz returned to road racing and quickly found success with the 300 SL, of which it then launched a road-going version. The race-derived tubular spaceframe meant there was no space for the doors, hence the adaptation of the distinctive "Gullwing" design – but a year later the open-top 190 SL Roadster debuted, providing more conventional access to the SL's pews. Both remain among the most desirable cars made in the 20th century.

4. 600 Pullman, 1965  
Who knew The Beatles and the Pope have something in common? Yes, both had a passion for the Mercedes-Benz 600 "Big". Only 2 677 were ever made – and considering this was the '60s, the groundbreaking technology jammed into its six-metre-long body absolutely beggars belief. It included a fuel-injected V8 engine and adjustable (hydraulic) suspension – the recipe for all future S-Classes. 

5. C 111, 1970
Even by Mercedes-Benz standards, the experimental C 111 was radical. Over a decade it ran a series of engines including a three-rotor "Wankel", turbodiesel and turbocharged petrol. It was a Silver Star laboratory on wheels, and despite buyers begging the company to name its price, it never became a series production supercar. Nevertheless, we thank it for a host of Mercedes-Benz technologies we enjoy today.

6. 190 E 2.3-16, 1983
Dubbed the "Baby Benz", the 190 E was a precursor to the compact C-Class sedan that would launch a decade later and go on to become Mercedes-Benz's best-selling automobile. A publicity stunt to mark the sport 2.3-16's launch in 1983 saw three cars lap the Nardo Ring test track in Italy – for a week, clocking 50 000km, at an average speed of 247km/h, and setting a host of world records in the process. Could even a modern-day Mercedes-AMG C 63 do that today? That's the value of the Stuttgart museum – it's a touchstone to another time, where the glory lives on forever.  

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